Keeping It (Virtually) Real in Atlanta


In what is becoming an annual tradition, select members of Team Brella fled the frigid winds of Chicago for Training magazine’s 2018 Conference and Expo. We love our Midwestern home, but a midwinter break in Atlanta’s warm embrace was just what we needed.

For the second year in a row, Brella co-produced the event, working behind the scenes on the conference’s plenary sessions as well as Training’s annual Top 125 gala. On the tech side, Brella’s Video and Events teams designed and polished PowerPoint decks, created animated video loops, and provided on-site graphics and production support. Logistically, Team Brella lent a hand with creative planning, as well as stage managing and producing the shows, coordinating entertainment, and managing speakers on-site.

The gala went off without a hitch, with Brella live-streaming a fully immersive, 360-degree video of the proceedings for honorees who couldn’t attend the event, which honors the best and brightest of the learning and training industry. Brella Director of Events Cary Williams noted, “Once again, we had an awesome slate of nominees. It’s a privilege to help recognize the accomplishments of these hard-working industry leaders.”

Brella Co-Founder Mark Mallchok also delivered a presentation, detailing the nuts and bolts of virtual reality production for the training world. Asked why he chose this particular topic, he said, “VR is changing the way we look at experiential learning and offering levels of engagement that you simply can’t get through other digital media. If you’re serious about learning, you need to get serious about VR.”

Outside of his speaker session, Mark could be found at the Technology Test Kitchen, along with our Video department’s top tech-head, Joe Ryan. The duo showed off samples of our recent VR work and talked with the crowds about how technology is shaping the training industry. “VR tech is evolving by the week,” said Ryan. “It was cool to stand alongside other industry leaders and try to project where it is going to go next.”

While all of this was happening, team members at the Brella booth ran non-stop VR demos, handed out Brella-branded Google Cardboard viewers, and rubbed elbows with Expo attendees. “The best part of this kind of event,” said Brella Director of Programming Anthony Biondi, “is all the great people you get to meet. It’s amazing what you can learn in just a few minutes chatting with someone, sharing perspectives and insights on the industry.”

It is a learning conference, after all.