Real-World Applications for VR at Events
Most meeting pros seem to think that VR is either a distant dream or a silly fad. If instead of using the loaded term 'virtual reality,' we instead use the term 'immersive media,' we can better see the real-world applications of this technology for live events.
Here are a few ways we can use immersive media and VR technology to improve our events on a number of levels:
1. Create and attend virtual site visits.
Every event venue in America should have it's meeting and ballroom space captured in high resolution 360 formatting and available online. Imagine being able to put on a pair of VR goggles from home to evaluate the best venue for your event, instead of getting on a plane.
Many venues actually do have 360 video tours of their spaces already, and with a Samsung Gear VR or comparable headset, you can get right in on the action. You can even live stream a virtual tour with your team so everyone can take a look together and talk over the pros and cons.
2. Explore immersive event renderings.
In the very near future, those 3D renderings you're so used to are going to seem like a cave drawing.
Imagine being able to explore different designs and really understand the size and scale of your event from the perspective of the attendee, the stage, AND the tech table ' all before you ever load-in a single piece of equipment. See the lighting in action and be able to make changes to your design. Get on the same page with your client and vendors with a VIVID vision of what your event will be like.
While there are many companies experimenting with how to bring this product to event professionals, no one has yet released a turn-key, high quality option. Keep your eyes peeled, though, as we anticipate it's not far off!
3. Switch from your boring monitor to a 360 immersive experience.
Attendees are already overloaded with screens showing them videos, and they're increasingly likely to tune out or be distracted from straightforward video content. Imagine, though, the power of being able to take over all the senses of an attendee for a few minutes, to literally have 100% of their attention. What could you accomplish with the undivided attention of your audience?
If there's one core argument for creating content in an immersive, 360 format, and offering attendees a specialized experience behind a pair of goggles, this is it. While the technology to roll this out to a large audience simultaneously isn't yet available, we do have the opportunity to create smaller mini-events during our event for a more personal and memorable experience.
This kind of media is becoming common practice in the event marketing world, and most brands have some sort of immersive content. However, a new bevy of inexpensive 360 cameras, like the 360fly 4k, make it easy for almost anyone to create this kind of content.
Many people believe that they also need to have their content in 3D, and while this is great, it is both expensive and hard to do well. Really, 90% of the immersive feel comes from the fact that you can look around in every direction.
4. Use an Exit Reality VR Cube to transport your attendees.
While the holodeck from Star Trek may still be science fiction, you'd be shocked to see how close we can actually get. Meeting Tomorrow has partnered with Exit Reality to bring you the world's first turn-key VR experience designed especially for events, the VR Cube.
Imagine being able to drop a time-machine, an amusement park ride, or a portal to another world into your event. Unlike 360 media, these are fully immersive experiences---when you move, the room moves with you---which is why these booths come with padded walls and an experiential guide. Choose from dozens of experiences to give your attendees, and watch the social shares grow.
Consider selling this as a premier sponsorship opportunity, as the booths are brandable, and through Meeting Tomorrow, available nationwide.
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