Whether you are putting on a professional sporting event or setting up a trade show booth, event marketers must make sure that people are as engaged as possible! But in this age of constant distraction, how can event organizers make sure that their event creates the most engaging experience possible? Emerging technology can be one of the biggest distractor, but organizers shouldn’t shy away from it. Instead, they should use the same type of emerging technology to engage participants. Two of the best technologies to engage visitors and attendees are augmented and virtual reality!
Augmented reality is already changing the way attendees interact with brands and driving unique experiences at live events. Whether you are at a tradeshow, professional sporting event, or concert, the last thing you generally want to see is an advertisement. Instead of simply trying to come up with new or better wording to get viewers’ attention, brands can utilize augmented reality experiences to make attendees want to view their messaging. Creating a more engaging delivery method for advertisers isn’t the only way augmented reality can be used at live events.
Imagine being able to stand in front of a mirror and the logo on your shirt flies around you in the mirror or standing in front of a screen and your favorite celebrity or professional athlete greets you. Imagine every person in a stadium or at a concert competing in an event at the same time on their phones and seeing results in live time. Imagine being able to see digital directions and information such as prices and logos displayed directly over real life objects. These examples aren’t fiction anymore! All of these experiences can be created with AR technology!
Have you ever heard the saying, “a picture just doesn’t do it justice”? The saying can be applied to millions of different experiences and brands around the world. The last thing that companies and marketers want to do is spend thousands or millions of dollars to create an event that doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Enter virtual reality! By transporting the viewer to a completely different environment, VR is able to create lasting experiences and impressions on the user. Take a company’s leadership conference for example. Instead of simply playing videos and having speakers talk about their company’s core values and various lessons, a VR experience can communicate complex ideas and possibilities in a company in a much more engaging and detailed format!
Let’s go beyond just communicating ideas and information. As previously discussed, virtual reality transports the viewer to a completely new experience. For travel brands, this allows for events to be centered around the VR as it can put attendees in desirable locations like a cruise, resort, or another one of a million far off desirable location. Well established brands are also seeing the impact of VR at live events. Nestlé utilized the technology for their Cailler brand to immerse users in the brand's history. Whether it’s a trade show, marketing event, pop-up store, or more, virtual reality can be utilized to take a live event to the next level!
While both AR & VR are becoming more and more popular, there are still several misconceptions about the technology and its application for live events. First, each person doesn’t need a unique device. Most AR experiences are run through an attendee’s phone. Apple is even going so far as to embed AR capabilities directly within the newest version of iOS. Other AR experiences are run through stands and screens which don’t get replaced after each use. Similarly, VR equipment doesn’t need to be replaced while others run on cell phones.
Many people may believe that the technology can only be used effectively for gaming purposes. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Both AR and VR experiences have been proven to increase engagement with different brands regardless of the sector they operate. Sales increase when viewers connect with a brand, and the technology allows for purchases to be made directly in the app or experience. The experience doesn’t have to end at the event either. If run through a cellphone, the app will stay on the attendee’s phone even after the event! Now that’s a “sticky” engagement!
Though we highlighted several use cases, the ways that AR & VR can be utilized at live events are only limited by someone’s creativity and imagination! If you are interested in incorporating VR or AR into your next live event, follow the link below to our Idea Box or fill out your information on our Contact Us page!