Blog: AV Awards Countdown

AV Awards Countdown: Immersive Highlights from the 2023 Finalists

With just under a month until the 2023 AV Awards ceremony brings the great and the good of the AV industry to Battersea Park, we’re taking a closer look at the finalists and dusting off our metaphorical crystal ball.

Awards season brings the expectation of a little glitter and glamour in every industry, and the AV industry is no exception. After all, an industry known for its ability to enchant audiences with high fidelity audio, visuals, light and colour theoretically should host the awards party that sets the bar for all others.

Recognition for the outstanding achievements and contributions of organisations and individuals in the AV industry is presented across 28 categories in this year’s competition. Ahead of the November ceremony, the finalists will be judged rigorously by a panel of 30+ industry professionals, specialists and end-users, all of whom are selected for their particular expertise in their chosen category.

As creators of immersive and engaging experiences using spherical display technology – working with clients across a wide range of sectors in entertainment, education, retail, visitor attractions, and the corporate sector – it’s vital for Pufferfish to keep an eye on immersive audiovisual experiences that are breaking new ground, and the highly-anticipated shortlist of the AV Awards is consistently a place of inspiration for us.

Electrosonic, global audio visual and experiential technology service provider, dominates the shortlists with no fewer than seven appearances, matching their 2022 shortlist success. Their involvement in the spectacularly immersive First Light Pavilion exhibition space celebrating the birth of radio astronomy at Jodrell Bank, and hugely visible and transformative installations at the international airports of Orlando and Newark Liberty, have caught our eye as standout projects. Undoubtedly a giant in their field, last year Electrosonic were awarded just one win from among seven shortlists, so it seems the judges are unlikely to allow one company to walk away with the lion’s share of accolades.

Always a category of great interest for the Pufferfish team, the Visual Technology of the Year shortlist includes a couple of standout projects for those interested in immersive technology. LIANTRONICS “The WOW” 3D Display offers a solution for glasses-free 3D creative experiences with patented curved surface display technology, while the SiliconCore 1.2mm LED Modular Floor delivers a durable 3D-ready LED floor that viewers can walk upon for dynamic and interactive experiences. Already in the Pufferfish office, we’ve been discussing some of the creative ways in which these exciting new technologies could be utilised in immersive events when paired with complimentary solutions.

The category of Themed Entertainment and Attractions Project of the Year is one that always captures our attention, consistently featuring immersive experiences that captivate audiences and ignite conversations across the globe. This year, Electrosonic’s First Light Pavilion faces stiff competition from a hotbed of creativity across art, illusions, and history. Standout players to watch include HOLOPLOT – also shortlisted for Manufacturer of the Year – who are shortlisted in this category for their work on Lightroom’s ‘David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller and further away)’. HOLOPLOT are establishing themselves as the masters of boundary-pushing immersive sound, having also developed the immersive audio experience for the MSG Sphere Las Vegas. 

DJ Willrich’s Titanic Belfast also appears in this category as one to watch, for the refurbishment and re-imagining of over a third of the attraction. Both consultancy and End-User team have been shortlisted for awards in their respective Business categories, both well-deserved nominations for a project that is a model of the success that can be achieved when consultancy and client share a well-aligned vision. The Titanic Belfast and DJ Willrich were shortlisted by the AV Awards when the exhibition opened in 2012, but missed out to Electrosonic’s European Parliament Visitors Centre, so watch this space to see if Titanic Belfast claims well-deserved recognition this year.

BRC Imagination Arts have been on our radar for a while, as architects of the Johnnie Walker Experience Princes Street, which won the title of Retail Project of the Year in 2022. This year, they are shortlisted twice for their work on another Diageo project, the development of the Talisker Distillery Brand Home, in the categories of Leisure and Hospitality Project of the Year and Retail Project of the Year. The Talisker project is a worthy representation of one of Diageo’s flagship single malts, and delivers a multi-sensory experience that draws inspiration from the unique environment of the Isle of Skye. Also in competition for the title of Leisure and Hospitality Project of the Year is Moment Factory’s Grand Magic Hotel, an utterly magical transformation that transports guests to a world of vivid stories; TVC Technology Solutions’ work to create a fully immersive racing experience for The London F1 Arcade Project makes it another worthy contender for the title.

Events and Entertainment Project of the Year is always a high profile category and the competition is hotter than ever. disguise – also shortlisted in the Venue Project category for their work on Lightroom’s David Hockney Exhibition – are recognised here for their work on the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the most complex productions in the world, powered by banks of disguise video playback hardware and stage management software. Also standout in this category are hugely memorable and dazzling immersive experiences, LCI Productions’ Windsor Great Park Illuminated, and the breath-taking Coronation Concert Drone Show, meticulously created by SKYMAGIC.

As a company that seeks to ever explore the limits of immersive and interactive experiences, at Pufferfish Displays we eagerly anticipate the 2023 AV Awards. Continuously redefining engagement with our range of spherical displays, our expertise is firmly in line with the AV industry’s pursuit of enchanting audiovisual experiences. While the awards spotlight the AV industry’s brightest stars, we’re constantly inspired by the innovation showcased, and can envision how our immersive technology could enhance these groundbreaking projects. 

We can only spotlight a few of those shortlisted in this article, but it’s safe to say that all the shortlisted candidates are potential winners of their categories. We’ll be keeping a particularly close eye, and cheering on brands who we’ve had the pleasure of working with on some very exciting projects over the years. You know who you are – wishing you all the best.

The competition is high, and we can’t wait to hear the judges’ final decisions in November. Watch this space, and in the meanwhile, we’d love to hear what you made of The AV Awards 2023 shortlist. You can get in touch with us via social media or this contact form.