We’ve just spent 2+ years experimenting with and leveraging cutting-edge technology for virtual events. So, now that we’re back on the show floor, how are you incorporating that digital-first approach into your planning? Because if you aren’t, your events likely won’t stack up to your competition. One way you can definitely be ahead of the game? Incorporate artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality into your events. So, what does that mean exactly? Today we’re going to break it down.
What is the Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality for Events?
We’re event planners, not tech gurus, right? Welp, now the two are intertwined, and it’s up to us to educate ourselves on cutting-edge trends that will make our events pop. So, study these three and make sure you know the difference for planning your next big show or meeting.
Investopedia defines artificial intelligence, aka AI, as “… the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.” So for example, applications of artificial intelligence include things like facial recognition and chatbots. It’s not in the same realm as the next two technologies, but pair them together, and you’ll have an impressive technology-focused event attendees will love!
Virtual Reality is essentially a computer-simulated world that people absorb through tech gadgets like goggles. For example, at SXSW, a few years ago, Anheuser-Busch sponsored a Budweiser Beer House where they gave attendees VR goggles and transported them to a brewery in St. Louis. They walked the brewing floor, got to smell the hops, and taste the brews, all with the environmental factors of the brewery immersing them virtually and in person.
Augmented reality, or AR for short, is perhaps the easiest technology to implement at an event. It morphs the physical world with the virtual world using someone’s smartphone or device. For example, say you’re furniture shopping. Some places use AR so shoppers can hold up an app to a room, and you can see the furniture placement within the room.
5 Ways to Implement Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality for Events
Want some further ideas and examples you can use? Let’s go a little deeper.
Contactless Booths, Check-In, Etc.
Infusing biometric scanning with your event app so people can take advantage of contactless options with facial recognition throughout your event is great for today’s day and age! Plus, you’ll save on labor costs because you’ll need fewer people to man registration.
Having attendees fill out profiles with all their personal information, AI can then take that info and create one-on-one networking pairs or groups for those that are like-minded with similar interests or compatibility. It can also provide a list of suggested exhibitors depending on interests which saves time and qualifies leads for exhibitors before attendees even arrive at a booth. You can also use similar principles to suggest sessions!
Tours of Destinations, Facilities, Etc.
Whether you’re a destination looking to give a virtual way to explore your city or a manufacturing company wanting to show the production process of your latest product, you can do this via VR. Use the technology to take attendees to places you want them to go in a fully immersive way, rather than a standard 2D video. Coca-Cola brought people on a sleigh ride with Santa via VR, so you really can do and show anything you dream up!
For those that sell large machinery or products that don’t travel well, use VR to do your product demos on the show floor. Instead of spending the time and effort trying to figure out how to get things to the conference, focus on developing an engaging VR product demo strategy!
AR is great for gamification because it typically uses a mobile app. You can put together an engaging scavenger hunt, but instead of having the items live in person, you can have them find them through an application. Remember Pokémon GO, anyone?
Tech Have You Overwhelmed? EBA Can Help.
Phew, lots of ideas swirling, huh!? And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
We know that putting together tech experiences can feel totally overwhelming. But with years of experience in tech innovation for events, our EBA team has creative ideas to implement AI, VR, and AR at your next event. Let’s talk strategy for a few minutes to see where we can help. Book a time today!