Convention Centers Using Virtual Reality as a Sales Tool

March 3, 2017 by Sam Slater

The buzz around virtual reality is drawing attention worldwide, which begs the question for convention center professionals: How can I incorporate this modern technology into our marketing efforts?

Because VR is endlessly customizable, including VR content as a sales tool can be an extremely effective way to create an immersive experience and get your message into the hands of event organizers and meeting planners.

Imagine an event or meeting planner donning a VR headset and exploring a virtual tour of your facility. The tour features different highlights and selling points for why your space is the space. And because it’s in VR, the planner gets an immersive experience, helping them imagine the types of events they can host at your center, how their guests might enjoy the space, as well as exploring other amenities. 

Virtual Site Inspections

Using interactive maps as information hubs and the bases for virtual tours is becoming more common, especially for the largest convention centers, venues and resorts.  Today’s software offers both B2B and B2C interactions to happen via desktop and mobile devices, and this can be particularly helpful to answer questions and to get an initial feel for a location and its surrounding areas.

For destination organization marketers, the benefit of offering a virtual site inspection for potential clients, to show them that your organization incorporates convenience into every level of event planning. The client can view exhibition halls set up for similar events, note the location of key elements such as meeting rooms, restrooms, or common areas, tour the space on their own terms, and help colleagues understand how the events will take place. They can spend as much time as needed looking at a certain area and skip over spaces that will go unused during their event.  

Deliver the Perfect Pitch, Every Time

You know exactly what questions event organizers are going to bring to the table. A virtual reality presentation is the perfect opportunity to provide many answers before they even ask. Tailor your recorded virtual-reality pitch for a specific outreach project or potential client, leaving them with a mind full of possibilities and ideas. Plus, you’ll never turn anyone off by having too long of a presentation – draw up a quick two-minute pitch (or any length appropriate for your situation) with strong verbal and written copy complementing stunning visual highlights. 

 

Highlight Your Facility’s Best Features

Virtual reality can revolutionize the sales pitch. Potential clients now have the opportunity to walk the halls of a busy event, experience moments almost as if IRL (in real life) and learn how to incorporate similar concepts into their own events. This gives your convention center, and the event organizers utilizing your services, the ability to showcase these highlights.

We All Like New Technology

Vendors and businesses are always looking for that hit attraction. The one that brings the crowds to their table and becomes the talk of the showroom. Having technology like virtual reality for event and meeting planners to utilize is a great way to help them (and you) stand out from the pack. 

Go Mobile! 

I can’t overstate this well-known fact in today’s world: everything has to be mobile-friendly! Virtual reality headsets are incredibly accessible today, ranging from the most affordable Google Cardboard to the higher-end HTC Vive. Make your facility’s map and virtual reality sales kit mobile-ready so meeting and event planners can easily access these interactive visuals of your site. Whether planners visit your site in person and need a little help imagining what they can do with your space, or are exploring spaces from home, a mobile-ready experience ensures they can access your facility when and where it suits them. 

These are just some of the ways convention centers and their teams can use virtual reality as a sales tool. As virtual reality continues to evolve and convention centers start utilizing the new technology more, there is no doubt it will become an integral sales and marketing tool to drive more events and attendance. By starting the integration now, your convention center can stay ahead of the tech curb and ‘wow’ event planners with a stellar first impression.

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Topics: Convention CenterSpace PlanningVirtual Reality

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