Incorporating immersive experiences into your next event
If you’re looking to take your conference, workshop or product activation to a whole new level, then you need to incorporate immersive experiences into your event. American eventing firm SocialTables says, “Last year 80% of event planners reported that their jobs required more experience creation than two to five years ago. This experience trend is firmly on the rise, so you need to get on board to up your eventing game.”
No one wants to sit back and be talked at, especially if you can get involved and experience it yourself. Offering experiences in events provides attendees with a greater opportunity to connect with each through the shared participation. And these experiences also offer the perfect opportunity to grow your social media presence and create stronger brand recognition.
Do things differently
Instead of the regular long-winded speeches and PowerPoint presentations – shake up your format for maximum engagement. Switch it up with a combination of presentations and short talks with activities that let the audience learn first-hand how to apply what they learned. Research proves that offering hands-on experiences adds extreme value to learning and helps attendees reduce their stress levels. Add a deeper level of immersion by ensuring your sessions have definite time frames and tangible incentives.
Make it a group effort
Nothing says personalisation more than allowing participants to help shape the conference agenda. By making clever use of crowdsourcing and live polling, attendees can take ownership of the content. This also offers the bonus of ensuring attendees get the relevant information they want to know more about. Live polling provides a deeper level of engagement as it allows for active participation. Try these tools for your next event:
- Sli.do – Attendees enter an event code to go to a live-feed. The presenter is then able to post questions and receive real-time responses. You can also add audience polling, and incorporate live video streaming. In addition, Sli.do gives presenters the freedom to switch between different apps such as Prezi and Keynote, for their slide presentations. A cool tool for increased audience engagement.
- Glisser – This award-winning software gives a presenter the opportunity to share slides, post questions, add polls, and quizzes – all while tracking the feedback and measuring the return on investment. And it allows the audience to ask questions and share ideas through social media outlets like Twitter. Glisser also lets you share the slides with smartphones. Another unique feature is that attendees can save and share ideas with team members not present at the event. A huge drawcard is that attendees don’t have to take notes, instead the content is now easily shareable online.
- Catchbox – You have to think quickly with this awesome gadget. Catchbox enables you to skip the slow passing of the microphone and turn the Q&A session into a fun game as attendees can now throw the padded mic box to each other– adding a fun and interactive element to this part of the session.
Augment your Reality
Use technology to give your brand the edge. Augmented Reality (AR) in particular is gaining popularity in the events space. Trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and festivals all rely on customer engagement, entertainment, and education – and AR applications can help deliver all of that and more.
AR adds real-time digital information, graphics, and video to the real-world environment, typically via a smartphone or tablet. It can work across multiple sensory modalities, offering visual, auditory, haptic (using tech to create the experience of touch by applying vibrations or motions to the user) or olfactory and somatosensory (relating to sensations like feeling warmth or pressure).
According to research, the global AR market is forecast to reach a value of $70.01 billion by 2023.
The options for AR in the eventing space are endless. It can be as simple as giving attendees access to value-added information – including speaker bios and additional related links – on-site as they’re listening to the speakers. The tech is also easy to use, think point and touch. You point your smartphone at the speakers and simply hover over them to get additional information.
This can also work for networking purposes – helping delegates learn more about each other.
AR is perfect for proving a close-up or demonstration of tech that’s impractical to demo in person, for
example, a medical device company could showcase a new medical implant in a convention centre instead of a hospital by operating on a virtual patient.
Some cool current campaigns using AR include online UK fashion retailer ASOS creating a Virtual Catwalk, which they tested on 100 new Asos Design products. The feature works when a user points their smartphone camera at a suitable flat surface and clicks the ‘AR’ button on the product page in the app. Models then virtually appear, giving the customer an innovative, more intimate way of their viewing products.
Luxury brand Gucci is using AR to enable fans to try on their sneakers. Point your smartphone camera downwards, choose to see a digital overlay of 19 different takkies on your feet, and a simple swipe changes the pair. And best of all, the app also allows users to take photos which can be shared on social media or in messaging apps.
Immersive touchpoints can be as elaborate or simple as you need but you do need to have them. Audiences love gorgeous displays of new technology, new experiences, laughing with strangers and sharing a deeper connection – so give it to them and build up some valuable brand love!
Make the right venue choice
One of the key aspects of creating successful experiences in events is to have the space to do so. You’ll need a venue that offers plenty of room and is accommodating to your requests. The Canvas Riversands near Fourways, could be just the space you’re after. It’s got big, rolling, lawns with bright, airy, open indoor and outdoor spaces that you can decorate to suit your needs. Picking the right venue is crucial, as they are the true partners to planners wanting to see success in 2019 and beyond.