Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the power to transform countless industries including trade shows and conferences.
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.
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.
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
Extended reality (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!