VRARA Vancouver's biggest chapter event to date, Branding For The Future, took place September 26th at Hootsuite HQ. We had a full house sell out of attendees for an informative night discussing how immersive technology will disrupt the ways brands, companies, and retailers connect with consumers.
The night started with two keynote speeches to explore how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have already begun to change storytelling to consumers, and how immersive technology will continue to shape and enhance brand experiences.
First speaker was Alan Smithson, CEO of MetaVRse. On his talk "VR/AR for Business 101", he said traditional human communication mediums, such as TV, Radio, Internet, Mobile will not be going away anytime soon with the introduction of VR/AR. Simply put, augmented reality is going to be the next medium. He shared several examples of use case of AR in consumer engagement, including IKEA Place app. Alan spoke about how AR Kit was released 3 months ago, but IKEA managed to get their entire catalogue out because they started working on the product two years ago.
He urges businesses to "start now, because in a couple of years when [AR] is a commonplace and all of the big brands and your competitors have started this, you don't want to be left behind when this takes off as a communication medium."
The night was followed by second speaker, Mira Leung who is lead in ARCore at Google on "Engaging Audiences in VR/AR". She educated the audience on the technical foundation of immersive technology, and discussed engagement and visualization with AR. She says "the question will not be if but how and when VR/AR will be a significant portion of business process and customer experiences." She ended her speech on an encouraging note that what's next for VR/AR will rely on those in the audiences. Mira asked them to show the VR/AR industry what's possible, show what experiences and interactions they can create using their creativity and storytelling in combination with the technology.
Fireside chat was moderated by Nikolas Badminton, world-reknowned futurist speaker, author and researcher. The panelists were composed of industry thought leaders, including Chris Bedyk from Perspective Films, Daniel Japiassu from YDREAMS Global, and Graham Cunliffe from Finger Food, as well as the two speakers, Alan Smithson and Mira Leung. The fireside chat was a discussion about several topics. One of which was on quality of AR that is available today. Because the technology in its infancy, costs of delivering high quality VR/AR experiences is high. However the value and experience a consumer could get is often greater than having a high definition experience, especially if it is an experience that is unaccessible, such as BC Lions' dressing room.
After the speaker and fireside chat, attendees enjoyed themselves to refreshments and delicious selection of food, sponsored by Foodee, to enjoy while networking. There were also a handful of innovative companies showcasing their technology, such as Blueprint Reality, Questupon, Perspective Films, BioInteractive Technologies, cognitiveVR, radical.io, and LlamaZOO.
Here's the event recap video by NovusTV:
Here are the full speaker talks:
We would like to thank everyone that attended our event. Special thanks to our amazing speakers, as well as sponsors who made this happen: Hootsuite, Tradable Bits, Voyer Law Corporation, Vancouver Startup Week, LNG Studios, BC Lions, Unbounce, Futurist Nikolas Badminton, Cambridge International House, Entax, Foodee, and
Written by Laura Ryu, Marketing and Communications Manager VRARA Vancouver