Whether it’s raising your longbow to defend the citadel from invading Vikings, soaring through the air as a superhero or encountering a majestic blue whale under deepest ocean, virtual reality, known as “VR”, offers the chance to take on a new persona and express hidden skills.
It’s about taking experience to the next level: a comfortable headset with concealed high-quality headphones transports the client into a new world. Normal surroundings instantly become a prehistoric rainforest, a haunted dungeon, the penthouse of an urban skyscraper. Easy-to-use handheld controllers offer hundreds of new tools at hand. Gone is the dull corporate space: here is a dream come to life. Drawing, model-making, mapping, measuring and imaginingas a team enters new planes. In VR, the brain comes alive, senses sharpen, and the ordinary person is engaged in tasks like never before.
Wouldn’t this make the ordinary business day a lot more… exciting? Of course it would. And more than that, introducing your clients to VR events could be the key ingredient to getting those cash registers ringing in a highly competitive market.
Imagine how much better an architect could communicate with colleagues in a 3D virtual environment; or how much clearer a project manager could direct engineers with such an immersive visual aid. What if ‘work’ could become creative collaboration and solve stubborn business problems?
Sir Philip Green’s Topshop has been using VR to give high street shopping a new edge over online ordering with multiple events since 2014. To combat the ever-growing challenge of luring shoppers away from their computer screens and into its shops, the fashion retailer invited visitors to virtually sit at the front row of their A/W catwalk, broadcast live from the Tate Modern. Excited women gasped in delight as they found themselves gazing up at beauties modelling the latest Topshop collection. Though just five fashion fans were invited to wear the VR headsets, their viewpoints were broadcast on screens to a gathering crowd of passers-by.
The womenswear brand calls it “retail theatre” and in subsequent events, combined the VR with a custom Snapchat filter to encourage social sharing of the experience online. Stepping up its game in summer 2017, Topshop allowed Oxford Street shoppers to sit in a rubber ring and — via an Oculus headset — fly down a magical water slide over London buses and pedestrians. When run-of-the-mill digital marketing such as emails, banner ads and text messages are foiled by ad-blocking software, isn’t it about time your company ran a promotion which people actually want to take part in?
In the entertainment industry, filmmakers are plagued by pirate recordings of their latest films freely available for download. In a bid to bring viewers back into cinemas, Goosebumps director Rob Letterman reshot a scene from his 2015 film alongside Sony to create an unforgettable real-world event. Seating the VR user in a car beside a frantic Jack Black, the viewer realises they are fleeing a fast-and-furious flight from a giant insect monster. Tyres screech, street lights speed past the window and the enraged praying mantis finally thuds onto the bonnet in a tremendous thrill ride.
Touring 11 major US cities, the VR experience, according to Elias Plishner, Sony Pictures’ VP digital marketing, would “put moviegoers inside the film itself”. This brings a unique importance to the movie fans’ in-person presence which smart phones and tablet screens are fast eroding. For those who could not visit one of the tour locations, a free VR app was made available on iOS and Android. Merge VR, who made the app, benefited from increased awareness through a discount promotion displayed on Sony’s website for the Goosebumps VR event. Opportunities for such inter company collaboration offer yet another dimension of business growth potential.
Contract management systems are spearheading the next wave of streamlining business’s adhoc duties. In a similar vein, VR Events had hoards of freshers queueing up to try out VR in our purpose-built booth on campuses across the UK. On a nationwide tour promoting Tinder, VR Events allowed hundreds of students to play a superhero game in a bid to win a prize from the dating company.
Given the technology of virtual reality is so novel, it’s clear that the chance to try it out is already a huge draw for potential customers and existing employees of any business. Isn’t it funny how so many employees already seem to have holiday booked on the days that training is set to take place? Yet if team-building or customer service guidance was guaranteed to have a virtual reality element, couldn’t we expect to see company engagement skyrocket?
Why not see how a virtual reality jetpack could send your sales skywards? Contact VRE today!