virtual reality

How to Immerse Your Guests With the Ultimate Interactive Experience

Who doesn’t like being immersed? Successful event marketers understand the importance of attendee engagement. That said, too few impact consumers the way they want to be impacted. If you can immerse your audience, you can captivate them. In 2017, interactive technology is king.

The Future of Interactive Visuals

Technology has come a long way. Now, intuitive interfaces are being used alongside touch screen technology. Developers like MultiTaction have strategized the process, making touch display a king-of-the-hill tech avenue. Modern surfaces are using infrared cameras, “seeing” what device users are touching. When sensors can capture dynamic touch range, anything is possible.

So, where does this leave you? It’s a good idea to invest in tech which recognizes a limitless marker input range. Get big with coded event items—like Glenfiddich’s coded glasses. Interactive bars, tables and games, too, can spice up your event. Much can be said for information composition. By creating interactive displays, you can create enthralling technology.

The Modern Brand Experience Studio

If you’re gunning for a highly immersive experience, why settle for a single display? Companies like Ford are creating entire experience studios. Its FordHub, launched back in January, outfitted the Westfield World Trade Center with countless digital experiences. Ford’s innovations addressed today’s city-wide mobility challenges, creating memorable pop-ups worthy of continuous exposure.

Interactive LED displays, illuminated water patterns and innovation challenges are fantastic inclusions. By building alongside other tech providers, you can create an environment which encourages exploration. Provoke curiosity, and help your guests linger.

Downloadable Demos

Where out-of-event immersion is considered, downloadable demos go a long way. Ford’s digital record presentations are a great example, as they’ve let users download configured models in online spaces. Provoke the imagination, and create dialogue between your brand and the consumer. Anyone can install an Oculus Rift booth, and anyone can utilize the iPhone 7’s VR capabilities. In 2017, quality VR needs to be more than immersive. It needs to be memorable.

Pinpointing the Quality Consumer Experience

The goal of any event activation is to garner attention. If you can make your consumer’s feel, you can make them think. If you can make them think, you’ll make them talk. Build lasting impressions, and engage attendees at the ground level. A little immersion goes a long way, and you needn’t resort to straight-up VR displays to invoke excitement. Loyal audiences stick around, but they’re paying attention to brands maintaining a competitive edge.

How Jaguar Shared the Ultimate Driving Experience


VR is here, and it’s only getting more popular. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and even Google Cardboard have opened the doors to immersive advertisement—and event marketers are taking note. Virtual reality is today’s one-stop-shop experiential toolkit, capable of immersing entire audiences into brand messages, product tests and strategic launches. Now, Jaguar has taken the reigns—and they’ve introduced their all-electric I-PACE car concepts in the virtual world.

The Launch

Jaguar’s event experienced four attendee “waves,” which included celebrities, automotive lifestyle gurus and media experts. It was a fitting crowd, because the display itself promoted the ideologies of modern media, immersive user experiences and—of course—innovation. Ian Hoban, Jaguar’s vehicle line director, even appeared live within the event’s virtual reality segment. Inside, he revealed the new I-PACE, giving attendees freedom to view the product in full virtual reality.

The launch happened on November 14—two days before Jaguar’s appearance in Los Angeles at Milk Studios.

An HTC Vive Extravaganza

Yes, the HTC Vive was Jaguar’s chosen VR apparatus. The event, however, wasn’t centric to the Vive. Attendees were given a gracious breakfast, a refreshing lunch and even an afternoon teatime. The party, later that night, prioritized group experiences—rather than solo-flyer VR sessions.

Attendees could sit, view the I-PACE and explore the brand’s options throughout 35-minute sessions. During these sessions, users were transported into the driver’s seat, which is a rarity in auto shows. Of course, the Vive’s 360-degree head-tracking technology prompted an environment of full immersion. Users could step out, view the I-PACE’s exterior and even check under the hood. The I-PACE’s electric power technology was showcased, giving attendees full visibility of Jaguar’s latest, greatest innovations.

Live Streaming in the VR World

In the past, VR experiences were incredibly private. It wasn’t rare to see slippery brand promotions which were exclusive to the viewer. Because Jaguar’s attention to detail—and the HTC Vive’s growth—users could view the event’s content without actually being there.

As attendees experienced the I-PACE’s interior, a visual live feed relayed the event’s innards. Event-goers could ask questions in real-time, too, interacting with presenters throughout the experience.

VR was a fitting presentation frame for the I-PACE, which is Jaguar’s most cutting-edge option to date. Reportedly, it pushes the boundaries in both technology and design. Its concepts certainly demanded a big-time reveal, and innovation is a spice to be used in multiple forms. When the user’s individual experience is up close, personable and flexible, the brand wins. Take a page out of Jaguar’s book, and check out the great options presented by the HTC Vive and similar options. Your attendees will thank you.

How to Host the Ultimate Virtual Reality Event


Many brands are helped by the creation of a feeling of excitement and physical activity. The hard part is getting people to feel like they're part of this action. Most people aren't athletes and have a hard time imagining themselves doing strenuous physical activity, especially when that activity involves something unique like riding a zip line or playing football like a pro. One of the easiest ways to jump this hurdle is to provide the audience with a virtual reality experience. Thanks to the development of VR goggles, there's no need for expensive 360-degree surround screens to get the job done. Virtual reality also allows for user participation, so it's far more immersive than any regular movie.

Combining Virtual Reality with the Rest of Your Event

Even with virtual reality, you need more elements to keep people excited all through your event. Keeping some traditional elements, such as display booths and presentations, will help get people in the mindset to consider your company's products and services. It will also allow you to build up the excitement for the virtual reality portion.

One thing you'll need to consider is how to handle the scheduling for your VR show. Each set of goggles is an investment, so you might not want to buy 200-300 pairs. Instead, it's usually best to have the audience come through in smaller batches so you can use far fewer goggles. Staggering arrival times will keep your attendees from having boring waiting times.

What Types of Content Work Well with Virtual Reality?

Action content is one of the most popular types for conversion to virtual reality. One great example is SAP's Quarterback Challenge, which puts participants on an NFL field in the quarterback position. Eye position, combined with a handheld controller, determine where the ball goes and how hard it is thrown. Sports fans love this sort of experience.

Another excellent example is IBM's cycling-based demonstration, which promotes its Watson Analytics system. Cyclers are subjected to a variety of wind and road conditions, all without leaving their seats.

Virtual reality is also great for explaining details about products, services, and processes. One company uses it to transport viewers to an active construction site, where they get to see exactly how to install its products. Another, a brewery, gives an in-depth look at their processes.

This technology is sure to become a standard part of events in years to come, but don't wait for that to happen. Get started with it now to position your company as a creative leader.

Of course, a comfortable venue is essential to any corporate or entertainment event. Contact us here at Soho Studios for the perfect venue for your extravaganza.

Event Marketing Trends: What to Watch for in 2017


Event marketing has come a long way. In 2016, marketers innovate constantly to offer unique, engaging displays. In recent years, a few trends have risen to the top—and decision makers are utilizing the world’s newest technology to create unprecedented initiatives. Check out these winning event marketing trends guaranteed to make a splash in 2017, and set your sights on creativity.

One: Event Sponsorship

In the past, event hosts and sponsors united with logos, branding partnerships and insight seminars. Now, intensive sponsorship opportunities highlight the relationship. Today’s experiential marketing platforms are expanding to event marketing initiatives, and both brands and hosts are joining hands to elevate sponsors. They’re boosting ROI while furthering symbolic partnerships. Unlike the symbolic partnerships of the past, however, these partnerships are highlighted, grown and promoted via intensive funding campaigns.

Two: Event Streaming

Live events are here, and they’re only getting better. Already, platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope and Meerkat are emerging to create next-level events. Hosting quality content at break-neck speeds, these platforms are advancing the world of seamless event presentations.

While live steaming is still being improved upon, it shows a lot of promise. Initiatives like Thursday Night Football, created by Twitter, reached 243,000 streamers. Audiences are being primed for real-time event broadcasts, and event marketing is next in line for the batter’s box.

Three: Augmented Reality Mobile Apps

You’ve probably heard about the much-touted augmented reality initiatives. AR, too, is still being worked on—but it’s gained a lot of ground in recent years. Brands are expected to experiment with augmented reality quite a bit in 2017, utilizing mobile platforms as jumping off points. If Pokémon Go is any evidence of AR’s capabilities, event marketers had better hustle to catch up. Already, brands are utilizing the iPhone’s visual overlay services to create scavenger hunts, product promotions and in-store sales events.

Four: Data Analytics

Big data is already a major marketing tool. In 2017, experts believe it’ll emerge in the event marketing world. Mobile event apps aren’t new, but in-event data gathering is still fresh. With mobile beacon technology, mobile polling, real-time surveys and social media mobile analysis available, decision makers have incredible resource power. State-of-the-art cloud computing services, too, are making headway in the event marketing world, giving event marketers total reign over gathered data to further entire marketing campaigns.

Advanced marketing automation is likely to boost many of 2017’s event marketing initiatives. Technology is growing at a rapid pace, and it’ll expand upon business opportunities as the Internet of Things grows. Big data, of course, is a leading factor. In any event, real-time services will probably frame leading event marketing initiatives. After all, who doesn’t like seamlessness?

Sony Joins the "Escape Game" Trend


Sony and Times Square go hand-in-hand, but they’ve amped up the customer experience with two fully interactive puzzles that give visitors the opportunity to become one of the actors in two popular NBC series. Capitalizing on the trend of virtual reality, Sony also offers visitors a chance to take a journey with Playstation VR, becoming part of five unique experiences that will give them a glimpse into the future and what to expect from Sony. For those photo buffs, Sony helps budding photographers (or those that are photographers in their heads) the chance to borrow a Sony camera, participate in a photo walk, and take pictures of memorable experiences.

Sony takes things to a new level with Sony Square NYC, designed to showcase their products while engaging visitors and the general audience on why Sony is at the top of their class. From October 24 – December 2, 2016, visitors connect with Sony on a variety of levels. While many people long for the chance to become part of a hit series, Sony is making it possible for their fans.

Sony understands the concept of engaging their audience, and what better way to do it than with an immersive experience in New York? Making an impact on their brand, Sony continues to introduce concepts that keep user engagement at high levels. Imagine the bright lights of New York City with a chance to feel like you’re a part of the Sony family.

A little bit more about the games – 10-minutes each, staged in an open showroom that houses the time machine from the show Timeless, and a decoding game staged in a cube on the show The Blacklist. Both games have three puzzling stations that makes users think. Designed with top engineering, they are solidly constructed, and compelling enough to get users to want to play again and again.

Patrons and visitors have come to expect a lot from the Sony family, and these offerings do not disappoint. With the opportunity to play a game with or without someone else, this is a great way to interact and meet new people while being part of something fun and exciting. Complete with staging areas to accommodate a real-life experience, these games are completely free.

Visiting the Sony Showroom itself is exciting, with the Playstation VR and vast collection of photography taken by Sony as the perfect ending to visiting the space. Sony’s in it for the long haul, and Sony Square in New York proves it.

Absolut and Deadmau5 Create a Virtual Reality Game

Over the past two years, Absolut Vodka has been using their Absolut Nights marketing campaign to reestablish themselves as the trendsetter for night life. Based primarily around videos that range from 30 seconds to a minute, they show a diverse range of people having different interpretations of similarly wonderful nights, involving dancing, fireworks and watching the sunrise with friends or a special someone, and of course a cocktail made with Absolut. The campaign has garnered great success for the brand, including an increase in sales of 5.8%. They've also expanded from the more traditional videos (albeit ones with a heavy social media presence and strong use of hash-tagging) onto more innovative platforms and mediums, including the app, Hoppr, for finding the best events in nightlife. Now, Absolut is not just positioning themselves to be an industry leader in nightlife, but in teaming up with electronic music producer, Deadmau5, to create a virtual reality game for mobile devices as well as a limited edition headset, they're opening new and exciting avenues for branding. The collaboration is a great way of combining gaming and music with today's hottest technology. Deadmau5, a well-known gaming enthusiast, is also known for having fans who seek out the most cutting edge technology. Both gaming and music are ideal areas to explore through the immersive medium of virtual reality, and in what is truly 21st century marketing, the campaign pairs perfectly with a live event: on the day the game is released, July 27, Deadmau5 will be performing a live event in NYC.

The VR of the game operates in the same way as Google Cardboard, but Absolut and Deadmau5 have created their own special edition branded players, on sale now for $18 (which is only $3 more than the least expensive Google Cardboard player). Plus, the app will work with other headsets, and other apps will work with the special edition headset. The goal was not to monetize the game or the headsets, but to create a truly unique experience for old and new fans alike of both the vodka brand and Deadmau5. The game combines real footage from Deadmau5's concerts, exclusive songs as well as mini-games of running and driving.

The collaboration, the game, the music and the live event all work together beautifully to perfectly convey Absolut's brand message of having an unforgettable night. This newest addition to the Absolut Nights campaign also demonstrates how many ways there are to expand beyond physical events in addition to the regular use of social media and a digital presence.

As we continue into the 21st century, we look forward to helping our clients explore the many ways that they can use events to create powerful branding opportunities that extend far beyond four walls.  Contact us to help you get started.