Education isn't just for the classroom. Across the country, event coordinators design and host events aimed at instructing industry professionals in the latest skills, innovations and developments in a chosen field. From continuing education classes to company training events, professionals of all backgrounds are continually looking for innovative ways to learn while businesses are looking to train and develop their workforce - with educational events acting as a crucial nexus.
To maximize the the value that participants gain from these sessions, event planners are taking advantage of the latest technology to enhance learning and deliver an immersive experience to attendees. Virtual reality is one of the most vital technological options that is playing a growing role in event planning in nearly every industry. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the virtual reality market in general is expected to grow to a value of $33.9 billion by 2022. Educational events are no exception to this trend.
Event planners who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in their industry should educate themselves on the future of virtual reality in academic conferences and presentations.
At educational events, attendees are typically seeking to learn something pertinent to their careers or interests. However, listening to someone explain a procedure or strategy - particularly in a non-classroom setting - is not always enough to make the information really stick. For many learners, combining hands-on demonstrations with informational seminars can make all the difference. With virtual reality technology, attendees are able to develop these skills and learn about recent innovations in a conference room rather than in the field.
For example, in continuing education events for health care providers, participants can demo new techniques for patient care after hearing about the strategy from a presenter. A surgeon can test a new way to remove a tumor or a dentist can experiment with a new crown protocol in a risk-free environment without destroying expensive model body parts.
Adding virtual reality technology to an educational event create an immersive experience for attendees.
If a presenter is discussing the latest find at an archeological dig or a new species of butterfly discovered in the rain forest, the imagery is half the appeal of the narrative. While photographs and video can help the audience imagine these locations, VR technology can actually take them to that place - or at least give that impression.
Immersive storytelling adds the wow factor to educational events, creating a more memorable experience and increasing the credibility of the organization putting on the event. A study by Greenlight Insights reflected this consumer confidence in VR, reporting that the public is more likely to buy from companies that make use of this technology. Among those surveyed who had not tried VR, 65 percent were interested in the technology, suggesting that immersive virtual reality technology makes presentations more interesting - and is a draw in and of itself.
Whether a presenter is telling a story or demonstrating a product, visuals are powerful. Years ago, a slideshow was considered the best in the field when it came to illustrating a point. Today, event planners relying on static images risk falling dramatically behind the times. VR technology offers the latest in visual demonstrations for educational events.
For example, at Fortune's Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego in May 2017, an event educating attendees on the latest developments in digital health care, the CEO of virtual reality health startup AppliedVR used VR technology to demonstrate the power of leveraging technology to help people overcome fears. With an immersive virtual reality headset, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington stepped off a 500-foot building and watched herself fall to the ground in an experience that felt "incredibly real."
By incorporating VR strategies into your event planning, you'll be able to help your clients create opportunities for interactive training, immersive storytelling and visual demonstrations that will take their events' learning experiences to the next level.