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Gerald Ferreira
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Automotive Journalist - http://3d-car-shows.com
Automotive Journalist - http://3d-car-shows.com

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Virtual Reality for Events and Brand Activations
http://virtual-reality.co.za/virtual-reality-for-events-and-brand-activations/
Heighten Experiential Events, Use Virtual Reality
A pop culture takeover is in progress. Virtual reality is redefining experiences and changing how consumers interact with brands and products. For those of us who want to be somewhere but cannot physically make an event, for whatever reason, there is a simple solution for that now – a virtual reality headset.

Brand Activations
Brand activations are effective in communicating specific brand messages. Brands or product offerings that are new to market are able to extend brand reach and build relationships with consumers and potential consumers alike. Using consumer engagement channels, such as social media, memorable advertising campaigns and experiential marketing events, brands can establish and own a particular position in a marketplace.
Brand activations are characterised by many different forms – delivered via multiple channels. The objective of brand activations is to resonates with consumers and achieve specific defined outcomes. This could be anything from, driving in-store traffic, to increasing subscriptions for an email newsletter or signing up new customers. Effective brand activation demands strategic planning. You need to ask the question “why.” Why would your target audience want to engage? The next question to you need to focus on is “how.” The answer to the latter question might be simple and something you might have already considered for your brand;
Virtual Reality.- Building positive brand perception
As a brand, you want consumers of your product offering to have good things to say about you and prefer your name over other competing brands. The question then becomes; how do you expose potential brand followers to your unique offering. This can be achieved through a number of avenues. These include in-store retail marketing, product samplings, sponsorships, and experiential events.
In building desirable perceptions, brands need to uncover unique points of difference that set them apart. This includes distinguishing core product/service features that will differentiate them amongst their competition in saturated marketplaces. This will also define the brand positioning which will reveal assets that highlight long-term benefits to the business.
Brands need to find ways of reaching potential customers that are able to shift perceptions and create genuine emotional engagements. These moments of truth – between brand and consumer -must inspire positive impressions in the minds of brand followers and prospects. If this is achieved, it will result in a loyal customer base and strengthening your brand positioning and owning a distinguished place in the marketplace.

Implementing consumer brand activation campaign
Experiential events
Global brands are using live experiential marketing to aid in positioning the brand in consumers’ minds by attracting and emotionally engaging them in personal, memorable experience. Brands now also have an alternatives and opportunities to make these events more impactful. More and more, physical experiences are merged with digital experiences in order to encourage participants to actively engage and create lasting memories.
Using VR to enhance experiential marketing
Trying to get brand ambassadors to describe the value of your product and inspire the emotional response and satisfaction they would get from experiencing your offering, might be difficult to accomplish. A 360° virtual reality video could be the best brand ambassador on your team. Through the use of VR, experiential marketing campaigns are now able to enhance the experience of your product/service offering for consumers.

Virtual reality allows you to communicate what your brand is about and what it can deliver for potential consumers. Instead of telling a consumer about what an experience could feel like, why not hand them a Google Cardboard and let them experience it first-hand instead.
An experiential marketing campaign enhanced with virtual reality can be the answer to adding complimentary value for your target audience and differentiating your brand from others. Virtual reality has been a fast growing trend that is expected to command a significant portion of content delivery markets. Being the first to introduce your target audience to the exciting technology will attract a lot of attention and spread the message of the innovativeness of your brand (in your particular industry). Audiences will be driven to go on social media platforms and share stories about their virtual reality experience and the brand that made it possible.
You want consumers to gain a better understanding of a message that your brand is attempting to convey. The best way to do this is through offering a virtual experience. A experiential marketing campaign can do more than just replicate something that the brand already offers. By augmenting an experience using virtual reality, you are reinforcing the brand message and communicating your brand identity better with consumers. Consider for instance that your brand offers a product that makes “manly task” around the house easier to perform, such as an improved version of a traditional tool. The brand’s goal becomes making man feel like heroes if they use the product. The campaign could thus be providing virtual experiences that allow participants to be super-heroes for a few moments and saving the day. In this way, the message is a lot clearer. You are not telling consumers what they could achieve but instead, you are letting them experience it.
The additional value of VR
There are additional benefits of using virtual reality in experiential marketing that you might not have considered. Brands want to minimise risk of accidents, where consumers are involved as much as possible. Through a virtual reality campaign, you are able to provide experiences that are associated with risk, without any risk. For example, a car brand can prove how fast their new car model is, without running the risk of a car accident.
A virtual beer experience
For brands that offer products and not services, you may be asking yourself how you can apply and take advantage of VR. Anheuser-Busch is proving that virtual reality is for everyone and can benefit brands in a variety of industries.
Anheuser-Busch is not new to the experiential marketing arena. Their substratum beer brand, Budweiser, has previously imbedded itself inside Ironwood Hall on East Seventh Street (Austin, USA) and transformed the venue into the Budweiser Beer Garage for South by Southwest.
The experience that got the most attention in the garage was the 4D immersive reality Budweiser Brewery Tour. People attending the event were able to strap-on a VR headset and be instantly transported to the Anheuser-Busch facility in St. Louis. They were able to go on a multisensory tour, seeing, hearing and smelling the scents of the facility before finally getting to taste the famous beer.
The future of VR in event-centred brand promotions
The current application or use of virtual reality is largely consistent of marketing/branding campaigns (Brand activations). This usually involves content that is sponsored and centred on specific events. The vodka brand, Absolute, started offering virtual experiences for audiences. For their fist virtual reality viewing party, which took place in New York City they sent out 5,000 custom Google Cardboard headsets so jazz fans could experience the concert live from their homes.
The main reason for producing an experiential event is to inspire consumers to act. It could be that you want them to make a purchase or share the experience on social platform (increasing brand awareness). Ultimately, you want to reach people on different levels (logical, emotional, psychological) so that they walk way from an even recalling the feel, taste and texture your product had, as opposed to just reading about it. Virtual reality offers a platform to deliver this and heighten the experience of your product or service offering.

#Events
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How Virtual Tours Could Benefit Your Business
http://virtual-reality.co.za/how-virtual-tours-could-benefit-your-business/
Do you have a retail store, hotel, B&B, property development company or any other business, and are looking to stand apart from your competitors and rank high on Google Search (SERP)? Have you considered how much more likely your business would be chosen as the preferred brand, if potential customers actually knew about the quality of your service and got to experience it (see it, feel it, and enjoy it) before they committed to visiting your establishment in person. Thanks to virtual reality technology, it is now possible.

Increase Interest in Your Business Using Virtual Tours
A Google study revealed that, of those who are considering a tour (particularly in the age group, 18-34), prospects are a 130% more likely to book if they view a listing with a virtual tour. Prospects are twice as likely to have interest in booking a reservation if they view a listing with a virtual tour, reports Google.
Virtual tours offer the perfect solution to communicate physical spaces. They are able to capture entire environments in a way that was previously impossible using tradition photography. This means that we can now deliver the experience of a space to anyone with a computer screen.
The value and uniqueness of 360° video and photography is its interactivity quality. Whereas still photographs or video offer an experience that is passive, a 360° Virtual Tour transports the audience to the centre of any chosen location and allows them to explore the scene (at their own discretion and pace) in its entirety and in detail.
Get Noticed on Google Search
There is an abundance of information that resides on the web and there are many listings. It can be difficult for users to decipher which information and content they can trust and audiences often demand to be convinced of the value of a service and product, before they actually get to physically experience it. Using Google Street View Trusted tours, you allow web users to explore your business premises and get a feel of your service offering before they actually experience it. This could help your business stand apart from your competitors and improve your ranking on the most popular search engine.
Authorized Google Trusted Photographers produce Street View Trusted tours, expertly photographing, editing and then integrating a virtual showcase of your business into Google. These immersive 360° virtual tours give your brand a competitive edge and potential consumers get to have a visual and experiential idea of what your business is about and what it could offer them.
Street View Trusted tours are embedded within Google Knowledge Graphs. You may have not heard the term, “Google Knowledge Graph” before but you have certainly come across it when searching for a local business. In May 2012, Google updated its search algorithm. Since then, a box has been displayed on the right of search results to communicate local business information. If one searches for your business (using the brand name), they are presented with relevant business information such as location, contact details and photographs. If your business uses Street View Trusted, web users will get the “see inside” added option.
With the added option to enhance your Google Knowledge Graph (and your free local business listing within Google Search) using Street View Trusted, you are extending your brand reach by letting potential cliental experience your service and have 24/7 access to the value your business could deliver them. Humans tend to be visually inclined, which means that you have an increased chance of converting prospects into clients if you offer them visual access to the value of your business and service offering.
How Much Will a Virtual Tour Cost You and Your Business?
The production of virtual tours is relatively inexpensive and the value they could mean for your business is considerable. The cost of virtual tours can vary from business to business, they are based on factors such as, the size of your business and the areas you wish to include in the virtual tour. You pay a one-time fee for the photoshoot and publishing of your 360° virtual tour and there are no further additional charges related to the tour.
Compatible with Google Cardboard
The Google Cardboard VR platforms offers an immersive experience for users. Street View Trusted tours are compatible with Google Cardboard and allow you to showcase your business premises in virtual reality through smartphones, using either Google Maps or Google Street View apps, which are available for both Android or iOS devices.
Users of the technology are able to explore the surroundings by simply moving their heads and they can use their own smartphone devices’ Near Field Communication to physically explore a space by walking around. Google Cardboard offers a simple and inexpensive way to experience virtual reality and it is the next best thing to being there.
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Virtual Reality Headsets for Hire for events
http://virtual-reality.co.za/virtual-reality-headsets-for-hire-for-events/
 
The Virtual Reality company is South Africa’s number one virtual reality headsets hire company. We are the South African specialist providers of virtual reality equipment and virtual reality headsets for corporate events, trade shows, product launches and virtual reality parties. Our Virtual Reality headset stock currently includes Samsung Gear VR Headsets, the VR Case and VR Box virtual reality headsets. The all-in-one Android virtual reality headset. Currently we do not have the Oculus Rift and HTC virtual reality headsets but are planning to include these soon.
We also have earphones and virtual reality controllers for hire. We are not just a leading virtual reality equipment hire company but can also offer Virtual Reality 360° video solutions, driving simulators, virtual reality software development & bespoke virtual reality event solutions. If you need a company from where you can not only rent virtual reality headsets and cameras but also looking for the technical expertise to assist with the Virtual Reality Headsets rental.
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Live 360° Video and Virtual Reality Events
http://virtual-reality.co.za/live-360-video-and-virtual-reality-events/
Add Value to Live Events Using Virtual Reality
The resolute growth and increasing popularity of virtual reality is geared to have a trans-formative impact on the events industry. It offers a unique experience that goes beyond attending a live concert, show or sports game – virtual reality technology provides an incomparable alternative for live entertainment enthusiasts everywhere.

Impact of Virtual Reality on Events Industry
Virtual reality media has a considerable upper-hand over tradition media that we have grown accustomed to. The type of experience offered by virtual reality is an essential component of exceptional events, and because the technology is still new (to the mainstream) and a novelty, which a lot of people are curious and excited to experience, it has holds the potential of galvanizing the events industry. Creating a 360°perspective – capturing an event from many angles – translates to an exceptional experience, eliciting different responses and emotions as the audience gets to experience an event from new angles. Streaming 360° also presents an opportunity for staging products and brands.
How Event Organizers Can Benefit from VR Technology
As one would expect. virtual reality means an incredible space advantage for organisers. Using VR, you can make a space appear much larger than it actually is. A single meter squared could appear as an entire arena. This is a significant consideration especially for trade fairs and road shows. Virtual reality is highly publicised in media presently, making it very popular with audiences in many market segments, which means it can be very effective in PR and viral campaigns.
The Best Seat in the House
Virtual reality doesn’t physically transport you to an event, but suspends your perception of reality – convincing you that you are part of the event experience. There are only so many front row seats available for a particular sporting event or concert, and when one also takes in to account the increasing prices of tickets, virtual reality offers is a welcome alternative. Using virtual reality, more fans get to enjoy the front row experience. The 360° technology offers an experience and view, which being physically in the audience could never buy. Cameras are placed in locations beyond a front row experience (i.e. behind the goal post, on stage, etc.), which translates to a unique experience for the viewer that cannot be compared to anything but reality itself.
VR Used for Concerts

In 2014 NextVR released a Coldplay concert in VR that could be viewed using the Samsung Gear VR headset, proving the value of virtual reality in other areas besides just gaming.
NextVR worked with Coldplay in London to develop the VR concert concept as a cutting edge experience for both fans who were at the event and wanted to experience it again and those who were not able to make it to the concert
The Laguna Beach, California based technology company shot the entire concert in VR and a clip of the first song, A Sky Full of Stars, was made available via the NextVR app, which was accessed in conjunction with the release of Samsung Gear VR headsets. Fans of the band, and all those who are curious about virtual reality movement, were able to playback the concert as a virtual reality experience. In this way, fans had a hyper-reality experience that was intended to be better than being in the audience. Through the use of VR, audience were put right in the middle of the action, as if they were on the stage with the band members.
According to NextVR the concert film was the first ever broadcast quality VR experience. The trend of broadcast virtual reality experience has not slowed down since. VR has grown to become even more popular, and its uses and possible application are pushing boundaries and placing the technology in a position in which it could completely revolutionise a number of industries and how we experience live events.
https://youtu.be/VIsKpx4XkzI
VR Used for Sporting Events
Virtual reality technology has also been used in sporting events to improve the audience’s experience. There are available systems that allow sports spectators to walk around a stadium or other sporting location. This helps them when purchasing a ticket to an event.
You also get virtual reality games that have a sports theme which allow for players to be actively involved in competitions. For instance, you get an interactive football game that projects a match (that a players are competing in) onto a real world surface.
The Future Use of VR in Events Planning
In the next few years, we could see virtual reality being firmly established in the events industry. As the technology continues to improve and virtual reality content becomes readily available to the audiences, virtual reality will continue to redefine how content is consumed. Virtual reality technology also presents an opportunity to attract new audience attention as there are relatively simple and affordable options that deliver the virtual experience, such as the Google Cardboard.  Virtual reality will mean that fans have the opportunity to make their dreams come to true. For those who are unable to make it to an event, for whatever reason, they will still get to experience the festivity.

#360Video, #Events
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Markex 2016 Sandton Convention Center 360 Video
http://virtual-reality.co.za/markex-2016-sandton-convention-center-360-video/
Markex 2016 draws in the crowds
JOHANNESBURG – July 07, 2015 –Thousands of visitors braved the cold in Sandton, Johannesburg yesterday, ensuring their entrance to the opening day of Markex 2016, the targeted promotional product expo. Markex is running from 6 to 7 July 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The bustling, colourful hall was a hive of activity, with thousands of resellers and corporate buyers gathering information on the latest innovations within the promotional goods industry. The Markex free-to-attend seminar theatre, which featured topics including “Changes in the marketing mix – what does the merging of technology and marketing mean for marketers?” and “How to run a small business – 10 tips for a strong and lasting start”, was packed to capacity, with eager attendees even sitting on the floor outside to ensure that they didn’t miss out.
Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery also used the 2016 show to launch the newest addition to its expo portfolio, Madex 2017, which will be collocated with next year’s Markex show. Markex 2017 will become a purely promotional, invite-only trade event, while Madex will appeal to the broader marketing field with a strong focus on intelligent, relevant content, featuring the best in South Africa’s advertising, design, digital and social media, direct marketing, public relations, events sectors, amongst others.
Markex 2016, now in its 29th year, features more than 140 exhibitors, showcasing products and services ranging from apparel, mobile technology and notebooks to drinkware and writing instruments. The expo opens today at 9am and runs through until 5pm.
360 Video Markex Sandton Convention Center
We visited the show to see what the show is about and recorded some of it in 360° video. You can watch the 360 videos below or on the Virtual Reality YouTube channel, or using  your virtual reality headset or Google Cardboard device to immerse yourself into the Sandton Convention center and Markex event.
https://youtu.be/mtMItvukU1k

#360Video, #YouTube
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