Best Practices for Augmented Reality in Trade Shows

Unlock trade show success with AR strategies. Elevate booth design, engage visitors, and stand out with these best practices.
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Augmented reality (AR) has emerged as a game-changer for trade show and event experiences, revolutionizing the way many exhibitors approach their presence at these events.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the strategies that not only guarantee success but also help navigate the unique challenges faced by several booths in an environment where booth design, foot traffic, and product presentation can make all the difference.


What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a cutting-edge technology that adds a greater context to our physical surroundings by overlaying digital information in the real world. This interactive experience is made possible through the convergence of a camera, display, mobile device, and computer vision technology. These components work together seamlessly to blend the virtual world of content with our tangible environment in real-time, providing an accessible and engaging experience.


augmented relity


In contrast to virtual reality, which immerses users entirely in a simulated environment, augmented reality enhances the real world with digital elements, resulting in a mixed reality experience that businesses and brands can leverage to their advantage.

For companies and brands, AR presents a unique opportunity to promote their products and services in fun and innovative ways. Whether it’s creating great design elements for product presentations, launching interactive games that attract a large number of buyers, or developing captivating videos and images for social media, AR opens up a world of possibilities.

To explore how it’s shaping the manufacturing industry, visit this blog post.


AR in expos

BWS Trailers revolutionized engagement at Conexpo by incorporating augmented reality into their trade show booth. They prominently displayed a poster adorned with QR codes, granting attendees access to their immersive 3D trailer viewers.


By scanning these QR codes with their smartphones, visitors could explore the trailer and showcase models at their own pace. To enhance their presentation, iPads were seamlessly integrated into their trade show booth layout, empowering the sales team to give additional information and effectively demonstrate products, all while bringing only one physical trailer.

See the success story on Youtube


On the other hand, Metal Pless demonstrated the power of augmented reality through a clever QR code strategy. They featured a massive QR code on their machine, encouraging attendees to scan it and experience their products in 3D.


This engaging and inventive approach to product demonstrations not only allowed potential customers to visualize products in three dimensions but also provided access to Metal Pless’s complete product range, highlighting the transformative capabilities and benefits of augmented reality in trade show presentations.

Click here to see more 3D/AR success stories


Three Tips for AR Success at Trade Shows

Ensure a Reliable Internet Connection

Trade shows and exhibitions often suffer from subpar Wi-Fi connectivity. With hundreds, if not thousands, of exhibitors and attendees vying for bandwidth, relying on venue Wi-Fi can be a gamble. Slow loading times, laggy experiences, and disrupted presentations can turn your AR showcase or event into a headache for both you and your audience.

A Private 5G Solution

To ensure your AR presentation goes off without a hitch, it’s a wise move to take matters into your own hands. Consider investing in an iPad that supports 5G connectivity. Having your own 5G-enabled device grants you the power to establish a fast and reliable connection virtually anywhere.

No more struggling with congested public networks. Your AR content will load quickly and smoothly, leaving a lasting impression on your exhibition stand visitors.

person holding iPad


Don’t Forget the Router Option

For those situations where 5G coverage might be spotty or unavailable, there’s another trick up your sleeve. At the exhibition venue, you can purchase a router, creating your private Wi-Fi network. This private connection guarantees a fast and secure experience for users of your AR applications, ensuring that your audience gets the best possible demonstration of your augmented reality.

white modem outer is turned on


4 ways to use AR at your next trade show


Optimize Your Device: iPad with a Good Camera

The Power of a Powerful Device for trade show attendees

Why opt for an iPad for your AR presentations? The answer is simple: iPads, especially the iPad Pro series, offer the perfect blend of size and power. Their large, high-resolution screens provide ample real estate for your AR content to shine, allowing your audience to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Additionally, the processing power under the hood ensures smooth, lag-free performance, vital for delivering an engaging and impressive AR demonstration.

Stay Current with the Latest iPad Models

In the fast-evolving tech landscape, staying up-to-date is crucial. The latest iPad models come equipped with improved cameras, which significantly enhance the AR experience. These advanced cameras capture intricate details and textures, making your augmented reality models pop with lifelike clarity. To maximize the impact of your AR presentations, consider investing in the newest iPad releases with top-notch camera technology.

black ipad beside silver iphone 6


Additionally, we recommend our clients invest in a hand holder case for their iPad. This accessory ensures a secure grip, allowing them to comfortably hold the sometimes heavy iPad with one hand without the risk of it falling.


Refurbished iPads: A Smart Investment

While the latest iPad models offer unparalleled performance, they can come with a hefty price tag. However, here’s a savvy tip: check out Apple’s refurbished iPad options. These certified refurbished devices provide excellent value for money, as they undergo rigorous testing and come with a warranty. It’s a cost-effective way to acquire a powerful AR-ready iPad without breaking the bank.


Try Before You Commit

Still not convinced? Apple’s 14-day return policy allows you to put the iPad to the test. Purchase one, experience its capabilities firsthand, and if you find it doesn’t meet your expectations, simply return it. This risk-free trial period ensures you’re completely satisfied with your AR device investment.


Creating Hyper-Optimized 3D Models for AR

The Benefits of Optimized Models

Why go through the effort involved of creating hyper-optimized 3D models? Firstly, optimized models load quickly, ensuring that your target audience doesn’t have to endure frustrating delays. This instant gratification keeps their attention focused on your message and product, enhancing your potential customer engagement.

Secondly, simplified models reduce the strain on the device’s processing power, resulting in smoother animations and interactions. A lag-free experience is critical for creating a positive impression on visitors and leaving a lasting impact on brands and on trade show attendees.


How to Create Hyper-Optimized 3D Models

Creating hyper-optimized 3D models requires a careful balance between retaining essential details and reducing unnecessary complexity. Here are some insights on how to achieve this:

1. Leverage the Right Tools: Consider utilizing specialized 3D modelling software that allows you to optimize models specifically for AR applications. As a reference, platforms like Visao offer solutions that enable the creation of lightweight 3D viewers tailored for trade shows and AR.

2. Prioritize Key Details: Identify the key elements and details that must be present in your 3D model. Streamline and simplify non-essential components to reduce file size without compromising visual quality.


3. Texture Optimization: Pay attention to textures and materials in your 3D models. Efficiently compress textures to strike a balance between visual quality and file size.

4. Test and Refine: Always test your AR content with optimized models to ensure they perform seamlessly on your chosen devices. Make adjustments as needed to achieve the best results.

3d model


Ready to implement AR for your next trade show engagement?

In conclusion, when preparing to implement AR for your next trade show engagement, keep in mind the essential factors such as reliable internet connections, the capabilities of iPads with top-notch cameras, and the significance of hyper-optimized 3D models for seamless trade show exhibit experiences. These elements, when combined, can greatly enhance attendee engagement and highlight your product features.

By harnessing the potential of AR, you can truly elevate your value proposition at trade shows and stand out among other exhibitors. Visao is your trusted partner in this journey, ready to assist you in embracing AR as your trade show engagement ally.

Transform your CAD drawing into interactive 3D viewers with Visao

Create fully interactive 3D viewers of your products without any prior 3D experience

Customize the viewers to match your brand and product specifications

Host your 3D viewers on the cloud and easily share them with your audience

augmented reality mode

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