virtual reality conferences

How AR & VR is Transforming Trade Shows and Conferences

Virtual and augmented reality has the power to transform countless industries. Imagine for instance, that instead of getting in your car and driving to the office, you instead simply put on a virtual reality headset and then view the office virtually. You could then bring up a virtual keyboard to start typing and create as many virtual screens as you could possibly need. Processing power will be handled by thousands of distributed cloud servers, giving you endless performance to tap into. You’d be able to turn to your colleague next to you and speak to them as though they were really there – when in fact they’re on the other side of the world. Finding the office environment too claustrophobic? Then you could change it to a beautiful island with the wave of a hand. None of this is far from being a reality. But specific industries are also already being transformed by VR. And one of the areas that are already being changed drastically is the tradeshow & conference industry. AR & VR for Tradeshows The idea of a tradeshow is, of course, to allow industry professionals to view the products and services offered by providers in their field of expertise. These also give them the opportunity to mingle and interact with potential partners, and to make purchases that will help them to further their business. For the companies presenting at tradeshows, this is an opportunity to get media coverage, to drum up new clients, and to increase brand awareness. The limitation of a tradeshow, however, is that visitors need to travel. Companies can only afford to attend so many tradeshows, which of course limits the potential clientele and the networking opportunities. But with virtual reality, it’s possible to invite people to remotely visit a booth. This way, you can demonstrate products and services to a much wider audience, and potential gain more business as a result. If your service or product is something you can ship internationally, then this can drastically increase the ROI of your visit. A great way to do this is by releasing an app for people to download, this way you can also continue to show off your tradeshow even after it is no longer “live” – further increasing its value. That’s not all you can do with VR though. Likewise, VR also has opportunities for those visitors present at the tradeshow. More and more companies are now bringing VR headsets to their tradeshows in order to offer more interactive and unforgettable experiences to leads. Example of VR @ User Conference CPA Canada came to us with an idea to transform their booth and get more attendees to visit so they could increase their foot traffic as well as sales.  After some back and forth we decided on a prize wheel that would allow users to engage in the booth as well as getting a prize and allowing CPA to collect their information all at the same time.  The end results was an interactive and fun engagement that drove more business and contacts for them AR & VR at Conferences XR serves to enhance the conference experience in all the same ways. Whether you’re announcing a new product, or hosting a networking event, creating an app and letting visitors join in remotely is a brilliant way to expand your reach. This is also a fantastic way for organizations to help train their staff, giving them access to conferences worlds away without having to get on a plane. And again, you can provide virtual reality headsets at your conferences for physical guests too. This has far more impact than a promotional video and will allow you to show them your portfolio of work, or your vision from the future, in a manner so real and tangible that they could reach out and touch it. Then, of course, there’s the option of combining both uses of VR by merging what’s really happening at the tradeshow and your pre-prepared showcase apps in a single experience. You’ll be blurring reality and showcasing what you’re capable of in a jaw-dropping way. More and more companies will be doing this in future, so start investigating how you can use VR for your own business right away!  

Trade Show Industry and Virtual Reality Technology

tradeshow

The trade show industry hasn’t changed much since it first originated. Companies come, and they show off their products and services in the hope that people will be excited enough to purchase them. Not only that but in recent years they’ve been getting more press coverage than ever, and that makes trade shows an ideal place to show off your latest inventions. But with virtual reality becoming more accessible than ever it threatens to change the trade show industry forever irreversibly. What Exactly is Virtual Reality? Virtual reality is a computer-generated experience that you view through a headset, which allows you to interact with the immersive environment as if you were there. On the high end, this can mean incredibly detailed and lifelike objects, and at the lower end of the market, it can be a 360-degree video with an immersive headset. Drawing in a Crowd At a trade show, the goal is to draw the biggest crowd possible. That’s why companies bring lifelike sculptures and artwork, why they employ beautiful staff and bring TVs to show off their latest videos. Companies are constantly battling for attention with the latest and greatest technologies that will draw in a crowd. And virtual reality is the current market leader, by far.  If you go to any major trade show in the world, you can guarantee that at least one company is using virtual reality to show their customers what they have to offer. Although virtual reality is as accessible as it has ever been the vast majority of the public has never used it. That makes it incredibly easy to bring people to a stand, especially when it’s a company that sells products or services in an industry that they already care about.  One-upping the competition is the name of the game, and nothing is better than VR, except better VR. With so many different VR headsets on the market, companies are battling with each other to let their customers experience the best that the industry has to offer. Creating a Lasting Impression While tactile products and high-quality videos are still a great way to interact with your audience and bring in new customers, they struggle to leave a lasting impression like VR. This lasting impression is simply because it’s an experience that most people have never had. Not only that, but it’s not comparable to anything else. It’s a new frontier of technology, and to the average person, it can be mind-blowing. One VR tool that the trade show industry has been using to great effect is Google Cardboard. This is a simple cardboard box that has been designed to hold your smartphone as a VR headset. Alongside the physical headset, Google has developed a VR toolkit that allows developers to create virtual realities for viewers. All in all, this makes it cheap and easy for companies to develop their virtual reality for trade shows. But what’s even better is that the cardboard headsets are cheap enough that the company can afford to give them away at trade shows. Talk about a lasting impression.  You’re giving customers something to take away that they are inevitably going to show to their friends and family who have never experienced trade show virtual reality before. And you can be confident that you’ll be the first company that they think of when they are ready to make a purchase. Making the Most of the Space Perhaps greatest of all is the ability of trade show virtual reality to give stalls more space. Most trade shows are characterized by small booths that are crammed full of a company’s products, but VR allows you to create a much more significant, virtual space for your visitors. Rather than having to bring everything physically with you to explain your products or services to visitors, you can let them experience it in an immersive trade show virtual reality. This cuts down on the space that you need and allows visitors to experience the product just as if it were right in front of them. For companies with bulky or expensive products, this is ideal, especially if the product is difficult to explain. NASA has used this exceptionally in the past at their trade shows. They created a VR environment that explained how their technologies work while allowing the visitor to walk around and interact with them, all virtually of course. This enabled them to show viewers their rockets and other technologies that were far too big to bring to trade shows in person, but that wasn’t given justice through a simple video. The Different Options Available Although the Google Cardboard is an innovative way to bring trade show virtual reality to the masses, it’s certainly not the only option. Companies like Oculus and HTC also have their headsets, which are far more technologically advanced than the Cardboard. As VR becomes more and more common at trade shows companies will inevitably try to outdo their competition by offering better, more immersive and more exciting virtual realities. Perhaps in the future, we might experience trade shows entirely virtually, walking around events with headsets on which interact with each of the booths. It might seem unrealistic, but entire presentations have been done by Intel and Facebook using VR. Correctly Implementing VR at a Trade Show The most significant challenge that companies using VR currently face at trade shows is the correct implementation of that technology. By drawing in massive groups the wait times can often be hours long, just to experience a short five-minute clip. If virtual reality is genuinely going to transform the trade show industry, then the companies implementing it need to ensure that they manage the experience carefully. This means shorter experiences to avoid massive queues, content that is specially designed for the platform and adequate training of the staff manning the booths. The companies that can achieve this will be rewarded with levels of brand awareness that they have never seen before resulting in increases in revenue. Virtual Trade Show Industry and Virtual Reality Technology

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