What was the last time you thought about putting your events and presentations on the next level? Luckily, with Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions not only event managers, but also business executives, developers and marketers found the latest tools to pursue their agenda: creating more value, enabling better service, attracting more satisfied clients and visitors.

There are several reasons why you should integrate VR and AR into your event management or tourism business and in this article we explain why and how: both from the psychological and technical side. When you work with both machines and people, you need to understand how both of those groups operate and you want to make the lives of both apps and users easier.

The size of the event management industry is booming world-wide. According to IBIS World’s Party and Event Planners market research only in the US there are 343,390 professionals and 328,131 businesses while the industry generates annually $6 billion in revenue.

Despite technology enabled us to connect in unprecedented ways, the personal interaction at congresses, conferences, fairs (such as the upcoming TFM 2016 in London), festivals and celebrations will continue to be the predominant way of forging business and socializing since ‘‘nothing can replace the face-to-face contact.’’

Even if we look at the professional side of event management, a simple typing into LinkedIn according to people’s interests, titles and job roles reveals that there are 2,181,149 US-based users who define themselves as event planners, whereas in the
United Kingdom there are 230,266 event planners and in Canada 214,765.

Technology is disrupting the event management industry because the customer journey for users, be that participants, visitors, exhibitors, or vendors has changed. No longer do we need a paper brochure to inform ourselves about the conference that is coming to our city, we may subscribe for the next edition of it from our mobile device as we are queuing or commuting.

No longer do we need to wait for the line-up at our favourite festival, the organizers may engage us to the fullest as we choose the stickers for Viber during the festival or we pick the panel participants like SXSW, the world-renowned conference brand, does.

And where is the Augmented and Virtual Reality in that value chain? With the propensity of this technology to grow up to $80 billion market by 2025, which is roughly the size of the desktop PC market today, AR and VR are certainly more than a betting horse which is on everyone’s lips.

Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research who estimated the market size expects the virtual and augmented reality devices to become a mainstream since ‘‘the economies of scale will improve over time and the price reductions will follow as with any piece of hardware in the past, such as laptop and desktop devices.

AR and VR are the disruptive technologies in any sector we can imagine. Thus, in event management they have been widely acclaimed both as the conference topic and the intuitive platform for presenting business and marketing solutions innovatively.  For example, our company DunavNET has harnessed the potential of Augmented Reality and took the visitors of the Manasija Festival on a time travel.

Every August the Manasija Festival traditionally gathers the fans of medieval culture, authentic food, knighthood chivalry and quality time in intact nature. The festival organizers wanted to amplify the visitors’ experience and the customized technology was created. Homepage marketing agency and the engineering team of DunavNET company joined forces on the DunavNET technological platform and the Manasija mobile app was born thanks to the sponsorship of Huawei technologies.

Manasija augmented reality app enabled that the pieces of information from the real world merge together with computer-generated content. This final result expands the users’ reality and it can be looked at the desktop computer, lap top or mobile phone. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Google Play and iTunes as Manasija 2016.

To conclude, the next time you are looking for a factor IT in IT industry to wow your users, think about segmenting the well-known or even brand new information from the angle of augmented reality. If your business relies heavily on event management, congress industry or edutainment, AR and VR are especially good channels to pursue on top of your marketing strategy as with them users are always on their tip-toes with surprise and wonder.

After all, creativity is best expressed when we combine the familiar in the unfamiliar way and the best proof for that are all the works of our civilizations until now. Jim Rohn said, ‘‘There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, 7 notes (and I may add 26 letters in the English alphabet); it’s what we do with them that’s important.’’  AR and VR is the next frontier of creativity where the code, digits, colours and letters come together.