Best of Both Worlds: Bringing Human Connection to Another Dimension
Ever hear of the Flintstones? What about the Jetsons? Fun fact, the Flintstones and the Jetsons were made by the same producer. That’s right, she told the story of human connection from the stone age to space ships. Who would have thought decade old cartoons could be relevant to face-to-face marketing? Just as Fred’s prehistoric ride morphed into George’s flying space ship, the world of mixed reality has slowly begun to creep into the way we consume content and engage with others.
The way digital and physical worlds interact is constantly evolving, it’s not a trend as much as a way to consume content in another dimension. In the near future, we see people interacting with the virtual world and real world in seamless, frictionless and continuous ways, not bound by delineations of experience between ‘VR,’ ‘AR’ or ‘MR.’
We know, that’s a lot of acronyms, right? So what exactly does ‘VR,’ ‘AR,’ and ‘MR’ mean and why are they important? We're going to break it down for you:
VR = VIRTUAL REALITY
A computer generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real way using special electronics. Still confused? Ever play laser tag with special goggles? That’s virtual reality!
AR = AUGMENTED REALITY
Technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world.
MR = MIXED REALITY
Imagine a sliding scale… mixed reality represents this scale between a fully physical environment with no virtual elements, and a completely virtual environment.
It may sound like we’re talking George Jetson future here but really you are already experiencing the melding of virtual and real worlds. Ever used Snapchat? If so, you have teetered on the border of the virtual world mixing with the real world. Pretty cool stuff, right?
Now consider how this technology can be used outside of a social platform. The introduction of these realities have big implications for tradeshows, events, and customer experiences. Bringing engagement to a whole new level and dimension (see what we did there?).
BUT WAIT! FACE-TO-FACE MARKETING IS SACRED, ISN'T IT?
We hear you. Rest assured incorporating mixed reality technologies into your marketing does not devalue the face-to-face interaction. After all, we are social creatures by nature and make decisions emotionally. Social media and digital media can get scale, the reach achieved through Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram is amazing. But reach is not the same as impact. It still holds true, to really connect we have to get face-to-face.
SO, YOU GET HOW AR/VR/MR CAN BE USED ON SOCIAL PLATFORMS, BUT HOW CAN YOU USE THIS TO UP YOUR MARKETING GAME?
Don’t wig out, Derse has developed 6 core fundamentals to follow when integrating:
- Story over Tech – make sure you have a strong understanding of your story first, then determine if mixed reality can make it better by telling your story in a compelling way. We see clients start with wanting a “flashy” mixed reality experience and then force the story into it. Start with a strong and engaging story before integrating mixed reality.
- Interactivity is Like Salt – A pinch of interactivity will bring out the best flavors of your story—too much will overpower it. Flashy digital technology can overwhelm your visitors, get them intrigued and continuing to engage with you.
- Revere the Customer Experience – Your tradeshow exhibit should take your customers on a journey. Interactive elements are a complimentary step in the story and should be used to enhance the customer experience, not be the experience.
- Be Bullet Proof -– Don’t assume your technology will work or that people will get it. Prototype and test your mixed reality experience. Have back up plans and back up technology on tradeshow day and don’t be afraid to adjust if needed.
- Create Immersions into Magical Places – Blur the lines to create a sense of wonder. Everyday can be “Fantastical” by augmenting your tradeshow environment in a way that gets visitors to see things in new dimensions.
- Design for Social Interaction – Work to ensure that social behavior acts as the experience core. Your tradeshow exhibit shouldn’t disappear, in your visitors’ minds, as quickly as a Snapchat. Design your experience to encourage face-to-face engagement among your exhibit staff and visitors.
The proper use of technology coupled with the power of face-to-face interaction can not only be a significant influencer, it can also be a valuable focus group to gather insights and move business forward.
Bottom line – We may not be flying around in spaceships but with the power of AR/VR/MR we sure can feel like it!
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