IAEE Asia Hybrid Forum: Where Innovation and Imagination Meet

The IAEE, along with Marina Bay Sands and their online technology partner GEVME came together at the IAEE Asia Hybrid Forum 2020 to discuss the future of hybrid technologies.

During the pandemic, many companies resorted to platforms like Zoom to conduct their events. As we look further and think about the possibilities, we know that having a varied experience of blending physical with virtual experiences will be the most beneficial. Hybrid Events are the future of the events industry.

As Mr. Veemal Gungadin, CEO, GEVME along with Mr. Wee Min, VP of Conventions & Exhibitions, The Marina Bay Sands got conversing on stage to deliver their keynote address, they discussed the topic “Reimagining the Future of the Industry” and how a physical event and a digital event can be unified. Wee Min spoke about how the industry is made to give its clients a better experience. He talks about how every experience expected by each client is a unique story that is then shared with others. Technology has made it possible for the clients and audiences to tell their stories more compellingly.



The event industry, in particular, was not always quick in adopting the technology. However, this year it has seen an enormous change so much so that, to quote Wee Min, “we can’t talk about our industry without mentioning the word technology today.”

“The adoption of technologies of the future itself is a game-changer. Lots of the technologies that we are adopting, in fact, have been around for the longest of time, like mixed reality, augmented reality, virtual reality, we’ve been talking about that for a long time. But now we’re starting to see its practical usage in the forefront.” – Veemal Gungadin, CEO, GEVME

Wee Min spoke about how mixed reality as this emerging technology can definitely bring the industry to life. It is different from standing in front of a green screen. A mixed-reality stage can even make a presentation come to life through interactive displays, helping us bring the audience closer to the presentation’s content, enabling the speaker to have real-time interaction with the audience and the subject matter on the screen. Wee Min demonstrated this by having a hologram of the world projected right above his hand, giving a perfect example of experiences and storytelling possibilities in the future.



“The Weather Channel is a good example as well, it has brought digital expertise to weather reporting to live audiences where they stand in front of a green screen, and you can talk about rising sea levels, and you see that the sea level literally rises above and behind you, allowing the audience to better accept your story. And you bring the audience into your story a lot better. This is the future of storytelling, and feel very strongly that if we use mixed reality in the right way, we will see our stakeholders, our clients, our corporate companies be able to tell their story in a more compelling manner. “ – WeeMin Ong, VP of Conventions & Exhibitions, The Marina Bay Sands

Having a digital exhibition has always been an idea in the past. However, this idea is something that we can adopt and bring to life. He explains that by adopting an immersive 3D experience, we can have people experience an exhibition physically in-person and can even interact with the exhibitors digitally. A digital exhibition can help increase the exhibition’s reach globally with the digital component added to it.

“A digital booth is where it’s a truly immersive 3D experience where you can go inside the booth, you can experience the booth, you can probably even meet with the people. Meet with the exhibitors, download the relevant collaterals. And as you can see, the branding, the design is already consistent with what’s happening in the physical space and in the digital one. And I think that’s the kind of thing that, again, we’ve been talking about for the longest time, but never really being able to. The time to introduce this has never been better.” – Veemal Gungadin, CEO, GEVME



In the past, advanced technology such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality that we are exposed to now was only talked about. We now see its practical usage. Following are a few takeaways from the session.

Mixed Reality is here:

Mixed reality as this emerging technology can definitely bring the industry to life. And through hybrid events, it can make for engaging attendee experience.

Unification of experience:

We have to think about making these experiences better in a hybrid way i.e. with engaging and interactive content delivery for both the physical as well as the online audiences. 

Reviving technology:

QR codes have been in existence for a very long time. Now, as we understand the system better, we can make use of this in different technologies. Ways are being looked into to figure out how to make use of QR codes is for global travel.

The entire event was conducted at the Marina Bay Sands which was organized by the IAEE Asia Forum to discuss the digital capabilities of the events industry or the future. 

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