Editor's Blog

On hold? The reality of VR

“When virtual reality takes off, it’s going to be as big a change as the internet. It’s going to change everything.”

That’s what Matt Wordley, COO of Orchard Media and Events, told me back in January in a piece for M&IT where I declared the industry was on the verge of a breakthrough. And yet it hasn’t quite worked out that way for VR in the events industry.

QHotels’ Event Profs Panel has just declared that VR is not the essential event tech for 2018, saying that they were more concerned with finding tools that support the management of the event and help deliver real-time engagement.

And a new poll conducted by the Barbican of 120 event buyers has revealed that 48 per cent are not considering options for attendees to take part in events virtually.

You could flip that around and say that, well, it means that more than half of buyers are thinking about VR for events. But it isn’t a decisive amount (cue reference to 52-48 results not being decisive) and it is clear that the breakthrough remains on hold for the time being.

In my opinion, VR is still coming down the tracks whether we like it or not. True, it hasn’t arrived this year - and it may not happen next year either. But it is definitely coming, as soon as the technology advances to the stage where it becomes accessible and affordable. And it is at that point that VR will become not just part of our events, but part of our lives.

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