By now, you’ve probably heard of virtual reality (VR) and its close cousin, augmented reality (AR). But do you know their differences and how you could leverage them for your next event?
Augmented reality (AR) enhances our actual physical world by adding virtual elements - think Pokemon Go – whereas virtual reality (VR) submerges the user into an entirely digitized reality. As a result, VR tends to be more immersive, while AR is less intrusive.
These new “realities” can bring added dimension and enhance attendee experience at your event. VR can give attendees unable to physically attend your event a way to connect and engage through virtual reality technology. AR can help event attendees network, interact with presentations, and increase event app gamification (see more on gamification below).
How to use AR or VR at your next event
Virtual and augmented reality technologies give planners an opportunity to create immersive, innovative experiences that might be otherwise unreachable for their attendees. Here are a few examples from Bizbash of how AR and VR are being used to create these unique experiences:
- The N.B.A. and Oculus have created a 25-minute, 3-D virtual-reality experience that immerses users in the dramatic games of the 2016 N.B.A. Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.
- ProBrew used virtual reality to help attendees “see” its huge brewing machinery in action – without having to ship the actual equipment.
- For the DNCE concert on NBC's Today show, attendees were given sponsor-branded Google Cardboard headsets in order to to see the performance in 360-degrees, view different band members, look out at the audience, etc. In addition to the 14-minute live stream experience, users could access post-show content in virtual reality online.
Here are 4 more ways to put AR or VR to work for you:
- Virtual reality tour – CVBs and Hotels are using these technologies to give would-be visitors an immersive experience of their venue or city – without the time or expense of actually travelling there.
- Disability Awareness – Use these technologies to educate attendees about the limitations of different disabilities by giving them the experience of being disabled.1
- Attendee gamification – add digital tokens to the exhibit hall or sessions which attendees can virtually ‘collect’ to win prizes.
- Offer an Ultimate Fan experience – Such as SuperBowl VR where fans can get closer to the action than humanly possible 2
Attendees today demand more custom and personalized experiences than ever. VR and AR offer them the opportunity to become more immersed into the event experience like never before. Using these technologies separately or in tandem can deliver the unique experience your attendees are looking for, while providing more opportunity for exhibitors and event organizers.
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