This past weekend we had the opportunity to be a part of a new festival in the great city of Jacksonville. Connection Festival was a three day event that celebrated the amplification of music, art and commerce through the use of technology. Now, I know that last part might seem strange. What do we mean, through technology? The answer is simple. As technology changes, the ability to communicate, design and execute ideas becomes less of a challenge and more of a unique opportunity, and this week we are going to share how technology assisted the teams at Sixth Gear and Connection Festival in putting together a new and progressive event.
Communication & Technology
Technology and means of communication is constantly evolving. Some purists may argue that the evolution of technology hinders our ability to communicate with others, however in the planning and execution of Connection Festival, the incorporation of technology made it all possible.
When planning an event communication is key. But, what do you do when team members are working from various parts of the state & country. Years ago travel and long winded emails may have been the only option, but in today’s digital world having a meeting “face to face” is as simple as logging into a communication platform. With programs like FaceTime, Google Hangout and Skype the sky is literally the limit. As long as you have an internet connection a meeting can take place from anywhere in the world; which became crucial to our two teams. Being able to discuss ideas, share concepts and links on the spot with the full team made for effective meetings. Meetings which could never have happened without the use of technology.
Communication during the days of the festival was important to the Sixth Gear team since we would be working alongside media teams from Jacksonville locals Crux Collective, Total Coverage 360 and Record & Capture. Having a group of individuals stay in communication throughout the festival making sure each area was covered was the challenge, but a challenge technology was up to. Sure we could group text, but unless we all used the blessed iPhone that could become problematic. Platforms like GroupMe simplified our festival contact. Similar to texting, GroupMe enabled us to create a closed group for individuals within the media team to communicate without having to worry about differences in their phone’s operating system, making our job a whole lot easier. With a few simple words we could make sure events were being photographed and attended to without having to run around and track down specific people. Having that live communication enabled us to be in various places but have a singular space to talk and plan.
Design, Content & Technology
We all know graphic design and technology go hand in hand. In designing concepts we wanted to make sure the look encompassed all elements of the festival. By combining the original festival artwork with our current ideas we were able to create a new brand identity for the festival, and being able to bring art to a digital stage is something that will always amaze our team. In the Golden Age of Advertising, everything was hand drawn, but today we can sculpt, paint, add texture and manipulate fonts with the touch of a mouse. Mock ups of merchandise items, posters and print collateral could be done on the spot and sent to a printer within minutes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to design and technology.
Content and technology are quickly coming together like peanut butter & jelly. Up to date social media posts, blogging and live streams are no longer a pipe dream, it is an interactive way to reach a target audience and can be done from anywhere anytime. Realtime social media posting & live streams was a concept we knew we needed. Our media teams from Crux Collective, Total Coverage 360 and Record & Capture all had their various ways of producing content. Some could photograph a festival event that would automatically upload to our website gallery while others could capture a shot, hook up to their laptops and edit a shot with watermarks and post within an hour. Content creation has never been faster and technology continues to grow that spectrum and makes coverage of a large festival not only possible, but impressive.
Connection Festival gave Sixth Gear the opportunity to explore new artistic and tech mediums. It is clear now that when working on a website, branding, print collateral or social media, technology is ever present in assisting our day to day work routine. Since technology is always evolving we are excited for the opportunity that next year’s Connection Festival will offer and how new technology will amplify the process.
Photo courtesy of Jay Palmer at Crux Collective