Are immersive media the future of B2B communication? NürnbergMesse implemented a virtual reality pilot project at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2018.
A box in front of the eyes, hesitant steps and careful tactile movements: Those who immerse themselves in another world by means of virtual reality (VR) offer viewers an odd sight. And yet: Wherever VR goggles invite you to try them out, queues form. New technologies arouse curiosity!
This phenomenon could also be observed at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2018. Because a typical application scenario is the virtual trade fair stand extension. Immersive media, such as virtual and augmented reality (AR), form a special form of presentation for visual content and thus open up new possibilities for marketing. Immersion is the technical term for "immersion" in a virtual world that is perceived as very real because interaction with the computer-generated environment is possible.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies have a long history of development. The term virtual reality was coined in the eighties, when the first VR projects were already being implemented. Currently, immersive media are on the rise. But will they also become the central niche technology for the industry of the future, and how can companies already use them for themselves today?
Especially in the consulting and planning phase, new sales channels are being opened up by AR and VR. As an extended type of presentation at trade fairs, they provide insights that would otherwise be difficult to depict at the stand, for example into the production line in the factory, or the smallest technological processes and product specifics that would not be visible to the naked eye. A consultant explains details or runs a demo that already answers many questions. From a marketing point of view, it is crucial that companies can address their customers emotionally in this way. This is very effective in getting brand messages across. Another plus point for market research and product development: By observing the user and his usage behavior, important insights can be gained - what are the customer's preferences? What weaknesses does the product possibly still have?
One hurdle for the integration of VR is the high investment risk. That's why large companies in particular are pioneers. The initial creation of a virtual showroom is also technologically complex, and the market is correspondingly consulting-intensive. The know-how of specialized service providers is in demand, also in order to avoid buying expensive technologies and development services without deriving any benefit from them. That is why companies must first ask themselves the important question: What do I get out of it?
NürnbergMesse presented its first own virtual reality application at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE from 21-24 March 2018. Together with the Nuremberg technology company nous, a virtual world was developed in which users could interact playfully with virtual reality in 3D experience spaces with the motto "Windows". One goal was to show a technically sophisticated implementation and thus the state of the art. The visitors also learned how this technology could be used in their company. After all, as with any marketing tool, the same applies to immersive media: relevance and added value through suitable content are extremely important.
Clarification of terms: Virtual Reality (VR) vs. Augmented Reality (AR)
From a marketing perspective, VR and AR have comparable strengths. With a VR headset system, the user is completely immersed in the virtual world. In contrast, AR glasses allow the user to look at the real environment and extend it with virtual objects (also called "mixed reality"). Example: During the planning phase, a door manufacturer projects its products into existing rooms, which can then be viewed up close and even "walked through".