The next big thing: How Virtual reality is transforming the events industry

What used to be just an entertainment tool for gamers hunting zombies, and movie buffs experiencing some apocalyptic calamity, is finally emerging as a potent marketing and educating tool. Welcome to the world of ‘Virtual Reality’ or ‘VR’, as tech-nerds put it.

Thanks to the substantial advancement in technology and increased affordability, true VR experiences finally are a reality after decades of hype.

The technology immensely impacting various domains; from entertainment to sports to healthcare, construction, and of course the exhibition and events industry among others, virtual reality is estimated to be a $5.2 billion industry by 2018. (CCS Insight – Augmented and Virtual Reality Device Forecast, 2015-2019)

For the events industry, the VR technology holds a vast scope, working 2-ways for the trade: manipulating operations and augmenting audience response, contributing to greater over-all success.

Dimension to imagination

The organizers could walk around the virtual blueprint of an event and get a firsthand feel of how the building will look and feel. The theme, design, décor etc., could be changed at the twist of a wrist. VR at the helm, revamps need not be envisaged accompanied with exhaustive brainstorming sessions, thus resulting in increased productivity at decreased costs. Likewise, it captures the audience’ attention like no other, by providing an unprecedented wholesome viewing experience, leaving the viewers in awe.

At a recent Dell hosted panel “VR is the Future of Storytelling,” in Los Angeles, USA, Andrew Abedian, level designer at Survios an American VR gaming and software company, said, “2017 will be the year where VR becomes normalized. The fundamental idea of virtual reality will cease to exist as a purely sci-fi concept, and instead transform into an industry of real, desirable products used as platforms of the imagination.”

At the moment, primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound – it is highly predicted the VR experience would engage all the five by 2018.

The biggest tool of engagement right now

Playing with human imagination, the VR is transforming the consumer interaction and engagement levels in the events industry to the nth level. Undivided audience attention is what all marketers and event organizers crave for, and the VR delivers exactly that by immersing the viewer into a simulated world with all the intended elements.

Unmatched engagement

And the effect it creates is unparalleled. Imagine, what used to be a long verbal lecture, combined with PPTs on the working of a certain machine, device, or anything that is intended to be promoted, is now being replaced with an immersive audio-visual experience, where the viewer could experience the entire experience breaking down for themselves right in front of their eyes; all thanks to the VR creating real life-like experiences.

Increased productivity: Saving time, errors, and resources

Planning is a very complex and integral process to the events industry, where consequences of any error could cost dearly. Great care has to be taken in the syncing of multiple processes, one of the key issues in the area of event planning. Mistakes here lead to failures in testing, and can result in costly delays as the problem has to be identified and whole process reinitiated.

The VR helps greatly with this ‘trial and error’ phase of the planning process, taking out the possibility of actual errors by creating detailed simulated 3D interactive modules, with exact visuals, where the various phases, right form planning to designing could be tweaked and re-tweaked to perfection, without incurring extra expenses.

Increased productivity, decreased efforts

Also, the relevant people need not be physically present at one location, all thanks to the multimedia technology combined with VR, which enables sharing the simulated content, which then the associated persons could access through their VR devices and participate in the process, resulting in considerable time and resource saving.

The VR, though at an early stage at the moment in the events industry, it is definitely slated to pick up fast, as technologies which offer clear, measurable advantage over the existing process are definitely picked up by any and every business enterprise. And currently there is no other technology that could sway the events market as the VR can.

Wonder what’s next; an entire expo in the VR box, right in your rest-chair?

“Some coffee please!”

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