Rio's Opening Ceremony Wowed on a Shoestring Budget

The bar has been raised. Again.

The spectacular opening ceremony  of the 2016 Olympics is an inspiring reminder to all of us in the trade shows and events business about the importance of wowing an audience.

Perhaps the only question in these budget-challenged days is, how much wow can a trade show manager really afford?

Well, it’s reassuring to know that the Rio Olympics show was actually produced on a shoestring budget. The initial budget was cut in half, the number of performers was slashed from 3,000 to 700 and the show ended up costing a fraction of what London and Beijing spent.

So how did Rio pull it off? In a word—digital. Instead of spending money on elaborate sets and special effects, they used digital projectors to turn the stadium’s 88,000 sq. ft. floor into a shifting, pulsing parade of mind-blowing landscapes.

Those floor images drove the show’s entire narrative as human characters interacted with them. The acrobats who seemed to leap between digital buildings practically brought the house down.

No question, digital offers an incredibly powerful way to involve audiences. At our client’s trade shows and events, the digital journeys we’re creating are drawing in record numbers of registrants. What’s more, the amount of time they’re spending on these journeys and the depth of their involvement is beyond what we imagined a few years ago.

More information about MSM’s approach to creating custom interactive journeys is available here.

And then there’s the data. The torrent of information unleashed about customer preferences, their intent to purchase and even their individual identities is transforming our clients’ follow-up marketing and ROI numbers.

The bottom line is, a carefully planned and executed digital experience, as the one in Rio attests, will give you more bang for the buck than anything else you can think of.

Which really adds up to one big, spectacular wow.