If you’re looking for a way to stand out at your next trade show, augmented and virtual reality are two great options. These technologies help you make an impression on visitors, while also educating them about your brand and increasing engagement. The AR and VR industries reached $16.8 billion in 2019, and that number is expected to jump to $160 billion by 2023.
In this blog, we’ll explore how you can use augmented and virtual reality to create the best trade show booth experience. You’ll also find some tips to keep in mind if you do incorporate AR and VR into your booth.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented reality superimposes digital information (e.g. text, sounds, and images) onto the real-world environment. AR adds to the reality around you, rather than completely replacing it.
At a trade show, these real-world environments include exhibit spaces, brochures, and product displays. Most companies outfit their trade show booths with smartphones and tablets for visitors to borrow. However, many businesses are now developing proprietary AR apps that attendees can download onto their own devices.
AR creates an experiential trade show booth because it enhances the visitor’s experience of your brand while still keeping them in your space.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Unlike AR, virtual reality immerses users in environments that are completely separate from their real-world surroundings. There are a variety of VR headset brands out there, including Oculus, Sony, and HTC. Virtual reality goggles incorporate parallax, which means they have side screens to create the illusion of depth.
How to Use AR & VR to Create Incredible Trade Show Booth Experiences
There are many ways to use AR and VR to create the best trade show booth experience. Keep reading for trade show experience ideas and suggestions you can use at your next show.
Enhance Product Demos
One of the best ways to incorporate AR and VR into your trade show booth design is through product demos. Rather than lugging your entire inventory to the show, you can show visitors your entire product line in the palm of their hand. AR and VR product demos are ideal for large products, like machinery or vehicles.
Product demos that incorporate AR or VR help users feel like they’ve already used your product before they buy. They also get a sense of what it would be like to own the product and use it at their home or office. These feelings can instill confidence within visitors and may entice them into making a purchase on the spot.
AR and VR product demos also help you show off customizable products and services. Start with a base product and showcase the many personalization options you offer.
Create Virtual Dressing Rooms
Augmented reality is a great way for visitors to see what they’ll look like in your product. One of the most popular ways to do this is with full-length AR mirrors, but visitors can also use smart devices. Virtual dressing rooms are particularly effective for the beauty and retail industries.
Make Learning Fun with Gamification
Are your products and services complicated or hard to explain? You might consider adding AR gamification to your product videos or print marketing. Kick it up a notch by setting up a multiplayer game that visitors can join via your custom AR smartphone app. Doing so will keep things interesting and also facilitate networking.
Transcend Your Booth Space
VR helps you transport visitors from your booth to places like your showroom, warehouse, or lounge. You can create any experience you want without having to worry about the size of your booth. Best of all, your sales staff can still interface with attendees on a one-to-one level.
Generate More Qualified Leads
AR and VR are excellent tools for capturing new leads, which can boost sales. Wowing visitors with AR and VR technology can stimulate conversation within your industry and generate word-of-mouth referrals. In many cases, attendees will happily share their contact information for a chance to try your VR headset.
Augmented reality can help you stay top-of-mind with visitors, even if they’re only at your booth for a short period. If they download your AR app, it will stay on their smartphone until they decide to remove it. You can also include fun giveaways in your AR app that visitors can cash in on after the trade show.
Target Local Prospects
Developing a downloadable AR app for your next trade show? Consider building in functionality that allows you to make location-based announcements. For example, you might invite anyone within 25 feet of your booth to stop by. To attract them, offer valuable giveaways they can only redeem by visiting your booth.
Keep These AR and VR Trade Show Guidelines In Mind
Taking AR or VR devices to your next trade show? Follow the tips below to get the most bang for your buck:
- Don’t just bring one or two devices. Each member of your staff should be armed with a device and ready to engage with visitors. You don’t want to keep attendees waiting in line for too long (or at all). Best of all, AR and VR devices are small and getting more affordable every day.
- Don’t create VR experiences that are too intense. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm visitors who try your VR goggles. Use movement wisely so no one gets nauseous or feels uncomfortable.
- Choose products with user-friendly controls. Your VR goggles or AR app should be straightforward enough that any visitor can use them.
- Keep your demos concise and to the point. If you’re using VR for product demos, keep them short. Experts recommend demos last anywhere from 1-3 minutes. This leaves plenty of time for visitors to connect with your staff and ask questions.