Virtual Reality (VR), the capacity to send people to a world of maxed-out imagination and endless possibilities, has been changing the world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the audience at Samsung’s Galaxy S7 launch event that VR is going to “change the way we live and work and communicate.” That well explained his vision when he decided to acquire Oculus VR Inc., a young maker of VR goggles with little revenue at that time, for $2 billion two years ago. Today, the Samsung’s Gear VR powered by Oculus is a no-brainer if you own a Samsung phone to get started with VR.
Continuing our series of articles on augmented reality and virtual reality, in this article we discuss the implications of Virtual Reality: What does it mean for the event industry? Read on to find out.
The Rise of Virtual Reality in Live Events
The trend is that more and more events will adopt the VR technology in the near future. A VR experience might replace the physical presence of a keynote speaker. Product demonstration and education are much more effective with immersive VR experience when the attendees can be impressed with a chance to experiment with virtual machines or try on the products.
The potential uses of VR in events are limitless. Organizers will be constantly challenged to deliver new and exciting VR experiences to the more tech-savvy younger generation of attendees. The good news is that VR is getting less expensive as affordable headsets hit the mainstream market. This poses plenty of opportunities for holding unprecedentedly engaging events.
Virtual Reality Empowers Virtual Events
RoadtoVR, a website dedicated to VR, created a VR Event Calendar that updates virtual events around the globe, including trade shows, conferences, expos, meetups, social gatherings and so on. The events listed in the calendar are held in 5 major VR venues: AltspaceVR, Convrge, VRChat, JanusVR, and Riftmax.
Completely virtual events haven’t been very welcomed by attendees so far due to the lack of interactive elements. The birth of VR platforms come as solutions. “In the future, virtual reality could provide attendees an amazing experience with a lot of physical products being brought in,” explains Inc. contributor Murray Newlands. “Virtual reality could also make it possible for people all over the world attend and experience an event without physically being there.”
The Age of Wearable Technology
Wristbands are going to replace name badges as the consolidation solution for tickets, cashless payments, connecting to social media accounts, interactive game and other activities. Now with the rising popularity of VR, goggles or headbands will become part of future events.
Although it’s a safe bet that at some point many people will be carrying around VR-capable devices in their pockets, access to the required hardware in many regions can make it problematic to deliver a great virtual reality experience.
There’s no denying that the advancement of VR techonology will drastically change the landscape of the events industry. Hence, knowing its capabilities and potentials will give tech-savvy event professionals a leg-up on the late adopters.
What do you think?
What’s your take on the impact of VR on the event industry? What other scenarios that should be mentioned? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.