When a product increases a company’s value by 7 billion dollars, we pay attention. That’s where our fascination with the Pokémon Go app has spiralled into new explorations of using augmented reality at events.
With over 26 million daily active users, an average play time of 43 minutes a day and $3.9-4.9 million made in its first day, it’s safe to say Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. So, the obvious question is, how can we leverage this at our corporate events?
When Augmented Reality is done right, it changes more than just experiences – it changes attitudes and perceptions. What these 26 million+ users are drawn to is the replacement of the ordinary with something a bit more fantasy. People are attracted to the idea of interacting and sharing the wonder of a new, altered experience.
— Pokémon GO News (@PokemonGoNews) July 19, 2016
If you’re anything like us, this explosive trend is likely something you’d consider using to enhance your events and internal communication strategies? Well, we’ve got some great tips to get you started.
5 Tips For Using Augmented Reality at Your Next Event
1.) Know Which AR Options Are Best For Your Event
There are two main ways to create augmented reality: marker-based and GPS/location-based. Marker-based AR is activated when you hold your screen over a designated image. Location-based AR tracks your location and is activated by designated landmarks.
Pokémon Go is an example of location-based AR. There are programs and tools available, such as Unity or Google Tango that can help you explore which option works best for your needs and even help you create an augmented reality app.
Determine early on if it will be easier to have marked objects placed throughout your event space, or to geo tag the venue, or sections of it. Whether you choose to mark physical objects or locations, the app will recognize this tag, and suddenly, a 2D image can pop out and take on 3D effects (picture video content dancing across your screen, mixing in with the world around you).
2) Know Your Attendee, Define Your Message
The creators of Pokémon Go targeted their audience especially well with the use of the original characters. There is still the gaming element there to amuse players that were too young during the first generation of Pokémon to personally identify with the characters now, but for those of us who grew up with the original series, the nostalgia factor is priceless.
If you plan to incorporate augmented reality into your event, you need to understand what your audience wants out of the experience and tailor your messaging accordingly. Chances are, your attendee is coming to a conference to learn and to network. The correct balance of fun, educational content and social interaction is key, and you can gain a better understanding of what fits your audience best by surveying them on their expectations before the event.
3) Be Mindful of Your Event Location
Once you’ve identified your audience and created meaningful, engaging content, consider the ideal environment for augmented reality at your event. Stick to open spaces or controlled indoor environments and avoid congested areas. It might not be a great idea to have AR markers set out in the hallways between break-out sessions.
If your app is designed well and your content is engaging, but the placement is poor, people may disrupt the flow of your schedule when they stop to interact. They may even skip interacting altogether to avoid a crowd and miss out on the experience and learning development.
4) Pre and Post-Event Implementation
An excellent way to incorporate augmented reality into your communication strategy is to help generate pre-event excitement. You can geo target your various offices to receive alerts at certain times, possibly sending them on a quick scavenger hunt to reveal clues or win upgrades for the event.
Continue to cascade your brand message after the event by delivering a box full of posters and other tagged objects to your office locations/distribution centers/stores with detailed instructions for placement. These will prompt your people to interact with the AR technology and feature 3D video content that revisits the goals and initiatives presented at your conference.
This process can also be gamified by the collection of trophies at each station, and leadership should recognize all who participate and complete the process.
5) On-Site Implementation of AR at Your Event
Augmented reality for events has endless possibilities when it comes to breakouts and team-building activities. Map out an entire room and have it come alive before your attendee’s eyes – transform it into an immersive learning experience full of instructional videos, 3D product demos, and interactive quizzes that let them advance on to different levels or areas. All they have to do is point their screen and explore.
The franchise expo or show floor could be a great place to roll out augmented reality activities and add a higher level of engagement for both attendees and vendors/sponsors.
Additionally, you can beef up a 2D event program with marker-based AR technology. Point your screen at the logo on the front page, and a video of your company’s founder pops up, poised in 3D above the page, thanking everyone for attending.
Many users are taking to social media to explain how Pokémon Go has created a new opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals as well as conquer their own social tics that had previously kept them from participating in fun events.
I’ve made so many new friends with #PokemonGO, it’s helped my social anxiety, and I’m actually getting out. This is more than just a game.
— Brandon Evans (@Brandon21Evans) July 11, 2016
Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of the success of Pokémon Go has been its ability to bring people together. It’s that quality that has inspired us to think deeper about augmented reality for events, and its potential to engage attendees in a completely new way.
We’re excited to see where this technology will take us, but we won’t be watching from the sidelines. We’ll be there with you, bringing augmented reality to your events and always helping you connect your people and grow your business.
If you’re interested in learning more, click the link below and we’ll create a custom attendee journey for your next corporate meeting!