Spotlight: Part 3 of 3 – Specific Application, Current Resources, and Summary

spotlight blog

In this program we will be covering trade show virtual reality and other technologies that impact industry event professionals over a series of articles. We will introduce and explain them, hold an interview with a major player in that project, and cover their potential specific applications for professionals in this industry. 

This series will be on new engagement technologies in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and a new but growing category, Mixed Reality.

Part 1: Introduction to VR, AR, and MR
Part 2: Interview with VR, AR, and MR on the impact of event marketing and future promises
Part 3: Specific Application, Current Resources, and Summary

Part 3: Specific Application, Current Resources, and Summary

By: Michael Kelly - Partnerships, Alliances, & Customer Success Programs at American Image Displays 

For this Part 3 of the series, we wrap up the series with a summary of the opportunity that we feel is present with this technology. 

virtual augmented mixed reality headsets trade show event marketing american image displays

Specific Application

When was the last time that you walked through an airplane inside of a 10x10 booth?

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality are likely bringing a major change to the Tradeshow world, and it's best to stay ahead of this movement. Headsets and systems such as these will be providing an array of experience for the users while the host can enjoy saving on shipping and drayage, product display area, product risk, physical organization time, as well as the polarizing benefit of being able to display almost any product!

Dealing with all facets of the shipping process can be a major stress factor in an already tense, drawn-out process. With the use of this new technology, attendees can condense their shipments down to their display, imaging, furniture, and accessories such as these. There would be no more dealing with the stack of paperwork to categorize and track every single product on each of the shelves that are taking up perfectly good imaging space on your exhibit, or handling the case of the missing merchandise or bubble gum.

While some of the shelving we supply may look fantastic, it can be taking up space that could otherwise be extended graphic section for your brand, or even visual relief for your entire design. Innovations such as this provide an opportunity to minimize your needs and maximize your gain; you can keep up with the future, look good doing it, and be saving on multiple levels all at the same time. 

virtual augmented mixed reality headsets trade show event marketing american image displays

It's no lie that the headsets can be expensive, but it's a lot easier to log, track, and replace a few of those than juggle an extensive list of merchandise that you drag along with you physically packed into target market bundles. For each show, someone is spending their time organizing, checking, double-checking, and triple-checking the line-up for the next show. What happens if something is broken, or someone packed the wrong line of products, or none at all? Forget about that all of that time suck and simply bring with you a device that consistently displays the selected file out of your brand database with stunning quality and visual depth.

There's no company that sells one product to one market, and there's no market that buys just that one intended product line. Users will never be entirely predictable and products will almost always be extensive and particular. If they want to see a product - show it to them! Become a memorable experience for that user instead of just a conversation about what could have been. Don't just bring the intended product to the show, but instead pack an array of possibilities that your brand can bring to the table. 

Current Resources

Get Help

If you want to add VR or VR to your tradeshow experience, the best recommendation is to contact your marketing company to find a specialist in AR/VR. Be aware that because not many people are aware of the spend envelopes for a VR, AR or MR solution - price points are all over the map.

However companies like Helios Interactive specialize in this type of work.

virtual augmented mixed reality headsets trade show event marketing american image displays

The first question to ask is whether you want VR, AR or MR. Then review your goals for the effort to make sure the solution is really appropriate (Mike Schaiman @ Helios gave a fantastic interview in Part 2 of our series where they went over some specific questions to ask before you start).

Another option is to reach out to your startup community, there are a host of small startups doing VR, AR & MR development work in communities like Seattle, Austin, Boston, NY & San Francisco. A quick check of local startup accelerators will give you a list of generally fantastically qualified people itching for a reference client + willing to do work at some very low price points.

If you only need VR, there are companies like InstaVR that will put together what are essentially 360 degree movies for you.

Do It Yourself

Then you need to have the standard tools: a good 3D modeling program (3DS Max), a texture painting program, and something like a Photoshop & Illustrator. Then you need to decide what you want to develop for.

If your team works with Unity or Unreal, most VR SDKs will work for them. Oculus SDK, Apple SDK and Google (both Daydream & Cardboard) should work fine.

Another option is OpenVR, which is being pushed by Steam. While this is primarily for gaming, a lot of resources are easily available for audience engagement apps and both OpenVR + OSVR (Open Source VR) are compatible with a number of devices.

Hololens also has its own SDK, but there are a number of Hololens development groups that will help you put a resource in place for.

Finally, more companies are releasing simple ARKits to make it easy for developers to create AR applications for AR enabled mobile devices. This might be the easiest and most cost effective route if you are OK spending the time to explore it.

Apple has the ARKit and Google the ARCore. Currently the ARKit seems to be more effective for allowing developers to quickly churn out compelling apps, but Google tends to lag behind Apple until shooting past them with sheer volume after a time.


Apple SDK C++ Unity

Apple ARKit

Google ARCore

Google VR for Android Unity Unreal

Daydream Cardboard
Unity SDK Android SDK Ios SDK Unreal

Oculus SDK
Unity Unreal

OpenVR / OSVR Steam Vibe & Rift



There is no doubt that Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality will have an impact on the way that each brand presents itself and on almost every platform. It will build bridges of possibilities in presentation and save time and resources while keeping your brand current with the flow of trend and technology. 

Do not let this movement and opportunity pass you!

For more information, check out our other article on AR in trade shows.

virtual augmented mixed reality headsets trade show event marketing american image displays

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