If your exhibitors are only thinking about better swag or a bigger fishbowl to collect business cards, you might want to help bring them up to speed. If you’re in the know, you already heard a bit of buzz on augmented reality or AR as a new tool in trade show exhibits.

To help you stay on the up and up, it’s important to know a few ways you might encourage your trade show exhibitors to leverage AR to attract their target audience and elevate the overall quality of your event.

What is Augmented Reality?

Let’s take it from the top- what is Augmented Reality exactly? It’s an experience that  Core-apps ARinvolves the use of software that enables users to see virtual images and objects superimposed over an image of the real world. These images are often live, in real time, and experienced as immersive 3D models.

In a nutshell, Augmented Reality adds something to the real world. Virtual Reality, or VR, on the other hand, does not show the real world, but rather a simulated, or made up environment. The real-world elements of AR are enhanced by software generated data related to what users see such as informative images, text, video, and documents.  

A well-known example of AR is the game Pokémon Go. In this game, a user’s phone transmits a live view of an actual, real-world environment that gets augmented by images, sound, video, and location information. Players are ultimately chasing around cute imaginary characters through the real world. Entertaining applications like this have contributed to AR’s more widespread adoption in the business world.

As the objections to using AR continue to dissolve, the impact of this new technology can be seen through innovative uses across every industry. The price of AR continues to adjust for wider adoption, the images are more sophisticated than ever before, and the gear is becoming smaller and more agile. Once they experience AR, people are usually pleasantly surprised and willing to interact with it on a regular basis.  

Leveraging AR in your Trade Show Strategy

So how can exhibitors leverage AR technology their trade show booths? AR can be used in print, banners, and with geo coordinates. Having AR as part of a trade show booth display strategy means smartly blending the physical and digital realms. For example, unique data or information on top of an image of the display of your overall event might be seen in attendees’ camera phone. This could have implications for your floor plan or overall design of your event. As well, your exhibitors can provide a rich interactive experience that closely mimics the ways AR is currently being deployed within their respective industries.

To help with that, let’s take a look at the way early adopters of AR are paving the way in three key industries that are relying more and more heavily on this technology:

-Medical and Scientific Industries
-Industrial and Manufacturing Equipment
-Built Environment

AR in the Medical, and Scientific Industry

If exhibitors at your event are planning a trade show display around medical, healthcare, or science-related devices or services, AR is furthering the disruptive concept of taking medicine outside of clinical spaces and is blurring the divisions between offices, homes, and hospitals. AR topics that are also getting a lot of attention include patient care, provider training, patient self-monitoring, and wearable mobile devices. AR technology is being used to help patients take charge of their health in applications involving pain management, medication reminders, and monitoring glucose levels. As well, AR provides critical training to medical students learning to perform highly detailed procedures and crucial information to patients such as the location of defibrillators that can be delivered in the event of an emergency. These few examples only begin to scratch the surface of how the medical and scientific industry incorporate AR technology into their overall practice. All of these innovations lend themselves to making terrific themes for a trade show display and would make great suggestions to any of your exhibitors who aren’t taking full advantage of the new technology.

AR as used in the Industrial and Manufacturing Equipment Industries

If the theme of your overall event involves Industrial and manufacturing equipment space, you can help encourage your exhibitors to give attendees the memorable experience they deserve at your trade show booth by incorporating some of the AR applications used in the industry itself. Augmented Reality is seeing increased investment in this industry in the area of human-machine interaction. AR also increases the speed in complex assembly, and it scales the expertise of senior subject matter experts to junior staff members through remote training. Additionally, AR helps technical experts more quickly identify malfunctions and provide continuous maintenance. Booths that show attendees how AR is used in maintenance support, assembly assistance, and error detection will be delivering an educational experience, in line with the future of their industry, and will be creating a better experience at your event overall.

AR in The Built Environment

Working with exhibitors in the architectural or construction industry? You might want to suggest they design displays around how AR technology is changing the entire workflow of Built Environment projects from planning to communication and delivery. Augmented Reality helps to place a 3D model of a proposed design onto a real space, and it demonstrates how a theoretical design concept will look in the context of an existing environment. AR is also aiding collaborative efforts between architects and contractors to help with prefabrication and allowing team members and clients to virtually walk through a finished model. A trade show display that can demonstrate how AR is used to generate excitement around structures that don’t exist yet is sure to get much attention.

The Future of Event Technology

Those are just some ideas for not only how to get your exhibitors to use AR in their trade show booths, but how to tie it to cutting-edge concepts within their respective industry. Applicable to all industry sectors are concepts of training, quality assurance, task automation, sales assistance, consumer education, and showing how a company delivers their final product.

AR is the future of event technology, and encouraging your exhibitors to invest in efforts that pay off in now and in the long term is the smartest thing anyone can do for his or her trade show planning strategy.

Core Apps is the industry’s top resource for what you need to ensure your company is memorable and maintains traction with their target audience. For more information on our AR offering, please visit this page.

Be sure to catch our special presentation at the IAEE Expo! Expo! That will model and exhibit the future of AR technology in trade show displays. For more information on our AR experience at Expo! Expo! please visit us at Booth #534 or contact us