Event planners are starting to inject real-world connections in meetings by including artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. Often this has been limited to merging data from social media profiles to populate conference apps and suggest meetings. GPS capabilities most often show up in treasure hunts and suggestions for breakout sessions, but Apple could be taking that interaction to a higher level if rumors about the inclusion of augmented reality in the September release of Apple iOS11 are true.
The blog Apple Insider is reporting that ARKit, a new framework built into the next iPhone release, could make creating immersive augmented reality easy for anyone to incorporate in new products. This is good news for planners, who will be able to connect with attendees in more meaningful ways.
After years of speculation, Absolute Exhibits, a trade show display provider, is calling AR one of the top trade show trends of 2017. Here are some examples of how you might incorporate the virtual world on the exchange floor in the near future.
1. Push Notifications
Conference apps can include the ability to sense in real time when someone you know you want to meet is within a set distance, and send them a note on their phone, inviting them to drop by for a chat.
We all know the power is in the showing rather than the telling. AR and VR allow you to demonstrate how a property or product will feel and perform, rather than listing out square-footages and room amenities. A virtual tour allows potential visitors to explore on their terms, looking closer at what catches their attention. Taking a photo of a product can reveal more information and easily notify a vendor if follow-up is appropriate.
3. Interactive, Accurate Maps
If realistic AR is built into most phones, it will eliminate the need for awkward headsets and put the power in the hands of anyone who wants it. It untethers attendees from relying on GPS satellites to figure out where they are by referring to actual 3-D images from their phone to guide them to the next session or the right booth. Changes in the floor plan? No problem. Unlike a printed map, a few clicks can update the app for accurate results every time.