Innovation in your exhibition space – Virtual Reality

4 minute read
Image of Greg Walsh

Written by Greg Walsh

For so long the stuff of sci-fi films, virtual reality (VR) finally shot into the mainstream in 2016. It has not taken long for exhibitors to see the benefits. VR is most definitely an innovative way to make your exhibition stand memorable.

With the use of a headset, VR creates an immersive experience for attendees which can transcend any spatial restrictions. In fact, the only limit in what you create is your imagination.

It is a perfectly affordable technology with a variety of systems ranging from the high-end Oculus Rift to the cheap as chips Google Cardboard. Depending on what you go for, you may need supporting computer equipment, but some headsets work with just a smartphone.

What to consider when using VR at exhibitions

We would not suggest VR is right for every exhibitor. There are some important factors you must consider, and it is best to work with an expert.

Let’s start with the content. While you could use third-party software, or modify your existing non-VR content, it is unlikely to have that wow factor. No, we would advise thinking hard about what you want to achieve with your VR and developing something bespoke.

Then you must consider your audience. Virtual reality is pretty new in the field, so do consider whether it is appropriate for your audience.

Looking at the audience interaction in more detail, virtual reality is experienced at a personal level and may be a strange or even overwhelming experience for some. One of the technical challenges is countering motion sickness which may affect some people.

Virtual reality doesn’t lend itself naturally to being a shared experience, but there are ways of overcoming this. For example, displaying what the user sees on large screens for everyone else’s benefit.

Depending on your capacity, your VR may only be enjoyed by one person at a time. So there is a wider consideration about stand management and people waiting their turn to experience it.

It all just needs that extra bit of thought going into it, and you’ll get real benefit from working with an expert like RTH. We can manage the process for you and bring in specialist agencies to develop the content. Get it right and a good VR experience could help make you the star of the next show.

Examples of VR at exhibitions

VR may not have been around for that long, but RTH is already experienced at delivering it for our clients. From letting delegates board a virtual aircraft to experiencing a miniature fly-through of a jet engine, we have used virtual reality to bring exhibition stands to life.

For the Paris Airshow RTH client UTAS wanted to highlight to attendees the many and varied products they provided within a commercial aircraft. Most of these are out of sight to guests. What better way to show all their products than in a dedicated VR area! For this seated experience, a person was transported through the aircraft as if they were shrunken down to a minuscule level. They passed through walls, electronic avionics, cabins, landing gear and even outside of the flying aircraft. It was quite the ride and effectively highlighted the many and varied products UTAS offers in the world of commercial aviation.

Want to find out how virtual reality can take your exhibition presence to the next level?

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