The benefits of online interaction are well-known among marketers: they are an opportunity to reach a wider audience at a lower cost, gather people from all over the world and across different functions, and they are effective in providing content to a target audience to drive engagement. “Engagement Marketing” has become the new catchphrase in the marketing industry – from August to October, Google trends showed a 30% increase in web searches containing this word combination.

In this context, marketers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their Engagement Marketing strategy, and 3D immersive technologies are proving effective in meeting this need. Although some people still tend to associate the notion of “3D immersive” to the complicated and “artificial” technologies of the past, today’s 3D immersive experiences drive higher engagement than any other technology.

Why? Everyone acknowledges the incomparable effectiveness of face-to-face interactions. Even if it is impossible to achieve the same level of engagement of in-person interactions with any digital technology, immersive 3D technologies are the ones that get the closest in replicating them. Immersion refers to the perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. This is achieved by inducing directly in the nervous system the same sensations and emotions that people experience in real life. This automatically results in higher engagement, as the nervous system reacts to the real-life stimuli provided through digital 3D technology as to in-person interactions.

All well and good, but how do you measure that? Quantitative data alone – such as the number of attendees or clicks on content – are not enough to determine the true engagement level of event attendees. To get more qualitative information about engagement levels, it is common practice to send out a survey to attendees after the event. However, most people do not take the surveys they receive, they get tired by the many questions and may end up providing random answers, but mostly, surveys are generally biased, being based on what people think of their experience, rather than capturing what people actually experienced.

Whereas, with 3D immersive technologies, the avatar becomes the proxy of the person. No more surveys. In an avatar-based environment, it is easy to follow and qualitatively assess everyone’s engagement, because the organizers can keep track of what people actually do.

Webinar attendees may have the webinar page open and do other things in the meantime. Research shows that during webinars and conference calls the vast majority of people do other work or send out emails.

With avatar-based technologies, it is easy to see whether people are engaged and focused on the event or not. Are they just standing still or are they moving around, exploring lounges, booths and halls, checking content, talking and chatting with one another? All this makes it infinitely easier to determine the real customer engagement level.

Engagement is a qualitative state of mind and 3D immersive avatar-based technologies are an effective way to drive it the natural way, just like in real life. At the same time, they give organizers and marketers an unbiased, hassle-free insight into what people do and focus on when attending the virtual event.

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