In 2016, Google challenged Superfly with the reinvention of its global developers conference, Google I/O. We transformed this preeminent event into a first-of-its-kind technology festival, celebrating the creativity and immeasurable impact developers have on today's culture and global economy.
Transforming a Conference Into A Celebration
Developers are arguably the renaissance artists of our time, evolving the ways in which we communicate with one another and expanding the cultural mirror by which we see and understand ourselves. Yet tech conferences tend to be relatively sterile, aesthetically mundane indoor experiences, reflecting little of their audience’s passion and innovation. We had to challenge the event’s 10-year conventions and establish a new paradigm for how this community would congregate with Google on an annual basis.
Our new vision for I/O was an immersive, festival-style color, light and sound experience. We took the event out of the traditional stale conference center environment and moved it into Google’s backyard, the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. During the day, the grounds hosted keynote speeches and product demos for I/O’s 7,000 attendees, and when the sun set, we flipped the script and transformed the space into an all out, after-hours party designed to surprise and delight Google’s developer community.
Superfly went deeper on design than ever before, generating literally thousands of concepts and original designs for the multitude of experiences required for an event of this scale. In addition, Superfly created a massive 3D model of the event and amphitheater grounds, giving us an invaluable degree of perspective, while also providing production and operations a hyper-accurate set of instructions for the realization of our collective vision.
Larger Than Life
We transformed the parking lot of Shoreline into a massive sculptural art experience, wrapping the meeting areas and breakout tents with four-story high sculptural facades (designed by Superfly’s artists) and original artwork commissioned from some of the most exciting artists in the bay area.
To give the conference a true festival atmosphere, we programmed a constantly changing array of sights and sounds to entertain at every turn. Attendees witnessed both mainstage performances from Kygo and Charli XCX as well as surprise pop-up parades led by Jazz Mafia and roaming dance shows from our crew of circus performers.
Light, Color, and Sound
At each corner of the after hours party were four unique mood domes, giving visitors different ways to relax from the day’s excitement. In the ‘Planetarium’, a psych rock band covered The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and Phish against a canvas of interstellar lights while across the way in ‘Deep Blue’, visitors sat back and watched tropical fish float by to the rhythm of ambient beats.
It’s All Fun and Games
Superfly celebrated the shared, often overlapping relationship between gamers and coders in though the Chrome Arcade. Every element of the hall utilized Google technology, including Chromecast gameplay, Firebase connected foosball, and stationary bikes linked to Google Maps that allowed users to simulated riding on street view.
In its 3-day run, Google I/O recorded over 7,000 attendees and millions of livestream viewers across the globe. But most importantly, Superfly created a one-of-a-kind experience that showed the world what a technology conference could, and should, be.