Trade fairs, exhibitions, and product demonstrations – these are the key ways in which companies can interact with potential customers directly, invite them to test before they buy, and increase the reach of their brand image. As things were, these types of exhibitions attracted a lot of visitors and generated hype. When augmented reality steps in, the excitement goes through the roof.
Just sitting back and watching products work – or worse, admiring a scale model – was rarely exciting enough or informative enough for a lot of potential buyers. Some stands, where companies sell services, not actual products, only have flyers and brochures to offer. Enter augmented reality, and everything changes. There is something to do, some experience to try for every visitor. And no matter how crowded the stand is, they are not drifting away, but waiting patiently for their turn.
This is quite an achievement for a trade fair or business event. So, how does augmented reality make exhibitions and events so exciting? Here are some ways:
1. Allow Visitors to Interact with Products before the Release
Showcasing a future product at a fair used to be very challenging. Computer simulations, scale models and photos are not enough to give people a sense of what the product does. But, with augmented reality, trade fair visitors can put on the AR goggles and actually interact with the holographic model, and understand its benefits.
More importantly, from the visitors’ reactions and how easy they find it to manipulate the AR model, companies can identify potential design flaws, or ways to make it easier to use.
2. Add Excitement to Keynote Speeches
Unless they hire a gifted public speaker, there is nothing memorable about the keynote presentations at certain public events. By replacing projectors and charts with AR models, speakers can complement a less-than-exciting subject matter with the interactive presentation style.
Augmented reality is truly helpful in helping people visualize abstract data and understand it better. Thus, presentations and speeches can gain more value and help participants leave with more information compared to traditional presentations.
3. Add Fun with Augmented Reality Mirrors and Booths
No matter what industry a company operates in, it should try and add a bit of entertainment to its trade fair stands. People come to these events for fun as much as for the valuable information.
This video shows how the well-known Cambridge University Press managed to attract a lot of visitors to its stands with the Cambridge Yourself booth. Thanks to augmented reality, visitors had their image projected onto well-known Cambridge landmarks and could then get their photo printed as a memento from the event.
AR mirrors are both fun and useful, especially for cosmetics and retail brands. Visitors can try on clothes, haircuts and hair colors, and decide whether they would like to do business with the company.
4. Show Various Customizations with Minimum Inventory
Imagine trying to demonstrate a large kitchen robot with over 10 different accessories. If you had to bring and showcase all of them, you would need a larger stand to store the entire extra inventory and you would only be able to repeat your demonstrations a few times.
With augmented reality, you can bring just the main body of the product, and demonstrate all the possible uses and accessories with holographic models.
5. See Inside Your Product
The product looks great, but how does it really work? What is inside of it? These are valid questions, especially for large industrial machines and automobiles. Ford Motors took advantage of augmented reality to show a real time X-ray image of their products during the 2017 North American Auto Show in Detroit. Each exhibit appeared transparent, showing every part and component under the car body.