After years of conjecture, development, and dreaming, it’s almost hard to believe that the day of virtual reality has arrived. But now that Virtual Reality (VR) has finally reached the consumer level, and tech giants like Google and Samsung are getting involved in shaping the experience, the possibilities for interesting VR applications are growing.
That's exciting for the event industry, because as people come up with new and interesting ways to use VR, we can apply them to the brand experiences we're creating to attract attendees, increase engagement, and add new dimension — literally. We’re working with clients to integrate virtual reality into their brand experiences in strategic ways that aren’t trendy for the sake of being trendy. From big room-scale engagements to simple smartphone interactions, virtual reality offers the perfect blend of creativity and practicality.
Letting product explorers get up close and personal
Virtual reality is the ideal application to allow attendees to experience something that might be too big or too dangerous to bring onto the show floor. For example, bringing a real F-16 fighter jet onto the exhibit floor could be tricky due to elements like cost, lack of space, and security concerns. However, in one application, we created a life-size VR replica of the jet with simple controls to let attendees look at it from every angle, see inside of it, and get more information about different parts of the jet.
VR also allows clients who might have a smaller booth footprint to still have an immersive experience that gets deeper into their brand, or to take attendees to an entirely different place. One client created virtual reality training videos for surgeons that brought them into the procedure itself, expanded on their one-on-one education, and allowed them to repeat anything they missed.
Closing the gap between idea and execution
For many marketers, it can be difficult to understand the design process for any sort of experiential element, whether that’s a trade show booth or some other aspect of a corporate event. The design process requires a certain level of trust that a conceptual plan will become a fantastically executed design. Leaving it up to each individual’s imagination means that everyone isn’t always going to be on the same page.
Enter virtual reality. By creating a virtual reality walkthrough, you can close that gap and allow all of your stakeholders to see the booth or event space before the build and to walk through it as if they are truly inside the experience.
Putting virtual attendees in the center of the experience
Virtual reality can also bridge the gap for virtual attendees. New ways of experimenting with camera placement, projection domes, and live streaming allow attendees to choose where they want to be during an event.
Attendees can customize the 360-degree view to their preferences and have a wholly different experience than other attendees, all at the same time. This makes them feel more like they were actually in the room with the group for a concert, keynote, or employee gathering, without ever having to leave the comfort of their home.
The future of VR is what we make of it
There are still so many possibilities for virtual reality, especially when it comes to making it more of a community-building experience. The possibilities for things like shared connections and conversations, multiplayer interactions, combined augmented reality, and more are there, but they need time to develop a solid strategy to guide them. We are committed to seeing that vision through, because we understand that when virtual reality and shared experiences combine, that’s something that will revolutionize engagement as we know it.