Walmart relied on the disguise extended reality (xR) workflow to host two of its most important corporate meetings virtually for the first time earlier this year.
The company needed to address a global audience of investors in its annual Investor Community Meeting (ICM), as well as key management personnel in its Year Beginning Meeting (YBM), remotely. Partnering with experiential event company LEO Events, Walmart invited Xite Labs, a long-time disguise creative and workflow partner, to deliver a custom-built stage powered by disguise xR at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, to host the two virtual events.
Xite Labs Creative Director Greg Russell and his team spent one-month pre-programming, testing cameras, AR functionality and pixel mapping content at Xite Labs’ office in Los Angeles, ahead of their trip to Arkansas. Once on-site, they were able to build the xR stage from the ground up in just one week, ready for the three days of shooting.
“We anticipated some last-minute changes, so we had parameters in disguise for all the 3D text elements, which allowed us to change the values of the text quickly,” explains Russell. “All the AR content updates were done remotely through the disguise interface. This enabled Xite to work flexibly and handle last minute script changes.”
Walmart executives embraced xR production. They were able to get a sense of their environment and position on stage, including the appearance of AR graphics, while keeping the audience engaged by interacting with AR elements.
“This represented a pretty significant step up for Walmart in the virtual space, and now they are interested in doing more,” explains Russell. “The president of Walmart’s phone lit up with positive responses to the approach, appearance, as well as the overall polish of the presentation experience.”
Editorial was performed on-site for each of the shoot days, eliminating the burden of clean-up and rendering. The only live components of the two meetings were Q&As that ran at the end of each event when Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon responded to callers seen on the screen.
In addition to supporting mobile XR, in June, disguise reopened its original upgraded XR stage in Los Angeles; the company opened an XR stage in London in August 2020 and in Hong Kong in April.