Virtual Reality Creates New Perspective on Adobe Summit in Vegas

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It’s March, and it already looks like a break-out year for virtual reality (VR) technology. VR was front and center at the recent SXSW festival, and VR systems and hardware stole the show at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in January.

VR is pushing all of us to rethink how we deliver content. And large-scale events are proving to be a great testing ground for VR.  This week, we’ve been doing some experimentation of our own by launching Inside Summit, a VR experience that will give you a deep dive into the 2016 Adobe Summit in Las Vegas.

“Virtual reality offers a huge potential for marketing and engagement,” says Mark Boothe, Adobe senior manager for social media. “It’s a great forum for brands to create a really good experience for their users, and to extend content through an engaging new channel.”

Inside Summit is a media-rich environment for both on-site and virtual participants to view event content, experience Las Vegas, and encourage social media engagement — even after the event has concluded.

“Much of the VR content is being created during the event,” says Mark. “Initially, the VR experience was focused on iconic Vegas sights – and not specifically on Summit events. But now, as this year’s program is progressing, new content from the conference is being added to the mix.”

Virtual reality participants can engage with image-based content from Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and many other Summit presenters. Video content will be available as part of the post-conference experience.

We’re using virtual reality tools to demonstrate how this rapidly evolving technology can be used in conjunction with bricks and mortar events. “Summit is enabling us to create socially shareable experiences, and to reach a significant audience,” explains Mark. “We are driving the social conversation, and we’re extending Summit beyond its physical walls.”

Encouraging engagement is one of the main objectives of the Inside Summit VR experience. “We wanted to make sure this was highly engaging, so social and gamification functionality has been built-in to the experience,” adds Brad Robins, Adobe activation manager.

On site, “brand ambassadors” are showing people who receive a cardboard VR headset how to post their photos to the conference “wall.”

This year, 2,000 partners and influencers received a Cardboard VR kit, with instructions for turning their smartphones into virtual headsets. Yes, in case you’re wondering, these viewers look a lot like Google Cardboard.

Cardboard viewers provide a simple and inexpensive way for transforming content on your phone into an immersive experience. But don’t worry if you’re not on the insider’s list. The Adobe Summit virtual reality experience is URL-based, which means anyone with a VR headset of their own can participate.

Easy-to-follow online instructions enable VR headset users to access conference images, updates, and interactive features, including pre- and post-conference highlights. But even participants without headsets can access much of the online content—albeit via a conventional 2-D viewing experience.

Of course, a lot of users are already embracing virtual reality. For example, there was a VR section in the New Frontier category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers are using Adobe Premiere Pro and tools from the Creative Cloud to develop immersive viewing experiences.

Whether you’re interested in ideas for how to implement virtual reality for marketing, highlights from the conference, or in new tools for creating immersive experiences, you’ll definitely want to check-out Inside Summit.

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