Planning Events in XR: Accenture Partners with Qualcomm to Introduce Cross Platform Event Planning App
Technology service provider Accenture has unveiled an XR Event Planner that hopes to revolutionize event planning with XR. The XR Event Planner app runs on smartphone, the augmented reality glasses Nreal Light as well as the standalone virtual reality headsets Vive Focus Plus.
In the U.S. market alone, the event planning market generates $330 billion annually.
For event planners, organizing the perfect event can be a lengthy and costly process where planners are often forced to travel far to find suitable venues for events, negotiate prices with the hotel sales personnel and finally with the end buyer looking for the events spaces. Through the event planning, the event planner must also factor in the customer’s feedback and keep them up to date with the progress of the event planning. It is a process which can take months as the event planner visits each and every space to determine its suitability.
The XR Event Planner is a mixed reality app that enables event planners to view hotel spaces in VR or AR to decide whether or not they should book the rooms without being there physically.
For the creation of the app, Accenture collaborated with the VR and AR chip manufacturer Qualcomm and it has already developed demos of the XR Event Planner with the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) to demonstrate how the technology helps in simplifying the process of booking events at hotels.
The IHG has 16 hotel chains including the Holiday Inn and is currently looking for ways to use Accenture’s product to assist event planners in booking its spaces. Accenture’s app makes the typically difficult and time-consuming process of booking event spaces much faster and easier.
Accenture is currently in talks with various hotel clients to determine if they are willing to implement a full-fledged configurable offering for their main event rooms. At the same time, it wants to equip other events spaces using simpler iterations of the XR Event Planner app.
The XR Event Planner app has been built by Accenture Extended Reality (XR) practice. It puts all the players in the events planning process including the event planners, customers and hotels staff side by side within a virtual reconstruction of the event space under consideration.
Inside the XR app, users can navigate around hotel spaces, configure the number of tables, the lighting as well as other event space features. Event planners are able to remotely view the possible alterations made to the event space in XR in real time. Event planners are even able to change features such as types of tables, fabric patterns, table settings and the carpet.
Users can to add notes for the hotel crew and other colleagues working on the event planning. The XR event planner can boost event sales by 8%.
A VentureBeat staff writer tried out the app during the CES 2020 in Las Vegas and was able to view a space at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel. He saw a big ballroom that had a large door opened to enable the event attendees to see the pool area. Through the app, the staff writer was able to see how the room looked with its doors opened or closed and could even around with the expected number of guests.
Users can bring in other participants in the event planning and everyone can make changes in real-time and the changes made are visible to all involved. .
For hotels, the initial work such as accurately designing the spaces in virtual reality and augmented reality which reflect the area locations can be difficult. Accenture has stated its willingness to help with this onboarding process for hotels.
The XR Event Planner app is a major step forward in solving some of the challenges faced by the $330 billion annual events and meeting industry market in the U.S.
By cutting down on the time and complexity of booking events spaces, the app also helps cut down on the event booking costs not just for the event planners but also for property owners and end buyers.
Hoteliers estimate that apart from improving the sales numbers, the app could also help cut down on the sale cycle times, cut down on the costs of booking and also improve brand loyalty and affinity. The XR tool could also help hotels to increase their productivity and close events sales much faster. Clients are also able to book event spaces without the hassle of travelling over longer distances.
The pilot solution of the app was designed for multiple platforms ranging from mobile phones to tablets, HTC Vive Focus headset and the Nreal AR glasses. So far, the app works fine on all of these platforms.