The right technology can prompt the right kind of attendee engagement which takes an ordinary event and transforms it into an extraordinary event.
Brands who successfully enhance their corporate event experience with technology end up building better connections between their attendees and their brand while achieving their specific event goals. It’s no surprise then, that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are technologies taking events to the next level.
While Augmented Reality uses tools such as smartphones or glasses to add or layer in images to real world settings, Virtual Reality takes users out of real world settings altogether by using headsets to take over your vision and place you in a completely virtual world.
Augmented reality and virtual reality, collectively called Extended Reality (XR), can deliver an immersive experience at your event.
OVRLAB CEO Nicole Laux defines Extended Reality as technology that creates new ways to consume media.
“Due to the constant overrunning technology, it’s being used in full diversity already - virtual events, virtual productions or in games, education, and social VR,” Laux explains. “XR combines real life with digital art and data while also allowing users to immediately interact with the surrounding virtual world seamlessly.”
Use Augmented Reality to Tell Your Brand's Story
First of all, you never want to use event technology without a bigger plan in place. While it’s very exciting, augmented reality in events should serve a purpose that helps showcase your brand or event story. Ask yourself - how is this advancing our “organizing principle” (the reason you’re bringing everyone together in the first place)?
Augmented reality can help gamify your event and cut through the noise to produce an experience outside of the hustle and bustle of the event. Using gamification, you can tap into attendees’ competitive nature and turn booths at an event into a game board, or allow attendees to collect badges and learn more about your brand or win prizes at each step. Plus, gamification can take your event from a shared group experience to a singular one, which really stands out.
For shared moments, augmented reality particularly shines. It’s especially effective on social media surrounding the event, which can take your brand story out of the event and engage those who couldn't attend. As an added benefit for attendees who have shared the experience, they will have a nice reminder of your brand every year when the memory pops up on Facebook.
Shared experiences build group bonding and deep connections, and including your brand in this process can build positive associations and, according to a Yale University study, increase the intensity of the moment.
Use VR & AR to Showcase Your Product Experience
Virtual reality in events is an engaging way to show off products that a user may need to take for a test spin at the event, giving them a next-to-real experience with your product. It’s a particularly good fit for smaller, more intimate groups because typically, the hardware needed for VR will be hard to deliver for crowds in the thousands, so try to keep it to the hundreds at most.
Alternatively, use AR to let your attendees bring home a "product" to test in their space, ensuring you're top of mind for consideration well after the event is over.
Is your product too big or expensive to bring to the event? This is another way AR and VR can step in and give people what feels like a first-hand experience even if you can't deliver it to them in person. For example, virtual reality demos can show your proprietary process (like this VERYX 360 degree video experience that shows what it’s like to be sorted like their product) or let attendees test drive a prototype car. The key is using the immersive experience to transport the user anywhere you need them to go to tell your story.
Create Lasting Experiences (Beyond the Event Itself)
A successful event lasts in the memory of the attendee long after it's over. When used to tell your story, XR will keep your brand top of mind for a long time as well. VR is processed as if it is a real-life experience. The thrill, excitement, or other emotions that your VR experience allows sticking with your attendee stronger than perhaps any other messaging.
“XR content can add a holistic experience to real-life events, immersing visitors more impressively with brand values, the global network of one’s brand or with the incremental value of a newly launched product,” Laux expresses. “Though the initial costs are considered high, we still see a noticeable ROI in the use of VR and AR in the events space.”
We find that XR enhances attendee engagement in these specific areas:
Museums & Exhibitory Storytelling
Learn More About Heard Events & Experiential
Are you currently producing a tech-forward event? VR and AR are the next generation of technology that we'll increasingly see play a pivotal role in virtual and in-person events.