In Blog Form

January 11, 2021
Event Technology

Interactive 3D Exhibit Halls for Virtual Events are Here!

Interactive 3D Exhibit Halls for Virtual Events are Here!

Happy new year everyone! Boy oh boy are we excited, we have huge product updates that we’ve been polishing and developing over the last little bit ready to announce in the coming weeks, starting with a live and animated 3D exhibit hall!

Just before the holidays, our CEO posted this on Linkedin …

We can assure you that we didn’t rest for a moment, knowing that there are so many events counting on PheedLoop to continue to innovate this year even faster than we did in 2020 and the years before.

A request we’ve received consistently is to provide event planners going virtual with their events more creative, interactive, and visually interesting interfaces for things like their lobby, exhibit hall, group networking, etc. A division of our engineering team spent the last few weeks looking at all this feedback, what’s available in the market right now, and what we could build that would open up the floodgates for constant innovation on this front. So we built a 3D exhibit hall that does quite a lot and is super integrated!

3D exhibit hall PheedLoop for virtual events

First, a Special Offer!

For any new customers coming onboard in January, we’re offering 5 premium exhibit booth credits for free (includes 3D booths)! Apply these to any of your events, any time. If you joined us in January before this blog post went live, just reach out to our team and we’ll add the credits to your account.

What 3D Virtual Event Experiences Exist Today?

We took a deep look at what exists today in the market when it comes to 3D interactive interfaces and were both disappointed and horrified at the same time. Disappointed because most “3D interfaces” were nothing more than 3D images (sometimes barely that) with some 2D overlays on them that looked like they were from the 90s. Often sloppily put together. Horrified because the more advanced interfaces costed tens of thousands of dollars, often starting prices of at least $25,000. Seriously? Is this the best we can do as an event technology industry?

Short of platforms that do attempt to present something more visual, most platforms that offer virtual events are just old platforms (usually event apps) repackaged as new ones so they simply rely on lists of logos. Although our platform is not repackaged, we did rely on slightly more interactive lists than our event app but we're excited to take this to a whole new level with PheedLoop 3D.

See 10 Ways PheedLoop is Different Compared to Other Live, Virtual, and Hybrid Event Platforms to learn more.

Our Goals with PheedLoop 3D

We had five main goals in mind with the PheedLoop 3D product update that guided its development:

  • Affordability - There’s no way we could justify building a feature that cost more than our entire product no matter what the market rate is. That’s why we’ve just simply looped the 3D booth option per exhibitor into the same premium booth price. Pretty simple!
  • Extensibility - Although today we’re announcing a 3D exhibit hall, we have no intention to stop there. We’re already working on new interfaces for things like the lobby, group networking, etc. So it was important for us to build a framework, not just a feature. Our 3D animated interface is super extensible, so we’ll definitely be adding new updates and interfaces in due course!
  • Real-Time - A big missed opportunity we noticed with existing solutions, even super expensive ones, is they’re essentially static interfaces. A 3D exhibit hall is very different from one where you see real-time activity demonstrating real-time engagement, just like a real event. We achieve this by hooking into our presence monitoring system and displaying cute animated avatars at booths to show live activity and encourage engagement. It’s super fun to see a packed exhibit hall buzzing with activity!
  • Simple - We’re not trying to shoot for the moon here and build Cyberpunk 2077 inside PheedLoop. Often times it’s the simplest interfaces and experiences that are the most powerful. We have visions and designs for all sorts of fancy additions, but decided to start simple.
  • VR Ready - We’re really and truly excited about the future potential of VR. We built our 3D framework to be ready for virtual reality. In fact, it’s so ready that we just have to flick a few switches and make some small optimizations and we’re ready for you to use our 3D interfaces with any Web VR/XR compatible device right from your browser!

How Does the 3D Exhibit Hall Work?

It’s pretty simple actually. Any exhibitor with the premium exhibit booth added to their profile (which enables lead retrieval, live video booths, and now 3D booths on the floor plan) automatically end up on the interactive floor plan in your virtual event portal.

You can toggle the ability for an exhibitor, even if they have the premium exhibit booth added to their profile, to have a 3D booth or not if you want more fine-tuned control over the various exhibit/sponsor packages you offer.

In the virtual event portal, PheedLoop automatically creates a floor plan with all exhibitors that have the 3D booth option enabled, with a simple booth showing the exhibitor’s logo. Clicking on the booth takes the attendee straight to the exhibitor’s profile. PheedLoop’s presence tracking system kicks in, and if the attendee returns to the 3D map view, they’ll see a little animated avatar demonstrating that there’s someone at the booth!

The map can be smoothly panned and zoomed, and supports unlimited numbers of booths. Depending on the order you list your exhibitors in, the booths will populate on the 3D map accordingly.

Exhibitor and Sponsor ROI

Something we've heard quite often is that virtual event ROI for sponsors and exhibitors isn't high enough. The thing is, our data doesn't show this to be true, and we believe event planners are confusing return on investment with return. On average the ROI is 24% higher for exhibitors and sponsors (at least for PheedLoop powered events). With PheedLoop's low-cost $99 premium exhibit booth upgrade which provides lead retrieval + live video + 3D booths (new), for each exhibitor the ROI increases by 73% and price event planners charge per booth by a whopping 185%!

Remember, ROI is relative (i.e. return on investment, not just return). It costs a fraction of the typical investment for virtual exhibitors and sponsors to present their brands versus on-site, and in most cases they get about as many leads, in addition to far more data, larger audiences (average of 30% more for events we power), long-term exposure, and control over their presence.

This doesn't mean the value of sponsoring on-site events isn't there, but we truly believe a fast paced and innovative platform like PheedLoop, given another year of development efforts, can really push sponsor and exhibitor ROI for virtual events through the roof. This 3D exhibit hall is just one small step in that direction and a perfect example of that. So are our 15 Awesome Virtual Event Sponsorship Opportunities and Ideas.

Conclusion

We’re super excited about what this year has in store! Keep an eye out for our next update in a few days, as we’re going to be rolling things out super fast now. We also have 3 major projects in development behind the scenes to be released in Q2 and Q3 which are going extremely well and on track. We’ll be able to give you all a sneak peek at our next user conference closer to the end of Q1.

Thanks for staying #intheloop!

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PheedLoop is an all-in-one event management platform for live, virtual and hybrid events. Our platform powers events for associations, corporations, agencies, educational institutions and governments worldwide including Shopify, Government of Canada, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, IBM and more. We commit ourselves to being a highly product focused company, and are dedicated to releasing new features and product updates every week since our founding in 2015. We post regular updates like this one to our blog.

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