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Is VR The Future of Events?

Posted on 05/02/2019

Maybe you have heard about VR (virtual reality). However, we are not referring to state-of-the-art technology.

The virtual reality exists at least since the 1950s. From flight simulation in the middle of the ‘50s from Superman Viewmastera toy that all kids wanted in the ‘70s – VR has been developed over the years. VR can be noted today in live events such as music festivals and sports.

Anna Tomakh, digital marketing manager at GEVME, said that the event industry has many interests in VR technology.

Event planners realize the potential of the technology. We have been receiving more requests to integrate VR/AR technology with the event management platform lately.  As an example, AR photo/video activations provide great opportunities for event planners and event marketers to engage with attendees, create social media buzz around an event, and scan more leads. To implement the integration, we need to consolidate attendees’ personal contact data that is collected through an event registration app with a static camera.”

Nowadays, we can see VR in Instagram filters or online games, helping to make the future closer to offline reality.

Virtual reality x Augmented Reality

There is a lot of confusion when we talk about VR and AR. Did you know the difference between them?

According to the VRS website, virtual reality means, on the one hand:

“A three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.”

On another hand, augmented reality is the real-time use of information (videos, photos…)  integrated with real-world objects. It is this “real world” factor that differentiates AR from virtual reality.

Augmented reality integrates and adds value to the user’s interaction with the real world through smartphones, for instance. An example is Pokemon Go! or even Zara AR app, released in 2018. After downloading The Zara AR app, users pointed their phones at the shop window and models Léa Julian and Fran Summers were brought to life to present Zara’s Spring/Summer collection.

VR, in turn, provides a fusion of exclusive access and profound immersion. One example is The Rio 2016 Olympics. Users of Samsung Galaxy smartphones could be immersed in the games’ environment and experience it with a 360-degree view via the NBC Sports app. As Marc Mathieu, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Electronics America said:

“Fans of the Olympics will now get to experience the world’s best athletes as they compete in some of the most popular events of Rio 2016 in a whole new way: virtual reality

Sounds good, right?

VR can favor remote spectators, too. They can experience the event as if they were there themselves.

Companies as Live Nation are promoting many VR live concerts. It means to simulate the experience of a live concert in your living room. Could you imagine?

Through VR, viewers can move through the audience and even go backstage with the band. Wired announces that 65% of VR consumers are interested in live events. It means that VR is set to revolutionize the way we experience concerts, sports, and other live events. Coldplay and even Paul McCartney have surrendered to virtual reality.

Virtual reality can be in every step of event management. Festivals as Coachella provides they attendee an invite (“Welcome Box”) with VR application. This box featured a series of VR tours designed to immerse ticket-holders in the festival experience before it happens.

As you could see, VR is dominating live events in different ways. It is not the future anymore, it is the present. While VR won’t replace face-to-face contact, it can greatly enhance customers experience.

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