Augmented and virtual reality are technologies that have grabbed the attention of many small and large-scale businesses across the years thanks to the crowd-gathering engagement that they can bring to events. Already being used across multiple types of events from product launches and trade shows through to meetings and conferences, the technologies immerse delegates into virtual and augmented worlds allowing for greater interaction and enhanced experiences.

But what is augmented reality? AR creates an extension to reality and overlays virtual objects that individuals can interact with. A popular example of this is Pokemon Go, which incorporated AR and allowed players to attempt to catch Pokemon — which appeared in reality by using the camera on a mobile phone device. Virtual reality, however, differs slightly in that it immerses you completely in an artificial digital environment. These environments are usually much further from reality, such as a tour of the solar system, for example.

Both AR and VR offer exciting and engaging opportunities to make an event more fun, memorable and immersive, but how can you successfully implement them at your event?

1) Conduct successful hybrid events

In 2016, the organisers of the Summer Olympics, held in Rio, used virtual reality to broadcast the live feed across the globe. This was a huge hit, demonstrating how event organisers can use these technologies not just to encourage more people to join them live, but to make their event go viral.

Such events, known as hybrid events, use augmented reality and virtual reality technologies to give individuals all over the world a chance to experience the event as if they were actually at the venue.

The logistics of crafting a successful event can be challenging. You may have a fantastic venue that’s worked wonders for pre-event engagement, but when it comes to the big day, people can’t attend for various reasons. By introducing virtual reality to create a hybrid event you can bump up your attendee count considerably. Because it’s a novel idea (many attendees won’t necessarily have experienced an event through VR) there’s also the potential for increased engagement and social media coverage — both great for your brand.

2) Boost engagement at the event venue

What if you could demonstrate your next major product in front of the live audience in such a way that they are able to experience all its features in real time?

A perfect example of this type of event is the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Here, car manufacturer Ford used augmented reality to give visitors a look under the bonnets of three different cars. This initiative gave car lovers an opportunity to check out the technology used in the latest Ford models, without Ford needing to physically bring its latest models to the venue.

AR technology is also being used more widely at training events as it can enable a greater learning experience without the need to be in the physical training environment.

It’s only natural that industries want the highest on-site user engagement on the day of a product launch. By implementing augmented or virtual reality, it’s possible to take engagement to new heights. These types of technologies have a magical quality that people love — so much so that a virtual representation of an object can often be more impressive and create more engagement than the real thing.

3) Overlaying content for enhanced presentations

AR can be used by speakers during conferences or workshops to demonstrate complex concepts or ideas in a real environment. This allows speakers to provide tangible examples and establish an instant connection with their audience.  With Apple and Google both developing AR within their smartphones, it is now even more accessible for audiences to interact.

If you’re planning a corporate event, consider using augmented or virtual reality to deliver a memorable experience and make your event a huge success.