In the highly competitive events industry, standing out matters. Companies with the most eye-catching and creative displays will see the highest footfall. Because in the end, a standout display will secure a higher return on your investment. So it’s no surprise that more and more event marketers are turning to Augmented Reality. Transforming their exhibition stands into engaging, immersive experiences.

AR drives traffic and helps you to secure sales.

Augmented Reality (AR) adds text, images and 3D models to the real world around you. This means that, unlike Virtual Reality (VR), AR is with you wherever you go. By adding to the world rather than replacing it, AR becomes much, much more immersive. And with tools like Apple’s ARKit 2 and Google’s ARCore, more and more businesses are exploring the benefits of augmented reality in their industries. The events space is no exception! Here’s how this emerging technology could completely transform your event marketing.

Augmented Reality in Event Marketing

As event marketers will know, creating a memorable stand is one of the top priorities. It’s a fact that eye-catching stands are the most effective way of attracting attendees. Take a look around at any event and you’ll see a ton of colourful exhibition stands, all screaming for attendees’ attention. But if every display uses bright colours to stand out, then none of them stand out!

An immersive experience offers you a new and exciting way to draw a crowd in. An interactive booth takes your event marketing to the next level, helping you to create a truly memorable experience. Augmented reality makes sure your brand stands out in a crowded space.

There are typically two ways to do achieve this: mobile apps or headsets. AR headsets like Hololens are great for individuals but at events, they can be problematic. They often need a lengthy setup process and come with concerns about the sanitation behind sharing headsets. But mobile apps for large screen devices like iPads need little to no setup and don’t come with the same safety concerns. So, how can you use an AR exhibition app to supercharge your event marketing?

The key is to build your immersive experience around a want, need or problem. There’s little to no point developing an augmented reality app for the sake of it. Instead, you need to think about the value AR can offer your event marketing. Are you looking for an engaging way of showing your business process? Do you want to demonstrate a product or service in a memorable way? To get the ball rolling, here are a few ideas for great AR experiences.

How Event Marketers are Using Augmented Reality

Show Off Your Product or Service

At events, many companies face a big problem: how do we demonstrate our product or service? It’s not always feasible to get large scale products (like vehicles for example) to event spaces. And if it is, then the cost is often premium. But with AR, you can transform your exhibition stand space into a full-scale demonstration.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a product that ships in a huge range of colours and styles. Typically, you would be stuck with one or two demonstration models. Relying on an iPad to show interested attendees the full range. Or worse, just directing them to your website. But with a bespoke AR app, attendees can view the full range of products. They can pick between styles and colours, moving around the stand to get a full 360-degree look. The app can then link to a checkout page, helping you to drive conversions right then and there.

This type of engaging experience is essential when it comes to event marketing. Because engaged visitors are 50 per cent more likely to remember your brand post-event and are much more likely to follow up with a sales enquiry.

Bringing Your Business Process to Life

A lot of companies will advertise their business, product or service process. And at events, it’s common to see these processes plastered across stands, banners and brochures. But in today’s world, attendees want more. One way to bring your process to life, whether it’s your customer journey or your manufacturing line, is an augmented reality experience.
AR can turn your static product lifecycle into an immersive experience. Each point becomes an interactive hub for text, images and videos. This makes for a much more memorable time, ensuring that your brand stays in attendees’ minds long after they leave the event.

When visitors to your stand have had a unique experience through AR, they are 50 per cent more likely to remember you over any other exhibitor they spoke to. This means when you follow up with contacts after your exhibition, they’ll already have a connection with your brand.

Secure Leads with Gamification

Many event marketers are taking advantage of AR to create experiences that are both fun and offer a return on investment. From mini easter egg hunts to simple AR challenges. With ARKit 2 and ARCore’s new focus on shared augmented reality experiences, you can build collaborative or competitive mini-games to draw in crowds.

To play these games and challenges, you can first ask event attendees for their contact details. Or, to speed this up, the app could make use of the device camera to capture each attendees’ QR code badge. Gamification offers a great way of attracting attendees to your stand. But it also helps you capture their contact information.

What’s Next?

Are you interested in enhancing your event marketing with augmented reality? Then we’d love to hear from you. We’ve been working with event marketers to develop a bespoke, AR app for their exhibition stand. By building a unique iPad app, we’ve helped our client to drive conversions and enhance their brand image.

Let’s talk AR!