AR or “augmented reality” is a sibling technology to virtual reality. However, instead of creating a complete virtual space, it overlays digital items onto real-world objects and settings – including event venues. This creates the potential for incredibly imaginative interactions with your attendees…as long as you are willing to invest the time and expertise to make it work.
Drawing In the Digital Audience
First, and most evidently: Augmented reality allows you to step into the virtual space and bring your event to people, rather than have them come to you. This has always been an option with a few good cams and reliable online streaming, but AR promises to make the experience far more “immersive,” one of those buzzwords that is nonetheless very applicable. With a simple AR product – say HoloLens from Microsoft, or the next product Google makes if it decides to reinvent Glass – viewers in their offices can experience virtual-reality-like effects that makes it feel like they are really there. As more and more VR headsets and AR glasses hit the market (2016 is a big year for this), more people will have the opportunity to experience events this way in their homes or offices.
Experiencing Your Value in New Ways
We have seen this used to great effect by Microsoft, automakers, computer engineers, and many other companies. With an augmented reality overlay on a simple physical object – say, a table with a product on it – you can create a detailed visual that allows you to do anything from taking the product apart and show specific components to walking through a 3D plan for a building. These options can be used even with today’s tablet devices, and allow a whole new degree of storytelling to emerge. You can set these up as alternative events that attendees can explore, or make it part of your primary presentation – however, this does require plenty of advanced designed and software chops to make happen.
Sponsors are Very Excited About It
Sponsors love the idea of including AR in their booths as well, and many are already working on various ways to use AR planning when introducing their brands or goods. Provide the necessary facilities and encourage to use AR, and you’ll receive a lot of attention.
Controlling the Space
We saw this a lot at museums in the past 20 years as updated displays used reflected, sometimes interactive projections of images along tables and walls, rendered by unseen cameras. The technique has now moved into the event planning world, and it’s an excellent way to control space and make every surface informative or engaging…without spending too much money. Take a look at AR projections and see what they can do – and as always, ask McVeigh Global Meetings and Events if you have any questions about how to manage displays like this!
Pushing Your Imagination
From visors to projects on walls, you can see that augmented reality has a versatile set of uses – and this is one of its greatest strengths. In fact, we probably can’t tell you the best way to use AR, because that’s an idea you must create yourself. Its rare that a new piece of technology allows you to push your imagination and reinvent the boring corporate event in so many ways, so think about taking advantage of this trend to really wow your next audience.