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EVENT INNOVATORS 2014

Event Innovators 2014: Erik Muendel

The C.E.O. of Brightline Interactive creates unique digital experiences for big-name clients such as Pepsi, AT&T, and Marvel.

By Mitra Sorrells June 17, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

Erik Muendel, C.E.O., Brightline Interactive

Photo: Courtesy of Brightline Interactive

Pepsi, 5-Hour Energy, and AT&T are just some of the brands that have turned to Brightline Interactive to create digital experiences for their face-to-face events. The company’s founder and C.E.O., Erik Muendel, 40, says he and his staff of 22 people are working on 20 projects at any given time, each one focused on finding ways to combine existing technologies to create new experiences for attendees. “We often design something that hasn’t been built before. So there’s this moment when the prototypes start working when we get the enjoyment of: ‘Oh wow, that works!’” he says.

One of the Virginia-based company’s most recent projects was for the new Marvel’s Avengers exhibition at Discovery Times Square in New York, which includes 20 different experiences using technologies such as brain-scanning and eye-tracking sensors.

In 2013, the company unveiled its Twitter Balloon, a balloon six feet in diameter that’s connected to an air compressor and is activated by tweets with a particular hashtag. AT&T used the balloon at the N.C.A.A. Final Four men’s basketball championship in Atlanta, the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco, and the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.

In the future, Muendel predicts more use of wearable technologies. “They are really starting to take hold, so we are developing group activities with wearable technology so people can be connected to each other at an event,” he says.

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