Why You Should Use VR to Complement Your Event (& 5 Practical Examples)

Oct 13 2016

Large brands have already fully embraced the power of VR to create meaningful connections and enhance experiences at their events. Still Virtual Reality is still quite new and is guaranteed to create a memorable experience for your event attendees - wether it's before, after or during the event. We picked up some of the most notable examples of VR being used at the events and broken down why these have worked and how you could use it for your event (no matter the size or budget).

1. Red Bull Air Race Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Experience

VR allows you to relive an experience you would never get otherwise. The Red Bull Air Race Experience placed the participants directly in the cockpit to experience what it's like to be an Air Race pilot.

How can you recreate this for your event? This idea works great for a sports event, and you don't even have to go large-scale or invest in the expensive Oculus Rift solution. There are many VR solutions knocking about that will allow you to use your existent phone to play a myriad of 360 videos from YouTube or Facebook and let people experience what it's like to surf a wave, jump from a plane, bungee jump or participate in a fitness workout. This is a great promotional tool to use at showcases when you're promoting your upcoming events and heating an interest.

2. Apple Music & U2 Music Video Bus Experience

Apple Music teamed up with U2 to create this VR video experience where the viewers were transported into fans homes and places around the world performing the "Song for Someone". The experience was packed into a bus and placed outside the venues before the U2 concert actually started, creating an ultimate exclusive "behind the scenes" experience.

How can you recreate this for your event? VR experiences work can be used to bring the fans closer to their favourite actors, musicians or sports stars. It also works a great "behind the scenes" pre-gig entertainment. Instead of having the attendees wait for a performance to begin, you can create a special video (there are a good few consumer 360 cameras around that don't cost a fortune) of a rehearsal, interview or any other special material that will put the attendees in the same room as the performers, so to speak.

3. Collective VR Experience with TED

Chris Milk brings the attendees together for the "world's largest collective VR experience" using Google Cardboard VR sets. The video experiences in this particular presentation was a showcase of the videos available on Within - the platform Milk founded. The TED talk itself is worth watching as well, to get an insight into many other great uses of VR as art.

How can you recreate this for your event? Collective VR experiences have been around for a while now, and there's a bunch of great examples how you can turn these into events themselves - check Virtual Reality Dinner from Trailerpark Festival, for an example. Google Cardboards are the most affordable VR sets around, and it's easy to have them branded for your special event, providing all of your attendees with an opportunity to enjoy a VR experience.

4. The North Face and Jaunt VR in-store experiences

North Face collaborated with Jaunt to create a series of immersive 360 experiences to get the visitors in-store to "bring people into expeditions" and "spark people's interest in getting outdoors.

How can you recreate this for your event? This is a great example of Vr use if you're in business of travel or you're promoting your outdoor brand with an event. What better way to heat up an interest for being outdoors or going to a place than being transported there in matter of seconds to get a taster?

5. VR video experience for charity events

A good few charities are starting to use VR as a method of bringing awareness and evoking empathy though immersive experiences. Fundraiser attendees get to experience what it's like to live in the shoes of the people supported by the charities that organise the events. VR videos work better than pictures or ordinary videos, simply because the experience requires full attention and concentration.

How can you recreate this for your event? VR video can be costly, some production companies are working with charities to produce materials that charities need - it's in the matter for finding them. A consumer camera can be a solutions as well, if you have an opportunity to film at the locations. You can also look for 360 videos on YouTube and Facebook and see if there are any videos that have already been created for the cause that your charity supports.

Bonus: Game of Thrones: The Ice Elevator Experience

The Game of Thrones exhibition attendees got to experience full-on what it's like to ascend to The Wall in the famed elevator, get shot down by the wildlings and falling down as a result. The experience became one of the most memorable showpieces during the exhibition. If your budget affords it, you can order a custom experience for your event to make it more memorable.