top of page

What Is Projection Mapping?

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Many of us associate projections with sitting in our high school classrooms while a teacher lectures or — even worse — being called to the front of the room to present yourself. However, projection technology has a ton of unique applications. You may see them used at the theatre, during sports events or at conferences!

Projection technology can also be used during celebrations or corporate presentations to create interactive displays that will capture anyone's attention. These displays involve projection mapping. Learn how you can use projection mapping for parties, presentations and more.

How Does Projection Mapping Work?

Projection mapping involves using video projection technology to cast 2D and 3D videos and a static object. Designers cast custom lettering, images or presentations onto surfaces. You can use projection mapping in various applications, including weddings, parties or presentations. For example, you might project a video of the ocean onto the floor for a birthday party.

Projection mapping is hugely versatile and creates an immersive environment entirely customizable for your needs. Read on to discover the benefits of projection mapping, when to use it and what you should consider for your application.

Benefits of Projection Mapping

Projection mapping has many unique benefits that can take your celebration or presentation to the next level. Projection mapping is:

Versatile and Portable

The great thing about projection mapping is you can use it for virtually any purpose. You can cast projections on any surface, from dance floors to brick walls. Additionally, you can project videos or images onto surfaces that are not flat — such as round columns or back set windows — which adds to the versatility of projection mapping.

Projection mapping technology is also relatively easy to transport from place to place. You can create a visually stunning experience for audiences with minimal equipment. Physical props can take up a lot of space, and painting or decorating an area takes time. If you're only in the space for an evening, you might not want to go all out with decoration. Projection mapping can save both time and space.

Engaging for Audiences

If you're hosting an event or doing a presentation where audience engagement is crucial, consider projection mapping. Many of us feel our attention spans dwindling at work and home. Finding ways to capture your target audience's full attention is difficult, especially because of the distractions present in everyday life. An experience like projection mapping is an effective way to keep your audience engaged in your party, event or presentation.

Immersive and Modern

Projection mapping is incredibly immersive regardless of how you use it. However, this effect is even more powerful when you project video onto multiple surfaces, such as each wall in a room. There's always something for your audience to look at and engage with, allowing them to immerse themselves in the experience fully.

It's no secret that technology is at the forefront of almost everything we do, from checking social media and streaming movies to scheduling our lives on a virtual calendar. Projection mapping allows you to keep up with the times by appealing to people's fascination with technology.


With projection mapping, there are endless possibilities. Just as the adage says, you can do whatever you put your mind to! Your imagination is the only limitation. The sky is the limit!

How to Plan for Projection Mapping

The options for projection mapping are endless! Try it out for any of the following events:

  • Corporate seminars: If you have to present at a conference or other corporate event, you can use projection mapping for your presentation. You'll keep your audience engaged, and your presentation will stand out amongst the rest!

  • Weddings: Projection mapping for weddings can amplify a wedding or reception venue. Cast photos on a wall or curtain — or even the floor — at the reception. It will be great for photos, and your guests will love it.

  • Parties: Bring a birthday party, graduation party or other celebration to the next level with projection technology. As with weddings, it provides a great opportunity for photos or customized text and video.

  • Bridal or baby showers: If you plan a themed bridal or baby shower, projection mapping could be perfect!

  • School dances: Transform a school gym to fit any dance theme with projection mapping. Turn your school into a ballroom, a red carpet, the ocean or anything else! This might be especially beneficial for prom when the budget is often a bit higher than homecoming or other school dance.

  • Fundraisers: Use custom text to make any fundraiser goals pop! Display your fundraising goals, the cause you're supporting and what you're offering donors.

  • Holiday displays or events: Christmas is associated with beautiful lighting displays. Use projection mapping at your Christmas event to encourage the holiday spirit.

What to Consider for Your Projection Mapping Project

There are a couple of factors you should consider for your event:

  • Budget: Perhaps the most crucial consideration — besides your imagination, of course — is your budget. The price will largely depend on the the surface you are looking to cover, complexity of projection surface, amount of ambient light, the color of the building, venue size and other crucial elements.

  • Venue: Projection mapping can work in any size venue! Project images across an entire room or focus a design on a portion of a wall or curtain.

  • Complexity: Think about how complicated your requested design will be. Projection mapping can be very small or incredibly large, depending on what you're looking for. You can also cast projections on 2D objects or 3D objects.

  • Theme: Consider your theme when planning your projection mapping project. Some examples of themes might include a specific color, nature and the outdoors, an elegant ballroom or a formal backdrop for a business conference.

  • Timeline: How far away is your presentation or party? You'll want to think through the timeline completely before finalizing it with a lighting expert.

  • Content: Illuminating Design can provide content for your presentation, or we can create new content if that's what you're looking for. If you want new content, additional fees might apply.

Consulting with a projection mapping expert will help ensure that everything needed is in place for your event.

A Lighting Professional Can Make Your Projection Mapping Dreams Come True

An expert can guide you through the projection mapping process, from initial consultation to on-site technology testing in preparation for your celebration or event. Having a team of professionals on your side is the best way to ensure quality and that you achieve your desired effect.

At Illuminating Design, we are committed to bringing your projection mapping designs to life. We can help you identify the projection mapping approach that will work best for your project.

Contact Illuminating Design to Get Started on Your Projection Mapping Project

With almost 20 years of experience, Illuminate Design can bring lighting expertise to your presentation or celebration. We aim for 100% client satisfaction every time and guide you throughout the entire process. Contact us today for information or learn more about our projection mapping capabilities.

bottom of page