Technology Virtual Reality 

7 Things To Consider When Running A VR/AR Conference

Two of the most creatively innovative and exciting technology trends of the last decade or so, has undoubtedly been Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR and AR for short, respectively).  If you are looking to run a VR/AR event of some kind in the near future, then we are not surprised because of these types of technology work really within an event or conference type environment. 

They can help to make an event that might have otherwise been a little dry or just like all the others being held by your competitors become something more thrilling and exciting. 

Before you get those personalised lanyards from Digital ID sorted and we go any further, it may be worth clearing something up, for anyone who may think they are interchangeable – as the terms mean two completely different concepts. 

  • Virtual Reality – The whole idea behind virtual reality is to create something that seems ‘almost real’.  According to the dictionary, it is, therefore, a computer-generated three-dimensional environment or image that you can interact with in a physical or seemingly real way using special gear like a helmet fitted with a screen on the inside or gloves that have sensors fitted onto them.
  • Augmented Reality – Although it can easily be confused for the above, Augmented Reality differs from Virtual Reality in that rather than creating new objects or environments that ‘seem real’, it adds things to the existing environment.  The most popular and famous example of this would be the mobile game Pokemon Go.

So, now that’s out of the way, let’s look at 7 things you should consider when planning an event using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. 

Host The Entire Event Virtually

An entirely new world of events and conferences was introduced with the advent of virtual events.  Instead of people needing to actually attend the same location as others to enjoy an event, it is now possible to host one completely using virtual reality.  Absolutely everything from attending to presenting, interacting with networking can all be done virtually.

Use Tech To Encourage A Greater Number Of People To Your Event

Perhaps the above is too much, you can still use this great new technology in great ways to produce a hybrid event.  This means, as well as the normal aspects of a conference or event such as speakers, demonstrations, and physical attendees, there is also a virtual audience of attendees of people who otherwise would not or could not make it to the actual event in person.

Although it sounds a lot like streaming an event or conference on their television or computer screen, not only would a virtual attendee be able to see what was happening at the event, they’d be able to take part and experience it too.

Consider Gamification Of Some Kind

A popular trend nowadays, given the increase of this technology being used at events, is what is known as ‘event gamification’.  If this is the first time you have heard this phrase, where have you been?  Basically, gamification is using recognisable aspects of game-playing, such as rules, competition and point scoring, for example, in other activities and events.

In this case, adding another dimension to your event for promotional purposes by creating a game that attendees can participate in.  It is relatively simple to do, particularly if you are planning to use VR and AR at your event anyway.  VR gaming sets are easy and popular to use and can add an extra degree of excitement to your event to elevate above the norm.  You can score guests points for each person they swapped professional details with to encourage networking or give prizes to people who attend all the different seminars and demonstrations.  Whatever you decide, make it relevant to what the event or conference is about, but most importantly – make it fun and interactive. 

Displaying Products In A Whole New Way

Although displaying a product is usually enough to whet people’s appetite, there are certain products that more is required to really sell them.  For instance, a food production machine with a unique function.  While pictures and pamphlets describing and displaying it are all fine and good; what if you could show your guests the product being made by a machine?  You could use VR to show this, further justifying it.  Even if it’s just a virtual mock-up of what the product will look like when it has been manufactured and finished – a virtual version that guests can look at and virtually touch or feel, might help them to be won over to its potential. 

Improving Networking At Events

If you understand anything about running events of any kind, including those using VR and AR elements, you will know that networking is always incredibly important.  Particularly as it is one of the main reasons why people go to events in the first place.  AR can be used as a way of displaying professional information for each guest, so people can get to know each other a little before they even start talking to them.  Although it might sound a far-fetched step up from personalised lanyards, tech like Google Glass makes it possible.

Virtual Information Booths

Obviously, no conference or event is really complete without some helpful advice and information booths dotted around the venue.  while you may be able to use some elements of Augmented Reality on information booths, via QR codes and other similar methods; there is a way you could use virtual reality to completely fabricate information booths that don’t actually take up floor space, because they are virtual. 

Make sure all the formation is included and your guests will be able to access it in the virtual realm.  This could help make space for a larger capacity audience.

Don’t Overload Or Try To Do Too Much

Although you may want to put on the funkiest, most out there event full of all the latest VR and AR techniques – be careful not to overload your event.  Including too many different elements that have the potential to clash with one another, could make it chaotic and hard to enjoy for your guests.

As you can see there are plenty of different ideas and concepts to consider when it comes to running a Virtual Reality and/or Augmented Reality event or conference.  Even something as simple as the personalised lanyards worn by guests could be implemented to include AR tech. 

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