How Corporate Events Are Embracing VR

The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about huge shifts from in-person meetings to digital alternatives for corporations. Out of necessity, companies were forced to replace conferences, events, meetings, and other in-person gatherings with online events. If the virtual meet-up is here to stay, is virtual reality the answer to creating more engaging, more appealing digital events?

Virtual Reality Is Revolutionizing Online Corporate Events

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unexpected shifts for corporations. Suddenly, the digital world was the only safe space to hold meetings, events, and other gatherings. Even corporations who had previously been tech-shy were now being forced to embrace Zoom and other online platforms to keep their businesses afloat. Because of the lockdowns and limits on in-person interaction, virtual events became a necessary answer to the changing cultural climate.

Virtual events are cheap to run and easy to attend, making them an appealing alternative to in-person conferences, regardless of lockdown limitations. However, their over-reliance on video-based communications has limited the potential for networking opportunities and human interaction, making digital events dry and difficult to attend. Many corporate event organizers have noted this issue and are now turning to augmented reality to elevate the virtual event and create more immersive, engaging experiences for event attendees.

Notable Augmented Reality Events

In 2018, years before the pandemic gave rise to the need for virtual events, High Fidelity hosted the first-ever festival held entirely in a 3-D simulated environment. The event featured contests, giveaways, and one of the first virtual live music shows. Since the pandemic hit, other companies have begun following suit, using technology from companies such as Google and Microsoft, or employing the help of companies specializing in augmented reality tech to up-level their online events.

In 2020, Lablaco's Circular Fashion Summit used augmented reality to admit attendees in the form of avatars, allowing them to network in the simulated conference center, and watch the runway shows virtually. The event was so successful, the company will be hosting their event in 2021 in the metaverse as well. Computer manufacturing company HTC China has also moved to incorporate augmented reality into its events, with over 1,000 attendees using headsets at their 2020 conference. The European Commission, Vodafone, Ericsson, and the United Nations have also notably embraced this immersive technology.

The Future of Immersive Tech for Corporate Events

As the price of headsets such as the Oculus Quest becomes more accessible, it is likely that this technology will be further integrated into businesses as a permanent solution to creating immersive, engaging virtual events. The need to shift to online spaces may also encourage businesses to continually experiment with new technologies and invest in new hardware (such as headsets) for their employees. Additionally, the success of events such as Lablaco's Circular Fashion Summit bodes well for the future of augmented reality in the corporate event sphere.

The use of 3-D simulated environments, avatars, and headsets in corporate events is just one way that virtual technology is revolutionizing the world today. Looking to stay up-to-date with the latest news and information about trends in virtual technology? Confirm your subscription to VR Trend Magazine today.

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