Dos and Don'ts: Enhancing Your Next Trade Show With Virtual Reality

posted Nov 16 2017

When exhibiting at a trade show, you are bound to have a set preconceived expectations – creating instant buzz around your products, generating good press and of course going back with dozens of workable leads. The problem is that these objectives are shared by all the other exhibitors as well, and you need to stand out to be able to maximize your ROI. VR or Virtual Reality helps you do just that. The technology is any marketer’s best bet as it helps get the audience’s attention, can pique interest, and make them desire your products or services – that’s when they act (or give in). The AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action) is at play here, and that’s what makes VR all the more important, especially when the audience is bombarded with hundreds of sales pitches, and you want them to listen to yours. Time to use VR to your advantage!

Don’t just talk about your product, let them experience it

You will hand out informative brochures, show educative videos and tell a lot of things about your brand to those who visit your trade show stand. But they’ll always be on the lookout for something extra. Like, what goes on at your office? Who are your “real” employees? They understand that you might have some sales professionals for the event. Many of them may also be interested in the production process. In short, they’ll want to walk through office virtually. Now 3D models might help, but VR will do a much better job. And for those who are patiently waiting for their turn, you may want to put up a TV show or play a pre-recorded footage to keep them engaged.

Take care of the technical loopholes

VR will drive the visitors to your trade show stand, but to keep them there for a relatively long time is in your hands. Start by making sure that the headset you use is working fine. For instance, if you are using Samsung Gear, ask your staff to charge the batteries at regular intervals. Hygiene is also a matter of concern, because a large number of people will be using the same equipment. Keep the devices clean with wipes, the sweaty ones won’t be well received. Here’s what else you should do:

  • Keep an eye on the screen—if it become blurry or if you notice some smudges, clear them right away.
  • Make the visitors feel involved by handing out flyers with a QR code to download the app
  • Make them feel safe. For most of the first-time users, VR can be a bit intense. They’ll move in a direction they are not supposed to. Avoid this at any cost. So if are counting on the HTC Vive, don’t forget to grab the virtual chaperon, because whosoever is using the device should know how far they can walk.

Don’t overkill or you’ll end up shooing away the visitors

Your demo should be of 1-3 minutes or 5 at maximum. Dragging it any further may make the visitors lose interest. It’s not the entire show – move on to the next activity that you have planned. Also, it’s important for you to ease people into the experience. Ask yourself these questions and be prepared:

  • How many of them have experienced VR before?
  • Will too much too soon make them nauseous? What about motion sickness?
  • What if they lose their balance and trip over? (being transported to a different dimension may lead to an untoward incident) Wouldn’t it better if you have a seating arrangement in place?
  • Is VR the same as good old one-dimensional videos? (well, it is not, and the same rules don’t apply).

VR will certainly enhance the visitor experience, especially if you are the only exhibitor with a demonstration. And when you are done, do ask the audience for their feedback.


Trade Show Experts

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