Virtual and Augmented Reality: What Event Organizers Must Know

woman holding a planner

Businesses have figured out a way to amp their event marketing strategies. Today, brands do more than just hire ambassadors, acquire party equipment rental, and post social media updates to market their corporate events. Some have leveraged augmented and virtual reality technologies to offer their stakeholders a more powerful and engaging event experience.

Event marketers should consider adopting these two technologies to achieve the following results:

  1. Increase your event turnout

An effective way to attract more guests to your product launch, trade show, or company milestone event is by banking on next-level technologies like augmented and virtual reality. People may become more interested in your event when you offer something out of the ordinary.

Virtual and augmented reality allow people to participate in your event without having to be there physically. This taps the population of consumers who have to travel to the venue, have prior commitments, and other conflicts by allowing them to watch on their own devices.

In 2017, Coachella used virtual reality (VR) to offer the festival-goers a more futuristic experience. They gave each attendee a welcome box containing VR goggles and mobile app. The app and the glasses transformed the box into a mini-festival site, allowing users to tour the grounds even before they’ve reached the venue.

  1. Improve product and event experience

group of people in an eventAugmented reality (AR) is one of the tools used in experiential marketing, offering the event-goers a more immersive experience. Experiential marketing strategies create lasting impressions on consumers and help build an emotional connection between them and the product. AR gives the attendees a product experience different from what they would have gotten in traditional launch events or physical stores.

Take for example Budweiser’s Beer Garage in 2016. The attendees wore a VR headset that transports them to Anheuser-Busch’s facility in St. Louis on a multisensory journey. Not only did they see how Budweiser beer is made – they also heard, smelled, and tasted the process and the end-product.

AR is also a good way to cut logistics costs in events since you don’t have to transport large equipment and products to the venue. Car shows, for example, require massive spaces to accommodate all the different vehicles on display. AR can eliminate this need through headsets and goggles that allow the event-goers to interact with the products virtually.

  1. Attract and engage more sponsors

AR and VR are gaining popularity as tools for sponsorship activation. With these technologies, you’re offering would-be sponsors exciting ways to market your event simultaneously with their brand.

One of the brands that leveraged AR in their sponsorship tactics is fast-food giant McDonald’s. They sponsored South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2016 in an attempt to tap the millennial market. McDonald’s activation strategy was to set up a loft in Austin where people can enter a giant Happy Meal box through the use of VR and AR tech. The attendees can design the interior with lasers, balloons, and paintbrushes. Then they can take a picture and share their experience on social media, boosting both McDonald’s and SXSW’s online presence.

Event marketers have an arsenal of technology available at their disposal. And in an increasingly competitive market, it’s up to you to differentiate your brand from your competitors and give people a compelling reason to choose you over others. You can follow in the footsteps of these mentioned brands and capitalize on AR and VR to boost your marketing strategies.

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