Everything Old is New Again….Redux

In an April blog post, I invoked the adage “everything old is new again” when discussing the current trend of using hand-written letters to communicate with clients … as well as the irony of online services that automate this practice. Really?

This month, I experienced this irony again when Pokémon GO took the world by storm and the blogosphere was overflowing with ideas about how it could be integrated into experiential marketing programs.

Why do I find this ironic?  First, it’s important to understand that the primary technology that drives Pokémon GO is not new, has been around for some time, and is something about which I’ve written extensively.

I’m talking about Augmented Reality.

That’s not the ironic part. In fact, I find Pokémon GO ingenious and I applaud their efforts. The irony arises when you consider that for the past several years, when the topic of AR is broached during attendee-engagement conservations with my clients, I often encountered concerns such as, “It’s too complicated,” or “It’s too expensive.”

This is frustrating because I know from experience that AR is simple to use and can be created affordably.  I also know that it is often difficult to persuasively communicate a new idea.

Enter Pokémon GO.  Practically overnight, Augmented Reality is seen as not just accessible, but cool and fun!

I’m glad it’s such a hit for reasons that are entirely self-serving; it makes my job of convincing clients to consider incorporating it into their engagement marketing mix much easier.  It also helps makes the possible uses of AR easier to grasp.

For example:

  • Using AR, attendees can receive a fascinating “special peek” inside industrial or medical devices, literally blowing up or peeling back the walls to experience never-before-seen glimpses into their inner workings, as well as learn about key differentiators.
  • AR helps exhibitors greatly reduce their drayage costs by allowing them to leave bulky, heavy equipment at home … or at least leave a great deal of it. AR gives attendees a 360 degree, 3D animation of that equipment with virtually zero exhibit footprint.
  • AR can spice up engagements and interactions at Sales Meetings or User Conferences. Since the audience is generally autonomous, they may amenable to downloading a special AR app onto their own device, and then throughout the meeting, experiencing enhanced messaging and animations via printed collateral or poster sessions.  They could even go on a mini-Pokémon GO-style hunt around the event property.

Clearly, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg and I urge you to access our White Paper, Leveraging AR & VR, or our article, Augmented & Virtual Reality: Going Beyond the “Gee-Whiz! to take deeper dive into the subject.

But for now, I hope the ease-of-use and popularity of Pokémon GO will prompt you reconsider integrating AR in your next Tradeshow Engagement Program.

p.s. I am concerned that Pokémon GO will someday integrate VIRTUAL Reality into the platform, and our streets will soon teem with people wearing futuristic headsets. Residents of Hollywood and certain areas of San Francisco may not notice, but I’m not so sure about my neighborhood.