As technology continues to develop, we are seeing new possibilities for promoting brands and engaging audiences at meetings and conference events. Some of those trends include Virtual Reality. What is virtual reality and how can we utilize its tools and programs for events?
Virtual reality is an artificial computer-generated simulation experienced through sensory stimuli that mimics life-like environments. With virtual reality, users are immersed into the experience, often with headsets to block out real-world visions. Developers can stitch multiple camera angles together to create panoramic views, or it can be developed from CGI.
One of the largest growing trends we are seeing in the events industry is utilizing virtual reality to demo new brand products. In a 2016 article on BizBash, United Airlines used virtual reality to create an activation experience that gave users a 360-degree, 3-D tour of their new Polaris business class and lounge, where attendees were able to walk around and tour the new facilities before signing up as a new member.
Another benefit of virtual reality is that it allows people to participate in the event from all over the world, without having to physically attend the event, creating an overall larger audience for your brand. The Back Stage concert series with Citi and Live Nation recently partnered with Next VR, to broadcast live performances in virtual reality to fans across the globe. This opened up opportunities for fans to be fully immersed in the concert when they may not have otherwise been able to attend.
Virtual reality can also help with promoting the actual meeting or conference itself by allowing potential attendees the opportunity to see what the meeting or conference will look like ahead of time. Companies have used virtual reality to provide tours of previous conferences so the user can sample potential event topics and sit in on event sessions.
Another common use of virtual reality is for training sessions. Virtual reality can help new employees learn the ways of the trade through experience, versus reading a handbook. For example, Walmart uses virtual reality headsets to train new employees across the United States. Walmart’s use of virtual reality allow employees to experience real-world scenarios through the use of the Oculus headset, to prepare for situations like holiday rush crowds or cleaning up messes in an aisle. These headsets will also link to a video screen in the training room, so the instructor and students can weigh in on the performance.
How can this technology translate into meetings and conference events? If you are demoing a new product, use virtual reality to give them the opportunity to visualize your product or design in real settings.
Using virtual reality at your next event gives the attendee an opportunity to engage directly by fully immersing them in the product, conference, or training session. It creates a user-friendly approach that invites your audience to participate and experience your products or services in a memorable way.