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Augmented Reality for Events: The Number One Marketing Toy This Christmas

Published on 10/11/2016

Send your Christmas event into the future by incorporating an augmented reality strategy, a technology that’s set to disrupt the event industry and give organisers a new platform to generate further attention and more revenue.

Augmented reality (AR) shouldn’t be confused with Virtual Reality (VR) – AR combines computer generated elements – such as video, graphics and sound – with the real world, whilst VR takes users into a completely computer generated world.

But aside from the technical complexities, it has revolutionary potential for event marketers and organisers in that it creates an immersive experience for guests and makes for a longer lasting impression on your brand. Although it’s still a relatively new concept carrying a cloud of skepticism about how effective it actually is, early adoption will enable you to experiment with different ideas before your competitors do. Whilst other industries will be slow to realise the impact it has, the event sector is ripe for this kind of technology, as everything about your event should scream ‘experience’. What’s more, with Christmas approaching it’s the perfect time to consider investing in AR attractions to boost engagement and convert leads. To help you visualise how AR could enhance your event, we’ve suggested some creative ideas that you can use for inspiration.

Product Demonstrations
For corporate events, AR is actually a cost effective option for businesses who want to demonstrate their products or services. Rather than paying the transportation costs and spending time on the setup of said demos, AR can put a virtual version of your product in front of delegates, allowing them to interact with it, see it in different situations and scope out the dimensions. This is achieved through wearable headsets or smart devices that enable the prospect to see their real environment along with the virtual element too. For large scale product demonstrations, you could have a temporary unique event structure where guests enter and can move around the virtual element wearing their headsets. For products that are considerably complex, the computer generated element can feature specifications and details that you wouldn’t get with the physical product.

Treasure Hunt
As we’ve mentioned, AR can be setup on smart devices such as iPads, allowing the user to physically hold the technology and own the experience. Christmas is the time for giving, so why not send them on a treasure hunt, secret santa style, using augmented reality. As part of your pre-event marketing activity, consider investing in an app that your attendees can download and use on the day to find the secret virtual ‘presents’. Similar to Pokemon Go, guests would scale your venue to find the secret santa presents, which could then be transformed into real presents they collect on their departure. This integrated strategy encourages participation and interactivity with your brand, strengthening the connection.

Magic Mirrors
For a truly personalised experience, your guests can see themselves in different scenarios with mirror augmented reality. Whether you opt for a Christmas theme or something more aligned to your business, you can offer attendees a perfect photo opportunity. To make a stronger impact in your event marketing, incorporate photo technology into your AR mirror so guests can save and share their snapshot, tagging your Twitter handle and mentioning the event hashtag. This form of AR creates a real surprise moment, and what’s more it’s super fun. Let guests view themselves with a new hairstyle, wearing a Christmas outfit or sat next to a jovial Santa. To ensure the mirror gains traction, take the presentation to new levels of awesome with a unique pop up stand. In doing so you can guarantee that attendees will flock towards it and make it a talking point at your event.

Of course, there’s more ways to incorporate augmented reality technology into your event, but you need to make sure it has the right promotion, is positioned in the right place and is beautifully presented.

To see how to make the right impact with augmented reality, check out our bespoke event structures that can be customised to any shape, size and colour to suit your Christmas event theme. Contact your nearest Global Partner or UK HQ for more information and assistance.