Virtual Reality And the Future of Event Planning

Woman Using a Samsung VR Headset at SXSW - Photo Credit: Nan Palmero via Flickr
Written by Katie

Did you know Event Planning is listed as one of the most stressful job positions in America? And it’s no wonder since planning events requires a million little steps, all leading up to a huge deadline.

Luckily technology can help us along the way to the big event. What may surprise you, is what sorts of technology could help us succeed. Virtual Reality is one of those technologies that many people assume is simply a luxury item for members of 80’s sci-fi nostalgia. However, VR has proven to be exceptionally helpful in a variety of other ways, including marketing research.

In the realm of marketing with VR, researchers set up simulated retail stores and determine which products the customers gravitate to the most. They also track the movement of the customer’s eyes and determine their interest on different variables.

VR in event planning could be similar, allowing program directors to virtually create their event long before it happens. This could help alleviate any concerns with space and limit the amount of heavy labor involved. Imagine the possibilities! Not only does this help the planner, but the event staff as well.

Virtual Reality could also be used in conjunction with promoting the planned event. Considering video marketing is predicted to be the primary method of outreaching customers, creating a unique and interactive 360 video for potential event goers could be hugely beneficial.

This could be especially useful when preparing for a large convention or competition. Planners could set up a “teaser” for the upcoming event to get participants talking about it, or even offer the option for a “virtual attendance” by creating a hybrid online event. In the same way that virtual vacations are becoming more common, participants that have the inability to attend (due to health, or other issues) could tune in via a VR headset and enjoy from the comfort of their own home. Imagine watching something like the Oscars as if you were in the room with all those movie stars! Allowing that all-inclusive access to all potential attendees could really make a statement in the industry.

Despite the luxury tag that is often through on an item such as Virtual Reality, there are some very affordable options available for those working on a budget. Google is leading the pack in terms of affordable VR with their Google Cardboard creation, which utilizes a Samsung smart phone and a cardboard display case to give an authentic VR experience to the user. Google also offers the Google Jump which takes full 360 degree photos to create a real-life virtual environment.

The potential for VR really has no limits, and using it for event planning could be the next step to a more technology driven industry that can foster innovation and inclusiveness. It’s even possible that entire virtual events will be in our near future, and what an exciting time that will be.

Featured Image credit: Nan Palmero ©2015 under a Creative Commons License

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Katie McBeth is a Freelance writer and former bookseller based out of Boise, ID. She enjoys reading teen novels, eating mac ‘n cheese, attending indie concerts in small bars, and long walks on the beach. Her love for reading is only trumped by her love for cats, of which she has three. She also has a dog, and he helps keep her grounded. You can follow her animal and writing adventures on Instagram or Twitter: @ktmcbeth.

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