Love it or hate it, modern attendees all have something in common: they’re attached to their mobile phones.
They’re probably even more likely to use their devices while traveling. Whether that’s to get around the area, check in with work or family, make notes about business prospects, or maybe entertain themselves during slower times.
As event producers who want to create an awesome show, it’s our job to use their habits to that end. With that in mind, meeting attendees in the digital world shouldn’t just be a goal, it should be the norm.
Sure your team might add venue data, daily schedules and speaker info to your mobile event app, and you make hashtags to maximize social sharing, but is it enough? These days, the answer is usually “not quite.”
To be competitive, many companies are turning to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) methods. But technology for the sake of technology can flop. Combat this by making sure your technology use sticks to your event’s overall purpose.
Using AR/VR at Corporate Events
There are a ton of considerations that go into using AR/VR at your conference or convention. And although there are lots of things to cover, they all deserve your attention if you truly wish for it to impact.
The only limitation to your promotions is your imagination – along with the venue’s bandwidth. One of the first things you need to consider as a producer is whether or not your venue can reliably sustain the data load you’re about to dump.
It should go without saying that if guests and vendors can’t access the Internet well, let alone any local online activities or promotions, it could speak poorly of your whole event now and in the future.
There are many other technicalities you need to consider, but they go beyond the scope of this article. At CPG Agency, we’re happy to help in any facet of event management. For help with any of the details, please reach out and we’ll be happy to lend a hand!
After you have the technicalities figured out, the fun begins. This is when you and your team implement the creative aspects of your Augmented and Virtual Reality platform.
A shared journey: Part 1
This is a great way to spice up an expo area.
Use your Virtual Reality station to promote what’s special about a brand or product by letting people take turns using it. They could see, hear and virtually touch a particular item or walk through a certain virtual hallway learning about a sponsor. Something this popular and innovative will likely develop lines of eager and impatient people. With that in mind, make sure you either have something fun to offer while waiting or have plenty of VR devices available.
A shared journey: Part 2
Rather than having everyone take their turn on one device, consider letting more guests be part of a mini-movie, with seats that move around or allow them to use their phones during the presentation (coordinate related online content on the phone and the big screen).
A virtual scavenger hunt
This is a fun Augmented Reality play we’ve seen success with in the past. Much like the popular Augmented Reality game Pokemon GO!, this requires attendees to search the venue for pop-up avatars.
Your team will need to designate spots at the venue ahead of time and program what happens there. Each spot you program could show a person related to the company, or a popular logo character such as Aflac’s duck!
You can even take this engagement one step further by gamifying the experience. This means rewarding the people who spend the most time exploring the venue and interacting with the brand. The winner would be the person who unlocked the most locations (which you’ll be able to tell from your event app). A potential award could be conference-wide recognition and perhaps a donation to a charity of their choice.
This relies less on attendees’ phones, but can help generate an awesome “WOW” moment.
Have your stage cameras film the crowd during general session. Then project the images on a screen behind your speaker — but then add in computer-generated people, animals or other images. Since people will be looking at the monitors anyway to see the speaker and themselves, they’ll enjoy seeing the enhancements.
This can also be another enjoyable way to watch a presentation.
Fun with drones
A new tool in the entertainment industry is automated drones, which can be programmed to display certain colors and fly in a certain pattern, such as at the Winter Olympics in Korea. These can create intricate patterns. Event pros can combine both: a wonderful drone show as well as offering viewers access to remotely placed cameras to watch the live show from different angles.
For audiences used to watching videos and streams on their phones, how cool would it be to be in a crowd where everyone gets the same unique stream at the same time right into their phones. Plus, any comments or activities could be shown live as well, creating an interesting blend of live and virtual experiences, and solo and group.
Using VR or AR well can also move any subject from something dull, routine and work-related into the realm of fun. Guests will be amazed at how these features can make whatever the topic is more interesting and a memorable experience.