The Impact of Augmented Reality on Events

Although the buzz around Silicon Valley lately has been about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) is the future of technology and attendee interaction at events and meetings.

Augmented Reality at Events

Why should you use AR at events?

Augmented reality gives event planners and vendors the ability to more closely interact with meeting attendees. With VR, expensive and sometimes cumbersome hardware is needed, like VR headsets, whereas AR can be executed through tablets, display screens, and smartphones. By using the viewer’s existing environment and overlaying graphics, vocals and other information, AR provides event planners numerous ways to attract attention and create an interactive space.

Wilson Tang, the VP of digital experience at FreemanXP stated “Augmented reality has the potential to add dimension to events that would take them to the next level, not just allowing for deeper engagement and interaction, but creating solutions that provide a better overall attendee experience.”

How can AR be implemented at events?

AR allows developers to demonstrate new products at conferences, overlay product content at trade show booths, and engage attendees through gamification and social media. Attendees can download an app to their smartphone and point their camera at areas around the venue that would then display information about products or vendors. For example, a product poster about a self-driving vehicle could suddenly come to life as attendees point their phone at it, allowing them to get a 360 view and better understand its attributes. AR can also be used to easily connect attendees with vendors and other attendees using smart badges and phone apps.

IKEA Place App

There are a multitude of practical applications for AR in events and meetings, including event design. Greg Joswiak, the VP at Apple, explains how iOS 11 will make AR mainstream for the general public. One demonstration shown in his interview with CNN Tech’s Laurie Segall shows how you can use IKEA’s AR app to place an armchair or bed in your apartment to see if it fits your space and style without having to pull out tape measure or move things around. Applying this to events, your designer could walk through the venue showing clients how furniture, light fixtures, and other decor would fit the space in an interactive, real-time environment.

More on AR

Want to learn more about the different types of AR and how to drive traffic using AR at your events? This Gevme article provides an excellent overview of how to implement AR.

Here’s a video about some top AR apps to give you a better idea of how it could become useful for event planning and execution: Top 10 AR Demos

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