The term augmented reality or AR has been used around various business sectors, including events, for the past couple of years. As technology advances, AR is becoming increasingly attainable in a number of different forms to bring a unique, personalised approach to brand advertising.
So, what is it exactly? Augmented reality is a broad term for simply ‘adding’ something extra to the real world through technology. Through a mobile app, QR codes to wearable smart glasses, AR overlays computer generated graphics which connect and blur the real with the virtual world.
Augmented reality technology has been around for a long time, but shot into our everyday lives from the likes of Snapchat filters and one of 2016’s most popular apps, Pokémon: Go. More and more social media platforms are featuring AR games and features, which many industries are becoming involved with for their marketing purposes.
AR in the Events Industry
As AR can be used in a multitude of methods, the events industry is embracing this new technology to mould and change the way we attend, interact and market our businesses at exhibitions.
Attending an Event
If you can’t attend an exhibition, fear not! Through robotics, virtual attendance is not far off in the future. Double Robotics have now designed a robot with a screen attached, to allow you to remotely attend an event, moving around freely as if you were there in person. With a microphone attached, it also easily allows you to interact with other attendees and businesses participating.
Interacting with Attendees
Virtual reality is proving continuously popular at exhibitions with a lot of companies donning the headsets for visitors to immerse themselves in. Augmented reality tools are now also being used regularly to embrace and merge the live environment of the exhibition hall with brand graphics, information or games. AR technology is a great way to personalise your business, such as mobile apps, to photo filters, this technology can allow you to tell your brand story or message through visitors’ own devices. Unlike virtual reality headsets, AR tools can be used on attendees’ own smartphones, allowing them to freely share your brand experience on social media, and take away a piece of your brand message and marketing on their own accord.
Marketing Before, During and After Your Event
Through AR technology, you can easily market your event attendance before, during and after the show. Through AR photo app Snapchat, custom geo-filters are easy to create. With a custom geo-filter it can be placed around a certain location i.e. the exhibition hall, so that on peoples mobile devices, when choosing a filter, yours will appear. An image or video on someone’s Snapchat Story lasts for 24 hours, therefore will still promote your brand after your event has finished.
As mentioned above, AR is a broad term, therefore it’s almost limitless with the methods of approaching it to enhance your event presence. Through interactive maps or Bluetooth beacon technology you can attract people with exclusive mobile content to visit your stand.
The event shouldn’t be your last communication with potential clients, but encourage it to be your first with augmented reality technology. Through apps and headsets, companies are now encouraging consumers to virtually try out their products from the comfort of their own home. This is great for brands who sell large products they possibly couldn’t display in an events hall such as furniture sellers. This is a great tool for allowing people to see whether your product would suit their everyday life. By offering it exclusively to your attendants, this is a valuable tool to provide warm leads to, improving conversion rates.
The Future of Augmented Reality
As it grows in popularity across the world, augmented reality is becoming a staple in our daily interactions. It’s an interactive tool right at our fingertips, which is being developed to be even closer, through wearable tech. Snap Inc, owners of Snapchat have already created Snap Spectacles, smart glasses which allows people to directly share what they see from their perspective rather than their phones. But developers are also working on smart contact lenses, which will enable us to see graphics directly into our peripheral vision, improving our everyday lives and interaction with people, which will no doubt effect the events industry in the future. This is only really the beginning of augmented reality in a domestic use as it pops up through apps, games and our clothes.
As augmented reality technology is thrusted into the mainstream, it is effecting many industries, and the events is no exception. Now is the time to embrace it, and use it as a high-quality tool to interact and promote your appearance. It’s a fantastic method of providing a unique and personal experience with your consumers, making an impact through their devices, and ultimately leading to brand awareness and those all-important sales leads.
For more information of incorporating augmented or virtual reality technology at your next event, please feel free to contact us on 01323 469111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we are your events experts.