If you’ve got a product to showcase or services to sell, few marketing mediums are as successful as inviting your prospects to events or meet them at exhibitions. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 92% of trade show attendees say their main reason for attending trade shows is to see new products being featured. Couple this with the fact that 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority and you have quite the combination: an audience with an interest in seeing what you have to offer and the spending power to act on something that impresses them. And if you have been looking to make your event a lasting experience: have a look at our augmented reality use cases for event marketing and exhibitions.
Of course, these statistics are not unknown to brands, which is why exhibitions are both extremely popular and incredibly competitive. At any given trade show you could find yourself in direct competition with several other companies offering similar products to the same audience.
So how do you give yourself the edge? How do you create the kind of lasting impressions that customers expect?
With augmented reality (AR).
Disclaimer: This article is brought to you by Augmara. Augmara is one of the leading Swiss companies in the field of Augmented Reality. With its proprietary augmented reality CMS solution, SDK and white label mobile application, Augmara offers an efficient and user-friendly solution for marketing teams to deploy and manage Augmented Reality content.
The power of Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is not unknown, but it remains fresh in a marketing sense. Many companies are yet to realize the potential of AR and that leaves the door open to you, especially the exhibition marketing has enormous possibilities. Because AR gives exhibition or event attendees exactly what they want from an exhibitor: engagement, entertainment, and education. It allows them to immerse themselves in a product and experience it in new ways — ways that printed materials and a rehearsed sales pitch cannot.
Augmented reality can capture attention, create a buzz and drive traffic to your pitch. When you’re competing against half a dozen other brands, that ‘something different’ can set you apart.
To demonstrate how unique and powerful AR can be, and hopefully inspire some ideas of your own, we’ve rounded up seven examples of how the technology has been used to enhance exhibitions.
7 times augmented reality technology was used to supercharge exhibitions
Motorex – How to fuel your Exhibition Marketing with Augmented Reality
To celebrate its centenary, global oil expert, Motorex, invited 15000 guests to experience an interactive factory tour. Rather than the typical ‘speaker delivers presentation’ approach or an informational video, Motorex took the innovative approach of using the Augmara CMS and accompanying app to craft an immersive augmented reality tour that gave guests a unique insight into the brand and how the company operates.
It’s a great example of how AR can be used to bring text and imagery to life through the screen of a smartphone.
Knowledge transfer through AR: Motorex used Augmented Reality to show its visitors how work processes are performed.
An AR App for Museums: The Terracotta Warriors of the Franklin Institute
The idea of AR bringing something to life was used brilliantly by The Franklin Institute to help audiences better understand the mysterious Terracotta Warriors. By hovering their smartphone over an image, visitors were able to see how the sculptures and weapons would have looked more than 2000 years ago. By showing as well as telling, the museum gave visitors a look at how an item appeared rather than leaving it up to the imagination. The app was downloaded more than 15,000 times across Android and iOS and the exhibition received universal praise from visitors.
Using SLAM (Simutaneous Localization and Mapping) the Terracotta warriors were brought to life.
Smoothwall – Differentiate yourself from your competitors
With so many different brands and products out to capture public attention at an exhibition, you’ve got to stop visitors in their tracks. Internet security developer, Smoothwall, did exactly that at the marketing and IT BETT Show in London by using AR to highlight the hidden dangers of surfing the web.
The company’s interactive booth let users get up close and personal with some internet rascals and pose for pictures with the AR generated models. These pictures could then be viewed online by using the dedicated #SmoothwallClassof17 hashtag, furthering the relationship between brand and customer. The exhibition helped Smoothwall enjoy their biggest and best year at the BETT show, with hundreds of visitors checking out the stand and engaging across social media.
Triggering with AR: An interactive wall that captivates the attention of the audience is the ideal eyecatcher.
Haus der Natur – Augmented Reality Is Transforming how you visit Museums
As a way to deliver something different to the standard audio tour offered by museums, the Haus der Natur museum in Austria used AR to enhance the viewing experience. While still focussing on the visual aspect, users were able to download an app on their smartphone or tablet devices to learn more about satellite images. Some images were designed to trigger 3D models, while others featured informative images, videos, and text information.
By using AR, the museum freed visitors from the specific audio route, letting them enjoy the exhibition in their own way.
Recognise more than just the image – with the use of image recognition, further information can be integrated into objects.
Biral – Make difficult topics easy to understand
Biral is another company that used Augmara’s CMS and app to create an AR experience. A leading manufacturer of pumps for domestic engineering, Biral hosted its first annual open day in 2018 and used augmented reality technology to introduce the company, present new products, and explain future-oriented topics.
When you have a product or business model that is not widely understood or difficult to explain, relying on one particular type of content can cause audience attention to wane. By using AR, you can make them feel part of the exhibition. It’s a tactic that worked perfectly for Biral to educate visitors unfamiliar with the industry.
Augmented Reality is ideally suited to present a complex topic in an interesting and comprehensible way. With AR not only knowledge is imparted but also remains longer in memory, since one addresses different senses.
Ford – Educate an audience and sell them the benefits using AR
We mentioned earlier about creating a buzz and driving traffic to your pitch with AR. There’s no finer example of this than Ford’s exhibition at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Rather than letting the car on the stand do the talking as many exhibitors do, Ford used augmented reality to take viewers on the inside, giving them a thorough look under the hood of three different vehicles.
It shows how the technology can be used to educate an audience and sell them on the benefits of a product without tedious sales spiel.
Ford is debuting an augmented reality presentation at the 2017 North American International Auto Show that immerses consumers with its newest vehicles and technologies in ways they’ve likely never experienced before.
Pfister Faucets – Show a look behind the scenes
How does a seller of kitchen and bathroom faucets stand out amongst a room full of other faucet retailers at a trade show for the kitchen and bathroom industry? By offering something different in the form of AR. No other brand gained the same level of attention or adulation as Pfister Faucets, which used AR to show the inner workings of products that are often hidden.
In an industry that’s not big on using this kind of technology for marketing, novelty could have played a part in the success of this exhibition. However, Pfister Faucets’ ability to embrace the emerging trend and use it to make something as uninspiring as taps and pipes captivating shows just how important a marketing strategy AR can be.
An augmented reality experience bringing Pfister Faucets’ Xtract technology to life for booth visitors at KBIS 2017, the kitchen and bath industry’s largest trade show.
Creating valuable augmented reality experiences
Augmented reality is still in its infancy, especially in its use in exhibitions. Embracing the technology now gives your brand the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and create a lasting impression.
Take the examples we’ve presented here and make the most of CMS platforms and AR apps like Augmara to create an innovative, immersive experience of your own that is:
Your exhibitions will benefit greatly from augmented reality but more importantly, so will your brand.