Many people shy away from using augmented reality (AR) to enhance their events, often confusing it with virtual reality (VR) and assuming that it’ll be more effort than it’s worth. But augmented reality is well worth exploring!
While VR setups can be complicated and expensive, requiring physical equipment like fully-immersive headsets, augmented reality is a digital overlay that people view through devices like phones, tablets, and AR glasses. This lightweight and affordable addition to your event can enhance it in many different ways.
Augmented reality can improve your guests’ overall experience in a variety of areas. Check out these innovative examples of how AR can improve engagement, sociability, and brand impact at your next event!
1. Roll Out a Virtual Photo Booth With AR Face Filters
Virtual photo booths are a great addition to any virtual or hybrid event. They provide a fun and social activity for your audience to participate in together, and the photos can be used to generate a live gallery, contest or mosaic—helping to create even more engagement.
Take it to the next level with Ubersnap’s augmented reality virtual photo booth, where you can try on different AR face filters—from cool transformations to wacky effects. Think Instagram’s or TikTok’s camera, but branded with your company’s visuals and embedded inside your website or event platform.
In fact, we’ve embedded an example right below—so you can try it yourself!
You can use Ubersnap’s standard AR filters or work with their team of artists and developers to create your own custom AR filters.
2. Boost an Event’s Engagement
The cutting-edge nature of AR is bound to wow event attendees from the moment they walk in the door, making them feel like they’ve stepped right into the future! The added layer of complexity that augmented reality provides will make any event richer and more exciting.
For personal events like weddings, this makes life’s precious moments all the more memorable. In corporate and tradeshow event settings, the added level of engagement offers attendees a more impressive experience overall, making each showcase more striking amidst hefty competition.
Just imagine an event where you could let people engage in thrilling virtual features like Acura’s “What a Race” AR experience: After enjoying those cutting-edge interactive opportunities at your event, people won’t forget it anytime soon!
3. Streamline Advertising
Another key detail to consider is advertising. If you’re putting together a tradeshow or corporate event, then ads are bound to pull a great deal of focus—and that means advertising should be easier than ever.
The cost of developing an AR experience that includes virtual ads can be less than the expenses of creating and shipping physical signs, and those savings scale alongside event size. Besides, who wants to deal with the preparation, setup, and takedown of physical advertisements when you could keep it simple with AR instead?
Bon V!V used AR to set up an advertisement to display a virtual drink vending machine—boost your event with similarly streamlined yet highly impactful ads.
Augmented reality can also help people find their way while attending your event. Varying levels of AR navigation complexity can enable you to guide your guests to event hotspots that you don’t want them to miss.
AR navigation can also help any event (especially larger ones like tradeshows) feel less overwhelming. People who spend less time searching have more energy to enjoy themselves and focus on the messages they’re meant to receive.
Similarly to how Lowes has already used AR to direct customers and help them navigate their stores, you can use AR navigation to help attendees breeze through your event layout and focus on what matters most.
5. Improve Event Planning and Training
Great news for event planners and corporate managers: augmented reality can start revolutionising your event before it even begins! The same virtual 3D models and floor plans that can help create advertisements and navigation tools can assist your team in organising and planning your event layout.
You can also use AR as a training tool to train staff members and employees beforehand, teaching them about the floor plan along with what they’ll be doing and where.
Plenty of companies already used augmented reality to familiarize their sales and production teams with the inner workings of new products—and using AR to train your event team is just as effective and convenient!
6. Improve Sponsorships and Showcases
One highly efficient way to fund your event is through sponsorships—but of course, you have to hold up your end of the deal by spotlighting your sponsors well. And what better way to do this than by utilizing the engagement-driving features of augmented reality?
When you showcase your sponsors with cutting-edge AR displays and interactive features, you’ll upsell your sponsors much more effectively. You’re also more likely to drive better engagement from attendees that will sustain after the event.
Improved conversion rates and engagement for your sponsors will increase the likelihood of hooking even better sponsorships for future events. And vendors will see the same appeal, resulting in a better vendor pool for corporate networking events and tradeshows.
Coca-Cola used AR features to advertise sports sponsorships with highlight clips, and you can offer similarly rewarding engagement opportunities at your event.
7. Use AR Name Tags and Business Cards to Improve Networking
We’ve all been there: You meet someone important, but then you forget their name on the spot! For events that strongly focus on networking and professional connections, AR name tags can help turn potentially embarrassing moments into lighthearted networking opportunities.
Numerous brands have already used AR business cards, making it more enjoyable to meet people at events—and the same idea can be applied to AR name tags! Once you can see someone’s name and professional details through augmented reality, networking becomes easier than ever.
Companies like INSCALE and GND offer some great AR business card options that could easily be converted into name tags for corporate events.
8. Games Featuring AR Make Events More Fun
Including AR games is a great way for people to enjoy your event and remain involved. Options include stationary games, as well as “scavenger hunt” games that you can use to guide players to key vendors or areas in your event.
And don’t forget about prizes! Depending on budgeting, you may be able to offer winners everything from coupons to complete products, establishing a link between customers and vendors or sponsors.
Moonpig’s game of catching falling digital gifts in a virtual sack is an excellent example of an AR game that would enhance any event.
9. Generate More Interest for Your Event
When you advertise an AR event, people immediately get excited! You can boost ticket sales and attendance rates by advertising AR ahead of time. And the appeal isn’t limited to ticket-buyers—you’re more likely to pull better vendors and sponsors when you advertise the AR aspect of your event as well.
You can even offer a little preview of what your event will offer by making the event ads themselves interactive through augmented reality: Companies like Samsung and Aircards have released highly successful AR ads. This approach will also motivate people to download your AR app ahead of time, minimizing hiccups since they’ll have it ready before they even arrive.
10. Make Product Spotlights More Interactive
People can only remember so many ad signs and banners, but the interactivity of AR makes brands far more memorable. AR allows vendors to spotlight their latest products on a whole new level, demonstrating features in greater depth and building customers’ trust.
Tech and auto companies would benefit greatly from AR demo capabilities, as would vendors focused on interior design, travel, or recreational tour packages. Some products simply don’t fit within the venue, making AR the perfect solution.
Luminaire used an AR app to enable people to see how their room would look with different lighting features, establishing a much stronger customer connection.
11. Provide Simple, Easy Entertainment
While interactive demos, ads, and games can be engaging, sometimes event attendees want to take a break for a bit. You can use AR here, too. For instance, you could display a short movie or add a new layer of dimension to a company’s story video in a cafeteria area within your venue so that guests can rest and refresh.
Additionally, AR entertainment is very lightweight and often much easier to manage than more traditional forms of entertainment that require all kinds of equipment and setup. And the AR content is more captivating, delivering more of a return!
For example: Alnwick Garden used their brochure to offer a relaxing preview of their gardens and tell a bit of their story.
12. AR Apps Prolong Engagement
A key event goal is for people to remember everything they experienced later on. Advertisements and product pitches normally include a call to action, and you want to make it easy for people to answer that call.
Budget at the onset of your app development for additional interactive, post-event features so that your attendees can engage further and continue interacting. This perk will delight anyone who bought a ticket and already got an exciting experience at your event—only to find that you offered even more after the fact!
Just about any AR examples that you’ve seen thus far could be extended to offer more games, interactive ads, or fun and engaging promotions later.
Augmented reality is the future of communication. The improvements in interactivity, engagement, and enjoyability will result in more lasting impressions and better engagement. Fun features like AR photo booths, games, and in-depth demonstrations can not only grant success for the duration of the event, but continue to pay off long afterwards—so don’t hesitate to include augmented reality in your next event!