Applications for Virtual Reality at Events

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When virtual reality was first introduced, it was little more than a gimmick. The equipment was bulky and unwieldy, the image resolution was poor, and there wasn’t enough processing power for many practical applications.

Now, however, the technology has improved immensely. In addition to fully immersive virtual reality, there’s also augmented reality, which enhances your experience in a variety of ways. You can create 360 degree videos and fully interactive worlds fairly simply, and as a result, there are a number of new ways to make use of them as well. In particular, you can use VR and AR to enhance events in ways you never thought possible. Here are a few practical event applications for virtual reality.

  1. Product Demonstrations. At a trade show, one of the most important things for any vendor is to be able to show people exactly what it is they’re selling and why it’s important. In most cases, demonstrations are a must, to show what sets your product apart from the competition. But what if you’re selling something big, like a vehicle, or maybe even farm equipment? You might be able to negotiate bringing one onto the floor, but there’s no way you could properly show people what it’s capable of. But with virtual reality, you can give potential customers a first person demonstration of everything each of your products is capable of.
  2. Gamification. Practical demonstrations aside, VR can be a great way to engage attendees and get them involved in your company and products. One thing you can do is to create a miniature virtual reality game that people can go through, right at your booth. For instance, a scavenger hunt with clues and things to find in the virtual world. Not only is it fun, you can use it to reinforce your brand and cement it in people’s minds.
  3. Fully Immersive Presentations. VR goggles as a grabber at a single booth is one thing. But with a little planning, you can bring an entire auditorium full of people into a fully immersive virtual reality presentation. Instead of PowerPoint slides, your keynote speaker can illustrate their points with a 360 degree view of virtually anywhere in the world. It seems like the stuff of fantasy, but it’s not that much more complicated than handing everyone in your audience a pair of 3D goggles—though it’s much more rewarding.
  4. Remote Attendance. What if someone can’t attend your event in person? Virtual and augmented reality technology are already being used to let people view events remotely in a 360 degree view, as if they were actually there. It’s so much more engaging than simply watching the video on YouTube. Every detail is captured all around, in high definition, and can be viewed live as it’s unfolding. Some people are even taking things a step further and sending robots to attend events in their place. By mounting a tablet on a remote controlled device, you can then send that device to the event, controlling it from home, interacting with people via webcam, etc.

Even though it’s been around in some form or other for a few decades, virtual reality technology is, in many ways, still in its early stages. There are still plenty of uncharted possibilities to explore as the technology evolves. Perhaps in the coming years, it will become possible to host an entirely virtual event, where everyone logs in from home, but still feels like they’re actually all together somewhere, having the same experiences. That day is probably not as far off as you think. And in the meantime, there are plenty of other ways to use virtual reality and augmented reality to enhance your event and make it something to remember for years to come.

We Love Live®. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com

 

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