The global health crisis has caused massive upheaval in the events industry. The last nine months of our industry have been littered with delays, postponements, and outright cancellations. The impact on companies like ours has been severe, to say the least. And Helios has certainly been changed by the pandemic.
To say we have pivoted, however, wouldn’t quite be correct. To me, a pivot brings to mind a 180 degree turn – in a sense, taking one backwards. What we have done is something different – we’ve continued on the same trajectory that we embarked on in our early days – to bring innovation to the experiential space – and simply changed the tools we use to achieve that goal.
As you might know, Helios has established a reputation over the last twelve years as a company that tells stories through innovative and unique mediums – starting in our early days with touch, multitouch, and gesture, and eventually embracing augmented and virtual reality. A constant theme throughout our organization’s history has been immersion – find technologies and mediums that are engaging, immersive, and memorable. Due to Covid, our medium has become somewhat static due to live events being halted. So for now, we can create new and exciting applications… for the web. Given that limitation, we were understandably a little bit nonplussed when faced with a limited medium and an audience that was suffering from deep Zoom fatigue. Add to that the number of great web dev shops already out there, and well, it took us a minute to get our ‘sea legs’ under us. What could we possibly bring to the table that would set us aside from the shops that have been building amazing websites for years?
It turns out that we didn’t need to look too far. While the work being done on websites around the world is incredibly creative, it oftentimes lacks an environmental sensibility. And creating immersive environments? Well, that’s what we’ve been doing, and doing well, for years. It’s been interesting to see the difference between the work our team has done and how a more traditional web dev shop may have approached things. While we certainly aren’t trying to push HTML to its limits, what we HAVE done that is unique is to bring a creative, spatial approach to building out experiences on the web – something that is rarely done and even more rarely done well.
As we set out to bring our clients from the ‘live’ medium to online experiences, our traditional immersive approaches have served us well. We’re thinking about creating online experiences that allow a user to feel a sense of presence without the need for them to don a head-mounted display – and can create fantastically mesmerizing spaces that provide a completely different experience than individuals might expect. It’s that core ability from our creative team that sets us apart from the rest – and it’s something that we’re pushing the envelope on every day.
I heard a good quote the other day – ‘just because you have a captive audience doesn’t mean you’re captivating your audience’. These words strike to the heart of the matter – as we have seen time and time again, many out there are struggling to retain the interest and attention of their viewers. What we’re creating at Helios aims to provide a more attractive and compelling universe that will hold users for a longer time, and create something that will resonate with them long after they have concluded their experience.