A term previously associated with the gaming world, virtual reality (VR) has in recent years become a catalyst for storytelling, marketing, entertainment, and more. VR technology is all around us, from “dog-face” filters on Instagram, to life changing medical uses for practicing difficult surgeries in hospitals.
As an event planner, you’re probably wondering how this could possibly add value to the event industry. Let me assure you that there are an endless number of ways you can incorporate these technologies into your next event, but before we dive into the possibilities VR has to offer, let’s have a look at the difference between VR and augmented reality (AR).
What’s the difference?
Both technologies have become very popular due to pop culture and gaming spheres, and while many people believe VR and AR technologies to be interchangeable, they are in fact very different, impacting events differently in their unique ways.
Simply put, VR technologies recreates real-life settings to transport users to a different reality. Headgear, gloves, olfactory devices and other equipment is used to create a multi-sensory experience, and immerse the viewer in the new reality.
It seems fitting to bring the metaverse into the conversation as well, since there is a sharp shift towards virtual experiences. The metaverse has created a spontaneous environment for event goers to experience events like never before. As virtual reality is a major component of the metaverse, events leveraging the metaverse can give a unique presentation that would be impossible through video streaming or unrealistic in financial terms if done in the real world.
AR gives a digital overview of the real world. The infamous Pokemon Go game is probably the best example of AR. It uses less equipment than its visual counterpart, and places visual effects in the viewers’ environment which they can view and interact with through using nothing more than their smartphones.
Now that you are up to speed with the differences between these two technologies, let’s take a look at VR and see how you as an event managers can incorporate it in your next event in a way that is impactful, engaging, and authentic for your audience.
Show Them The Reality
Do you want to completely immerse your attendees in your cause? Benefit dinners and fundraiser galas don’t need to rely on long speeches to encourage donations anymore. However effective these methods might be, it is time to transport your audience to the issue instead. The immersive experience will likely be so captivating and moving that your attendees will be inspired to act in real life.
In 2021, Charity: Water decided to put the “seeing is believing” mentality to the test at their annual benefit dinner. All the attendees received VR headsets, and when asked to put them on they experienced a 13-year-old girl receiving clean drinking water for the first time in her life. This stirred deep empathy among the audience, resulting in tremendous donations, unlike the organisation has ever seen before. This proves that showing the reality to your audience first hand will increase the success of your event.
Give Them Peace of Mind
When your attendees agree to immersing themselves into a virtual reality, they agree to leave the real world behind momentarily. This means leaving behind purses, computers, wallets, and other valuable personal belongings which might be asking a lot from someone in the middle of a busy expo hall. To put your attendees at ease, create a secure VR setup, in a separate, smaller room where attendees will feel comfortable setting down their bags and possessions for the duration of the VR experience.
If setting up a private space is not an option for you, you can still give your attendees peace of mind by creating a small storage area for them to place their valuables inside.
Give Them an Unforgettable Experience
VR makes for a very interesting experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Here is just a taste of what you can do to make your attendees’ next eventing experience truly unforgettable.
- Use any VR equipment to tell a story that forms an emotional bond with the audience and invites viewers to be an active participant at the same time.
- Install trust in your customer base through product demonstrations. VR technology gives your audience the opportunity to see, hear, touch, and try out a wide range of offerings that would have never been possible otherwise.
- Offer post-event access to event content. You can provide your attendees with immersive content to experience in their own time long after the event has ended.
VR have proven to be welcome event additions for both the viewers immersed in creative content and the companies who benefit from it. There is but one limitation hindering you from implementing the VR experience at your next event, and that is your own imagination. The sky’s the limit with VR, if you can dream it, you can probably implement it with these technologies.
Inspired to use this technology at your next event? Book a demo with us to find out how we can help you turn your VR dreams into reality.