What virtual reality (VR) means for the events industry

Virtuali realybe imones renginiams

Virtuali realybė renginiams yra puiki priemonė naujų potyrių ieškotojams. Virtualios realybės technologijų pagalba galima organizuoti įvairius renginius, konferencijas ar net kasdieninius įmonės susitikimus. Galima neabejoti, kad virtuali realybė yra įmonių, renginių bei pramogų pasaulio ateitis.

Why VR isn’t that big an event trend—yet

While virtual reality has seen some success in the past—particularly with brand activations—the trend hasn’t really caught on with the majority of event professionals and organizations. Unfortunately for everyone, despite being in existence for far too many years, VR hasn’t proved to be the “future of technology” that most technologists believe it to be. Here are some reasons why: ?Cost: Imagine having to rent or buy tens (if not hundreds) of VR headsets for your event, not to mention the other rather pricey technology that comes with creating the virtual reality experience. For most event planners, that’s a lot. ?Convenience: The next problem is usability. How do you charge them? Then comes other problems like breakages and repairs, for which you have to make allowances. ?Accessibility: Most virtual reality experiences focus heavily on either visuals, sounds or require precise movements. All of this means, at least for now, virtual reality experiences can become inaccessible for disabled people. ?Discomfort: VR experiences—especially the longer ones—can become uncomfortable. Side effects can range from stiff shoulders to motion sickness and nausea.

Creating VR experiences at events is hard—of that, there is no doubt. However, recent months have seen a slight increase in the usage of virtual reality both at the actual event and even during the event planning process. One major reason for this is probably the current situation (social restrictions, lockdowns, and more) that have made event planners rely heavily on digital experiences. The other reason is that, so far, virtual reality is one of the only available technologies to create completely immersive experiences. It also helps that VR rental companies have made renting VR headsets, kiosks, and other VR-related technology more affordable for event organizers.

Here are some ways event planners have incorporated VR into their events:

VR for venue visits - Virtual venue visits came into being more out of necessity than anything else. With in-person events making a comeback and hybrid events picking up pace, many event organizers have found virtual venue visits to be a huge time-saver. Not only are they convenient, they are also a sustainable alternative that can help lower an event’s carbon impact by reducing travel.

VR for virtual events - Virtual events have a lot going for them, but one thing they are not is immersive. That’s where VR comes into play. Creating VR experiences at virtual events is an easy way to give attendees engaging and fully immersive experiences. VR can make them feel more involved and engaged, especially with virtual event fatigue on the rise.

VR for networking - When talking about virtual events, one thing you have to address is networking. Reports say networking is one of the biggest reasons people attend events. The advent of platforms like VRChat and Facebook’s integration with Oculus headsets bring new opportunities for VR as a way to make virtual networking more interactive and engaging.

Final thoughts

While virtual reality does have some limitations, it’s also been stated in multiple reports that the technology is undergoing rapid developments that will solve a lot of our current challenges. VR headsets are also becoming more popular in households. It’s said that nearly one in five consumers in the United States own a VR headset and this number is only going to increase in future years. VR reality is also a more eco-friendly option for immersive experiences when compared to onsite events. All things considered, while VR has a lot going for it and things look positive, it looks like there are two things VR needs to make its place in the event industry—advanced tech and creative event organizers who can tap into this technology’s potential and find new ways to use it at their events.