With the rise of video conferences in the workplace, online based meetings are becoming more and more common. People now, more than ever, are open to the idea of being a part of something without having to be physically there. Some have taken the next step, hosting events entirely through the internet in virtual reality.
Some companies, such as AltspaceVR, are fully embracing the idea of forgoing the traditional exhibition hall and instead only attending an event virtually. The ultimate goal is to make people feel that they are in the same space, and to give them a similar degree of interactivity that they would get by actually attending, whilst being potentially thousands of miles away from each other.
Many of the events hosted so far are more educational in nature, such as when Bill Nye hosted a virtual reality panel using AltspaceVR, to let him interact with an international audience instantly.
Other companies have used VR alongside their branding to create exclusive content for their customers, such as the Citi Concert Series. Whilst not as interactive, the price and effectiveness of giving remote attendees front-row access has helped push Citi's marketing presence forwards considerably.
Virtual attendance need not take away the actual booth at an actual event, either. Some people have embraced virtual reality in another way for events - by attending with a robotic stand in.
No longer in the realm of science fiction, this is a more limited but still exciting way to use virtual reality to put someone in the event. Using 360 camera technology, a user can navigate a physical event with the use of a drone and still be able to interact with other attendees on some level.
Telepresence Attendance is the name often given to this form of attending conventions, and whilst it is still very niche is it also an interesting way to open up an event for people who may not otherwise be able to attend.
It is also a fantastic talking point that will draw naturally curious visitors towards you, to see just how it works.
Attending an event with VR opens it up to a wider audience that would otherwise be restricted by time, location, or even maneuverability. It also helps show the advances of a company willing to embrace this step, and can be used after a physical event to show further details with less time constraints.