Discover the right answer to using virtual reality for your business, event, tradeshow, or exhibition.
Here’s what you’ll get out of this post:
This is the Mbryonic guide to using virtual reality at trade shows. You’ll learn what mistakes to avoid, how to maximise your return on investment and much, much more.
When you’re attending your exhibition you have big expectations for what’s going to happen. You want great things to happen. Such as generating new sales and bring about great buzz: good press, social media presence.
This can be very difficult in a competitive space like a trade show. You’re directly competing with dozens of other businesses that all share your objective of being the best stand.
So how do you stand out? It’s simple and I’ll show you in the section below.
In marketing, you have the classic acronym AIDA. It stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. The first thing you want to do is get your audience’s attention. You want to stand out.
One way to do that is let everyone know that you’ll be bringing a Virtual Reality Demo. Virtual Reality is still an emerging industry and by developing a VR product you’re going to pique the interests of those around you.
Virtual Reality enables you to do something very important. In the context of the trade show, your audience is bombarded with thousand of sales pitches. So in order to stand above them, you need to create a lasting impression. A fancy promo video isn’t enough anymore. You need to give your audience a multi-sensory experience that engages them on a level that no one else is doing.
Well how do you create a lasting impression?
Tell them the story about your company. And a great way to deepen that story is with a Virtual Reality demo.
McDonald’s, Sage Gateshead, and Samsung did this recently with great success.
Small and big businesses are jumping on the VR bandwagon with good reasons. If everyone sees that you’ve got a virtual reality show, you’ll suddenly start gathering more attention. That’s why it’s essential for you to stand out to maximise your return on your trade show investment.
You could walk them through this virtual showroom with unlimited potential. Because in a tradeshow, the space you rent is outrageously expensive. You’re looking at prices that start north of £10K.
But wouldn’t it be great if you could extend that space to better tell your story?
Yes, and with a virtual showroom of your product you now can. One of the benefits of VR is that you can have an unlimited floor space to create whatever experience you want. For example, we recently created an experience for the leading medical company, ResMed. In this experience, you try out a sleep apnea machine without actually trying the machine for the full overnight experience.
Imagine trying to get each customer to try out the sleep machine and ask them to go to sleep. All in the small confines of a trade show booth. It would be embarrassing for them! This is why Virtual Reality is the perfect solution here. With unlimited floor spaces, you’ve suddenly added new tools to your arsenal of storytelling.
Now you might be thinking that virtual reality would be a good idea, but that you’d rather just opt for a video explaining your product. However, you are honestly much better off with a virtual reality demo and I’ll tell you why with 3 simple reasons.
First, with a virtual reality demo you’re offering your audience a way to interact with your business. It takes their relationship to a much higher level than simply the passive consumption of a video.
Second, VR gives you the scale to go bigger than a video. For instance, if you want to show your new building or latest product, you can show the actual 3D model in full real life scale. This gives your audience a better representation of what you’re offering them.
And third, everyone has a video. It’s been there, done that. VR helps you stand out above a video. With a VR demo you can show how advanced and connected your company is to the latest technology. Don’t get me wrong, videos are important and help showcase and simplify your message. But if your goal is to grab someone’s attention and start a larger conversation, your VR demo will do a much better job of that.
Now that I’ve shown you the three reasons why VR far surpasses video, I want to show you how to exactly deploy your new VR demo. Dealing with new technologies makes you vulnerable to mistakes—some more embarrassing than others. But we’ve experienced all the potential mistakes possible and have written below everything you need to know to protect yourself against it.
Virtual Reality provides experiences; experiences that feel real. So get creative. There’s no point recreating sitting in a stuffy conference room being lectured at because no one gets excited about doing that. Give your user an experience they won’t forget. For example VR works great for transporting you to exotic locations imagined or real. Take your audience into a relaxing dream like experience or a thrilling roller coaster ride. It can show you complex 3D model of products in a simple and easy manner.
Sage Gateshead is a concert venue and also a centre for musical education, located in Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne, in the North East of England. It opened in 2004 and is tenanted by the North Music Trust.
The VR demo transformed the iconic UK concert hall into a playable 3D instrument in a new app built by in collaboration with Atomhawk Design. The demo allowed users to enter a digitized version of the Sage Gateshead concert venue to bash walls and beat floors to create a percussive music track.
We developed this as way to celebrate their 10th anniversary. It helped Sage Gateshead connect their audience and spur further donations for the centre.
Moreover, McDonald’s offered attendees of SXSW a VR paint experience where they could paint the inside of a happy meal box. It used HTC Vive and let you launch giant globs of virtual reality paint onto white canvasses. This is their 2nd VR app. They decide to do something very simple that gives instant feedback to users in short time period.
After the closure of NASA’s space shuttle in 2011, the public thought that the agency was closing down. However, they developed a VR demo to show you how future crewed shuttle missions would happen.
The virtual journey takes viewers on a ride to the top of the SLS, which will be more than 300 feet tall in actuality.
Also a favourite VR demo for most consumers are the roller coasters. Samsung took it to another level by including movable seats. The seats simulated the vibrations of being on the roller-coaster.
The VR demo recreated two popular six flags roller coasters. Ultimately Samsung help connects the fun and excitement of roller coasters with their brand. Since their goal was brand awareness, this was a success. If your goal is entertainment then why not create something similar roller coaster app for your company? However, make it unique to your brand to create something unforgettable.
We gave a short brief experience at the Barbican Centre of our brilliant Amplify VR – an amazing new platform to experience music in virtual reality, and for artists to create stunning VR music videos. Amplify VR allows you to enter fantastical new worlds where you can explore, react to the music and interact with it. It also releases instructions allowing artists to have full control of the creation process of their music videos.
The VR demo was a great success, the response from the public was very positive, and we’ve been using all the feedback we’ve received during the demo to upgrade our platform and make the experience even more immersive.
First thing is deciding on what virtual reality headset you will use to launch demo your VR presentation. Here are the most common ones and their pros and cons.
Oculus Rift / HTC Vive
So if you launch on the App Store for Google Cardboards or the Oculus Store for Samsung Gear VR you’ll be able to create virtual reality experiences that can be launched and consumed at scale.
Here are the nitty gritty details:
You’ll want your VR experience to be a talking point that leads to your sale pitch.
You don’t want to close with the VR demo. It serves you best at the beginning of your AIDA funnel for grabbing their attention. You also want to avoid the mistake of creating a VR experience over 3 minutes long.
Unless it’s a short 360* film or a game, you’ll want to keep your demo quite short. The main argument is that keeping it short helps you scale better. If you have 10 people waiting to try out your 5 minute demo, it will take 50 minutes to show everyone. By keeping your demo short you can serve more people. It also let’s you maximize on the effect of VR without dragging it on.
Speaking of dragged on VR experiences (of which we’ve seen a great many), I’ll share with you some of the most common mistakes I see.
Below I’ve created a list for you of the most common mistakes I see people make with their VR demos:
Let the VR demo funnel into a conversation about what your product means to your customer. How will your service, company, or product amplify their life. Use the VR experience in a way to showcase the benefits of your product. Fit your VR demo into a larger experience of how you present your company.
However, if you don’t currently have a larger experience to showcase, we do consulting and VR development. But before we get into that I want to show you want you need to know in order to maximise your ROI.
Furthermore, there are numerous side-benefits beyond the experiential aspect of a VR demo. In the section below I will show you how to maximise your ROI
There are many ways to you can take advantage of your new VR demo. The first piece of advice is to incorporate it into your whole marketing strategy. It doesn’t stop with the demo. Take pictures of people using your VR demo. Also do video testimonials and show the video of people engaging with you. If you’re using Google Cardboard, you can offer people branded units so that they better remember you. You can give them a tangible gift that they can share with friends and colleagues.
Remember, you’re offering them something on the cutting edge of technology. A multi-sensory experience that can transport them anywhere as if they’re actually there! Don’t undersell it.
So you’ll want to get a lot of pictures and videos of your event. Get feedback from your audience and if possible give away Google Cardboards to your audience. They’ll then be able to experience your app at home and show it to their friends and family. Your VR Demo subsequently becomes a multi-faceted marketing tool!
Now you’re on the trade show floor and you’ve got your staff.How do you train them to make it all go as smooth as possible?
Well first let’s analyse where your audience will be coming from. For a lot of people it will be a new experience to just try virtual reality. And it’ll be the first time they are trying your app. As a result, you really want to create a systemised process for your staff.
If you follow those five steps you should have a smooth operation. There are however a few more things to keep in mind.
Your staff is now trained. You’ve just had a great demonstration of your new VR Demo. The press loved it and you’ve got some great new marketing material for the next 6 months.
Congratulations but how do you measure the success of your VR demonstration? As the famous management thinker Peter Drucker once said, “what gets measured, gets managed.” So you always want to quantify every marketing expenditure you do.
Now in terms of marketing there are many ways to judge the experience. If you’re selling a direct product, the first thing to do is compare sales with previous years measuring if the VR demo had a good impact on sales. If you want to be more explicit you can also ask buyers if they were motivated to buy because of their VR demo.
There are also many other factors that might get boosted such as social media shares. Check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to see if other people are sharing your events.
If you’re getting press to attend your demo then you’ll also want to check their articles and see how many shares they got.
You’ll also want to get some qualitative feedback from your audience. Ask them directly how they felt about the demo and if it made them more likely to buy your service or product.
Additionally, its important to check your website traffic, app downloads, and how many guests you got at your booth.
All these metrics will help give you a good feeling for how well your demo performed. But, there is one other thing to consider at when you’re demoing a VR project.
Now something we’ve seen often before are long queues to try on VR demos. This may happen if your experience is too long and or you have too few headsets to go around.
But most of the time this is a good thing as nothing breeds success like success. What you can do to minimize the annoyance is to engage the customers while they’re queuing. Tell them what they might expect.
You’ll also want to set up a TV that mirrors what the person in the VR demo sees. This helps you draw an even bigger crowd and enables you to keep those in line patient.
And you can then make reasonable assumptions to scale your operation for the next demo. You can do this by simply buying more headsets.
Ultimately, if the line for your demo is still too long then you can offer the others different types of demo. Not everyone has to specifically try just your VR demo.
Now what if there are other problems?
One very important question is how long the development time will be for your VR project. We constantly hear: “how long does it take to develop?”
We recommend that you budget between 30 and 60 days depending on the complexity and length of the experience.
Getting the most out of your VR demo.
There are a few ways for you to get the most of your VR demo. For instance, you can feature the download link to your app in the app store as well as giving out custom printed google cardboard versions. You could also create video case studies and share it on social media. Lastly, you can leave the experience in your waiting room for guests to try. There are so many endless possibilities for you!
If you’re considering producing a Virtual Demo for your business, then we recommend you give us a call. We are experts in the field with award-winning Virtual Reality Demos.
We recommend a quick no obligation call. We are a small organisation who prides ourselves on top level customer service. You won’t be talking to a sales person but to the product team directly.
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