The event industry has changed a lot in the last few years.
We’re talking about virtual reality – the capacity to send attendees to an entirely different world with the push of a button. Virtual Reality’s potential uses are nothing short of revolutionary. Here are just a few ways you can use it to enrich and enhance your own events, and why you should.
VR’s most obvious benefit is the ability to put audiences into any physical location, without them having to be physically present. Say you want to give your attendees a tour of the company’s headquarters or manufacturing plant in Mexico, VR can take them there! Tequila maker, Patron, used this technology to the max at a 2015 consumer event where they featured The “Art of Patron Virtual Reality Experience.” This one-of-a-kind sensorial immersion, seen from the perspective of a bee, took participants on a breathtaking up-close and personal visual journey that began in the agave fields and continued through the gates of Hacienda Patron distillery, showcasing the sights and sounds of Patron’s actual production, aging, and bottling processes. Along the way, the 360-degree experience captured the every day, authentic process and actual members of the Hacienda team – not actors – who proudly create Patron and allowed participants to witness, firsthand, the care and attention to detail that goes into every bottle.
Suppose you want to put attendees in someone else’s shoes, perhaps a patient. VR can give attendees a whole new perspective on life… literally.
Product/Service demos are more or less intrinsic to tradeshows and many other types of conferences. Virtual Reality offers a way to dial up those demos to 11! For example, a robotics firm could give attendees a chance to play with a virtual model of their machine, while a fashion company could give people a chance to virtually try on their clothes. In short, the potential uses here are almost limitless.
Some other usage examples include showing ideas that are too big to rely on people’s imaginations alone. Blueprints of new products in production, for instance, would no longer be shown in a Keynote or PowerPoint slide; a VR experience could be created to guide people around the product in progress with incredible detail.
The one other obvious destination of VR is taking people to imaginary places where your brand is woven in clever and unforgettable ways. These creative extraordinary places can be anything from a candy filled landscape with rainbow vomiting unicorns to stark and foreboding alien landscapes to the inside of an ancient, underwater temple in Atlantis. The possibilities are truly endless.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg, of course. In the near-term, VR (and its close cousin, augmented reality) can be used to augment existing events, giving attendees the opportunity to interact with the event space in unique ways, such as VR-based scavenger hunts, and give attendees behind the scenes access or sneak previews. And in the long-term, perhaps we’ll start seeing completely virtual events. Imagine if instead of having to deal with travel expenses and venue management, an organizer only needs to pay for server space. In the future, VR could make it possible for people all over the world to attend and experience an event without physically being there.