Augmented reality (AR) applied to events is a technology that combines virtual elements with the real environment to provide an interactive and immersive experience for attendees. It allows digital information, such as images, videos, 3D graphics or text, to be superimposed on the physical world in real time.
In an increasingly digital and technological environment, the way we experience events is undergoing a big revolution. Augmented reality has arrived to transform the way we interact, learn and entertain ourselves, in this case, at sporting events, concerts, trade fairs, conferences, corporate events or different types of shows.
AR has gone from being just a futuristic promise to a tangible and powerful tool, capable of immersing attendees in a fully immersive experience where information materialises before their eyes. Through devices as simple as mobile phones, participants can enjoy interactive, personalised and highly immersive experiences that transcend the limits of the physical.
In this article we will explore how augmented reality can revolutionise the world of events and trade fairs. We will look at the many applications of this technology, from creating engaging exhibitions to improving interaction between participants. In addition, we will examine the benefits for both organisers and attendees, as well as the challenges and considerations to take into account when implementing it.
Why should you use AR for your event
As augmented reality becomes an increasingly accessible and beneficial tool, events are transforming into multi-sensory and memorable experiences. The ability to merge the physical and virtual worlds allows organisers to unleash their creativity and provide attendees with a level of immersion and engagement never seen before.
Augmented reality, therefore, offers many advantages and benefits when used at events and trade shows. Here are some of the reasons why it is valuable to incorporate it:
- Immersive experience: AR provides a highly immersive and engaging experience for attendees. It allows digital elements to be superimposed on the real world, creating an interactive and immersive environment that captures the attention of participants and immerses them in a unique experience.
- Differentiation and attraction: At events and trade fairs where competition is intense, augmented reality stands out as a way to differentiate and attract visitors. By offering interactive exhibits, games and unique experiences, companies can generate greater interest in their products or services and stand out from the crowd.
- Increased participation and engagement: AR promotes greater attendee participation by inviting them to interact with virtual elements and actively explore content. This generates a higher level of engagement, as participants become an active part of the experience and can personalise their journey according to their interests.
- Interactive information and demonstrations: allows additional, detailed information about products or services to be displayed interactively. Visitors can view 3D models, explore key features, obtain technical data and watch virtual demonstrations to help them better understand the products or services offered.
- Measurement and analysis: Augmented reality provides tools to measure and analyse attendee engagement, as is the case with Onirix. Through interaction tracking and data collection, companies can gain valuable insights into visitor behaviour, areas of interest and performance metrics. This allows for real-time adjustments and improvements to maximise event results.
- Flexibility and adaptability: AR can be adapted to different spaces and event formats. It can be implemented through mobile devices, special glasses or other means, which provides flexibility in its use and allows it to be adapted to the specific needs and characteristics of each event.
Examples and applications of augmented reality for events
In the context of corporate events and trade fairs, augmented reality offers numerous advantages as mentioned above. It can be used to create interactive and eye-catching exhibits that attract the attention of visitors and generate more interest in the products or services presented. Here are some applications and examples:
- Product demos: Augmented reality allows to show interactive 3D models of products, giving attendees the opportunity to explore them from different angles and get detailed information about their features and functionalities.
- Immersive experiences: Through the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, visitors can experience virtual tours or interact with characters or elements in real time, providing a more engaging and entertaining experience. For example, a gamification strategy, a treasure hunt or a fun quiz.
- Additional information: Augmented reality can provide additional information about the products or services displayed, such as technical specifications, customer reviews, links to videos or websites, among others. This facilitates access to relevant and detailed information without the need to search for it separately.
- Virtual avatars: Virtual avatars are a really effective tool to explain products or services and provide additional information. Their ability to interact in a personalised way and provide relevant and entertaining content improves the visitor experience and generates greater interest in the products or services on display. In addition, they can guide visitors through a detailed explanation and can visually show key features, provide examples of use and even answer frequently asked questions.
- Games and entertainment: Augmented reality-based games can be used as a way to engage and entertain attendees at events and trade shows. They can include challenges, prizes or competitions, generating a higher level of engagement and interaction.
- Training and education: Augmented reality can also be used to offer interactive training programmes, allowing employees or visitors to learn new skills or become familiar with new products or processes in a more hands-on and engaging way.
In short, augmented reality for live events and trade fairs offers the opportunity to create unique and impactful experiences, improving visitor engagement and delivering greater value to exhibiting companies by increasing kpis.
Types of events that can use AR
Augmented reality can be used in a wide variety of events, adapting to different themes and objectives. Here are some examples of types of events that can take advantage of AR:
- Trade fairs and exhibitions: these are ideal scenarios for using augmented reality. Exhibitors can use it to showcase products in 3D, provide additional information, conduct interactive demonstrations or create games and activities to engage visitors.
- Conferences and presentations: In these types of events AR can be used to improve the experience for attendees. Speakers can overlay graphics and visuals in real time to illustrate their speeches, facilitate understanding and make presentations more interactive and engaging.
- Sporting events: Sporting events can benefit from augmented reality by providing real-time information on players, statistics, scores and replays of key plays. In addition, interactive experiences can be created for spectators, such as virtual games that are superimposed on the playing field.
- Cultural and artistic events: To enrich exhibitions, concerts, festivals or any socio-cultural event and offer a more immersive experience. For example, historical information or artistic details can be superimposed on works of art, sculptures or landmarks, giving visitors a deeper and more contextual perspective. Another example would be to offer an immersive experience at concerts or festivals, from avatars to gamification games to enhance the experience and generate engagement.
- Educational and training events: To deliver interactive, hands-on programmes. Participants can explore 3D educational content, interact with virtual simulations or participate in game-based learning activities that enhance their educational experience.
- Marketing events and promotions: To attract visitors and generate engagement. They can offer interactive activities, games or branded experiences that allow attendees to interact with products or services in a unique and memorable way.
- Showrooms: To provide customers with a much more interactive and immersive experience before making a purchase decision. From visualising what a specific product would look like in a specific space to being able to customise details of it or even offer different explanations and information through interactive elements or even an avatar. This optimises business efficiency by reducing the costs associated with physical inventory and staff.
These are just a few examples, but in general, any type of event that seeks to create an interactive, engaging and personalised experience can benefit from augmented reality. The key is to identify the specific objectives of the event and design an AR implementation strategy that fits those needs.
Do you want information on how to take advantage of AR at an event? Visit our Experience Library and get inspired by all the examples by sector and degree of difficulty or contact us via our chat.
APP vs WEB AR for events
Augmented reality on the web (web AR) offers a number of specific benefits compared to augmented reality in mobile applications (app AR) when it comes to events. Some of these benefits include:
- Barrier-free access: The AR website does not require users to download and install an additional app on their mobile devices. This removes a significant barrier and makes it easier for event participants to quickly access AR experiences. They can simply open a link in their web browser and start interacting immediately, increasing engagement and adoption.
- Broad reach: By using the AR website, you can reach a wider audience, as you are not limited to users who have your app installed. You can easily share the AR web link through various platforms, such as social media, email and instant messaging, allowing for wider dissemination and easier access for participants.
- Instant updates: With web AR, you can make updates and improvements in real time. Because web AR experiences run on servers, any modifications you make are automatically reflected the next time users access web AR. This gives you considerable flexibility to adjust and improve the event experience without having to go through the process of updating a mobile app.
- Interoperability and accessibility: Web AR supports a wide variety of devices and platforms. You can create web AR experiences that work on iOS and Android devices, as well as desktop computers and other devices that support web browsers. This allows for greater interoperability and ensures that more participants can access the experience regardless of the device they are using. At Onirix, in particular, we guarantee 94% browser compatibility worldwide.
In general, web AR offers a more accessible, affordable and easily accessible solution for events, allowing for greater engagement and reach. If you want to learn more about the differences between these two ways of consuming augmented reality, we invite you to read our post about web AR vs app AR.
The future of AR for events
The future of augmented reality for events – and here we should also include extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) – is promising and is expected to continue to evolve and transform the way we interact and experience events. As some trends and possible future developments of AR for events we could talk about more immersive experiences, more natural interactions with these technologies, more personalisation and user participation, more and more integration with other devices, greater accessibility and consequent cost reduction or real-time data analysis.
In short, AR, along with XR and VR, will continue to play an important role in enhancing the event experience, providing new ways to interact, entertain and educate attendees. Over time we will see further integration of these technologies to enrich our relationship with the physical and digital world.
How is augmented reality used in events?
Augmented reality (AR) is increasingly being used at events to provide immersive and interactive experiences for attendees. Here are some ways in which augmented reality can be used at events:
– Product visualisation, to display products in 3D without physically having them.
– Maps and navigation, to provide interactive maps to guide attendees.
– Interactive entertainment, to provide AR games and activities.
– Enhanced presentations, to enrich presentations with 3D graphics and objects.
– Interactive content, to access videos and links by scanning bookmarks.
– Brand experiences, to create filters and virtual product trials.
– Virtual tours, to provide information about exhibits or locations.
– Training and education, to provide hands-on, interactive demonstrations.
Overall, AR adds an extra dimension to the attendee experience at events, making them more engaging, informative and interactive. As AR technology continues to evolve, the possibilities are vast and increasingly exciting.
What are the best ways to use AR in an event?
The best ways to use augmented reality at an event can vary depending on the type of event and the objectives you want to achieve. Here we offer different effective options to make the most of AR at an event:
– Product exploration: View products in 3D.
– Interactive entertainment: Create AR games and activities to entertain attendees.
– Enhanced Presentations: Enhance presentations with 3D graphics and objects.
– Guided navigation: Provides AR maps and guides for orientation.
– Branded experiences: Create customised virtual product trials and activities.
– Education and training: Delivers interactive AR workshops and training.
– Virtual tours: Provide extra information about points of interest.
– Shareable content: Design experiences that can be shared on social networks.
– Interaction and feedback: Use AR for surveys and participation.
– Collaborative activities: Create teamwork experiences with AR.
The choice of how to use AR at an event will depend on your objectives, the type of event and the preferences of your audience. The key is to create immersive and engaging experiences that add value and memorability to the attendee experience.
Do the attendees need to download an APP to use AR in the event?
Not necessarily. Thanks to Web Augmented Reality (Web AR) technology, attendees do not have to download a specific application to use AR at the event. This has several advantages over traditional Augmented Reality applications:
– Immediate and massive access through the web browser.
– Compatibility with multiple devices and operating systems.
– It does not take up space on the user’s device.
– Easy and centralised updates.
– Simpler promotion through links.
– Fewer privacy and security concerns.
Web AR therefore offers a more accessible, convenient and versatile way to provide augmented reality experiences at events by eliminating the need for attendees to download an additional app.