As virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality become more sophisticated, streamlined, and popular, marketers across the board will grab onto these technologies to optimize their promotional strategies. While VR/AR is still a relatively new industry, there are already strong indications that it will become a game-changer in sales and marketing.
For example, many organizers of conferences, festivals, and other live events have leveraged VR/AR to provide an immersive, unforgettable experience to attendees. However, you may wonder: “Is it feasible for my company to utilize VR, AR, or MR in our next live event? What are the pros and cons of doing so? What are some possible applications?”
This article will seek to answer those questions and more. First, let’s briefly remind ourselves of what actually constitutes these technologies.
A Brief Overview of VR, AR, and MR
While all three terms are related, and often interconnected, each one refers to a different entity with its own unique attributes.
Virtual reality refers to a complete immersion experience. In VR, the outside, physical world is completely shut out, and the VR user is “transported” to a completely different space.
Augmented reality is an experience that combines physical and virtual reality. Specific digital elements overlay the actual physical space in which the user resides. Examples of AR would include the Pokemon Go Game and SnapChat Filters.
Mixed reality is a form of AR in which overlaid digital elements actually interact with real-world objects. For instance, IKEA allows smartphone users to “test out” how furniture would look in their home via the AR/MR-driven Place app.
Okay, we’ve taken a quick refresher on what each of these terms actually mean. Now, we need to know: how exactly can we integrate these technologies into a live event?
How to Implement VR
There are a ton of ways that VR can enhance your attendees’ overall experience and drive engagement with your brand. Here are some suggestions to consider:
Use VR to allow virtual attendance
Let’s be real: business and industry-related conferences often require a huge time investment on the part of attendees. Two of the biggest factors are distance and travel time. However, a VR solution tailored to prospective attendees who live far away from the conference site is mutually beneficial to both sides. Event organizers may welcome a lot more attendees to the event, and the “virtual attendees” won’t have to make a travel commitment to benefit from the conference.
Maximize promotional impact
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, can you imagine the promotional impact that a fully immersive VR experience would have on your audience? If you’re making a pitch to attendees at the event, allowing them to viscerally experience the benefits of your product or service through VR will add layers of persuasion to your argument.
Increase understanding and engagement
While you may be able to verbally impart some information to your audience that will stick in their minds, a VR tutorial, tour, or instructional video will no doubt help attendees remember important knowledge for a far longer time. Additionally, their level of engagement with the information and with your brand, will increase exponentially.
Virtual reality can be utilized for product demos, stage set design, and a number of other applications. Of course, it must be said that VR integration is sometimes cost-prohibitive. It can also be excessively complicated due to the current lack of unifying standards in the industry. In that case, AR may be the better option for your event.
How to Implement AR
Augmented reality also boasts several advantages for live events and conferences. Some possibilities for successful AR usage include the following:
Enhanced product demos
AR apps on smartphones have been around for about a decade, so integrating augmented reality into a product demo isn’t extremely complicated. AR allows attendees to scan supplemental information about a certain product, look at pricing options, and even search for comparable items.
Reduced space demands
AR offers tons of advantages when companies want to show similar products in a wide variety of colours/styles. Take car shows, for example. AR allows attendees to see one model in a range of colour schemes. Since fewer physical products are necessary for the event, smaller spaces can be used, thus saving money on venue costs.
Increased display appeal
Displays or exhibition booths with augmented reality features certainly draw a bigger crowd and boost attendee engagement with your company’s product.
AR/MR headsets do tend to be expensive, and not very attractive. However, the use of AR can prove to be an affordable and powerful driver for maximum impact marketing.
How to Implement MR
What about mixed reality applications? Two highly engaging ways to use MR are:
Allowing customers to “test out” a product
Like IKEA’s Place app, your company can leverage MR to help an attendee understand how a product looks or works in a particular scenario. For instance, consider a company that sells bicycles. They can use MR to help a prospective customer see how the product handles on paved roads versus wooded bike trails.
Projection mapping is a mixed reality technique in which objects are turned into display surfaces for video projection. This can be an extremely engaging and entertaining addition to a presentation or a performance.
Partnering With the Event Production Experts
As you can see, the possibilities for implementing VR, AR, and MR in your company’s next live event are almost limitless. At The Event Production Company, we partner with a wide variety of clientele to deliver professional, seamless, and impressive events. Whatever your objectives for a given event may be, we work hard to help you see your return on investment.
If you are interested in partnering with event production experts, that make use of the latest eventing innovations, reach out to us at The Event Production Company and book a consultation to learn more.