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Bringing reality to light

Alan Greenberg made use of his keynote speech on Wednesday to spread the word about what his company Illuminarium is doing in the field of experiential entertainment, while also expressing his appreciation for the experiences that inspired him to create the company in the first place.

Established around three years ago, Illuminarium now operates sites in Atlanta and Las Vegas that offer sensory experiences, enabling visitors to see, hear, feel, smell and even affect experiences through transformative, state-of-the-art technologies. New venues are due to be established in Chicago and Miami in the next 18 months. 

Joined on stage by his colleague Brian Allen, executive vice president of technology and content at Illuminarium, Greenberg spoke about how the company differentiates itself in an increasingly crowded field. 

“We can take you any place – we’re about democratising extraordinary experiences,” he said. “For example, one of the experiences the company offers is a virtual safari expedition — something that would not be possible for many people in real life. We try to make these things a little more democratic so that the world can take advantage of them.

“At the end of the day, what we’re really doing is we’re bringing reality to life. We use some of the techniques that are used in great motion pictures, some of the techniques that are used with great virtual realities. In some cases, we’re recreating a new world-like space, which is a multi-million dollar experience.”

Illuminarium is also making money from what it does. In fact, it has created five revenue streams, ticket sales, food and beverage, an “immersive nighttime bar experience”, events and retail.

In five years from now, we hope to have 25 Illuminariums around the globe,” he added. “We hope to be welcoming 15 million visitors a year and we hope to have a business that’s worth billions of dollars. That’s the dream of Illuminarium.

Greenberg is at ISE to “create a bit of a buzz among the audience” about who Illuminarium is, what it stands for, how it does what it does, and why it’s special. 

“It’s an interesting and diverse crowd that comes to ISE,” he observed. “There may be somebody in the audience who is working on new technologies, and we spark something where they say, ‘listen, we want to introduce you to our new technology’.”