New technology opens new horizons for businesses and industries in a whole. Even a trade show industry, which is often considered to be traditional and conservative in some way, leaves plenty of room for innovations and novelties. One of such innovations could be augmented reality(AR), a technology capable of taking exhibitions, booths and even experiences to a brand new level.
What is augmented reality?
This is a technology that allows us by the means of digital devices to lay computer graphics or text over real world objects so that users can see embedded images and manipulate them in real time. Thus, making your trade show booth interactive using this technology, you can gain much more attention, and such a display will definitely stand out among competitors. Nowadays displays with augmented reality can be met at engineering and high-tech exhibitions, auto-moto, real estate, constriction trade shows.
Attendees, who encounter this technology for the first time, can have different, even opposite reactions. Some will be puzzled, trying to find virtual objects they see on a screen of their phones or tablets in the real world, some will be delighted and thrilled, but no matter what reactions they will demonstrate you will reach one important goal – your presentation will be memorable, visitors will talk about it and spread their new experience with others.
Objects of augmented reality are not only static, it is possible to make them move and interact with them as with real objects – look at moving parts of machines, open doors in a virtual building, start different processes. This action can be accompanied with specifications, videos, explanations, also executed in virtual reality.
How can augmented reality help exhibitors?
Augmented reality is not only exciting for visitors. Utilizing this technology companies can solve a number problems they face during exhibiting.
AR can stand in good stead for those exhibitors who, for one reason or another, can’t deliver exhibits to a show. Such reasons can be associated with difficulties in delivering exhibits (for examples, exhibits from abroad); their cost (antiques, pieces of art, fragile and exclusive commodities); large size (machinery, architectural projects); bespoke and custom-built products that are impossible to demonstrate in terms of exhibition (cottage, sets of furniture).
Also, we shouldn’t forget that exhibition space is limited and often expensive. Companies can place several full scale exhibits at a display, but this can be not enough. With augmented reality the quantity of exhibits is not limited.
Moreover, it is not possible to damage or steal valuable commodities, so no need to provide expensive security measures or purchase insurance.
Booth stuff can also find this technology extremely useful. It visually can explain a complex process of manufacture, or demonstrate an inner structure of machines or buildings in an understandable way. It doesn’t mean people at the booth are not needed, but augmented reality can make their task must easier.
As we already mentioned, augmented reality allows interacting with models of products that otherwise are not possible to present at a display. Visitors have an opportunity to ‘make a contact’ with a model, operate it, get acquainted with a range of products this company presents and much more. For this purpose exhibitors will provide visitors with iPads with AR soft, or attendees can try their own gadgets to see virtual objects. Moreover, exhibitors can provide an opportunity for some of the potential vip-clients to carry the whole presentation home in the pocket. It is enough to just fit out clients with software and instructions on how to use it.
The whole exhibition or marketing campaign can be build around augmented reality. Imagine your invite some of the potential clients with AR-powered invitations. They will no doubt arouse much more interest that standard emails or paper invitation. In addition you can supply some of the handouts or giveaways with this technology, and it is for sure that they won’t end up in a dumpster in 5 minutes after a show.
It can be seen as expensive technology, but in fact you will only need to invest in creating virtual models and software. Then you just allocate a space at your display for viewing virtual reality objects, provide your booth with iPads, and that’s all. You can use this technology many times, from show to show, adding more objects if you require. It doesn’t replace a need in traditional booth, but combining these two elements together in attempt of making an interactive display you can achieve much more that using only conventional ways of exhibiting.