Death Of The On-Site Showround - Merlin Venues

Death Of The On-Site Showround

16 November 2015

Searching for the perfect venue can sometimes be the hardest part of organising an event. After getting proposals and whittling down your list of 5 venues to view, you then need to book in a visit. Nobody wants to commit to a venue they haven’t seen. Historically event planners have set aside a strict day of back-to-back on-site showrounds, and come rain or shine they would traipse between venues listening to the different sales techniques of various venue representatives. If a venue couldn’t accommodate a meeting at a specific date and time they would be in danger of losing the enquiry altogether. Here at Merlin Events we have launched a solution to this that makes the experience of a showround far more appealing.


Showrounds In The Rain

Showrounds In The Rain

The Solution

As many unique event venues like Madame Tussauds are popular tourist attractions, further restrictions apply when it comes to showrounds, including overcrowding and limitations during peak periods. As well as strong images and venue showround videos the creative minds at Merlin Events HQ have invested in virtual reality (VR) technology to overcome these problems. Gone are the days that demand you take a whole day out of the office, get wet running between venues or having to turn down a potential venue because they cannot accommodate your time slot! At Merlin Events, the future is here! An interactive brochure has been created, allowing potential event bookers to visit the venue from a location that suits them. Only a handful of cultural attractions utilise a portable marketing device to showcase their product, but this will no doubt increase. Integrating technology like virtual reality into the event offering is something that has pushed the boundaries of events in 2015 and will continue to grow in years to come.



VR At Madame Tussauds

Developed by digital production agency Rewind, the fully immersive experience was introduced in September and uses the new Samsung Gear VR headset. VR will give the user the feeling that they’re in the venue, and simply moving your head allows you to look around each room. Highlighting four individual event set-ups in the venue, and generating a 360 degree image for each location, virtual data was created of the main entrance, a drinks reception set-up in the party area, dinner dance in the world stage and cocktail party spaces.

Solomon Rogers, Founder and Managing Director at Rewind added: “Virtual Reality is set to explode over the next 12 months as more and more headsets start to hit the market. As an early adopter of the technology, Madame Tussauds have put themselves at the head of the crowd by producing an interactive tour of their event spaces. The benefits for the events industry are huge, with a single headset they are able to take their event space to their customers and let them see it first hand at their own desk.”


Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality


Already, our clients are benefiting from this technology and we are seeing event confirmations based on the clarity of the product to the decision maker. Initial plans to roll this technology out to other venues within the Merlin Events London portfolio are underway.

Do you think virtual reality will overtake on-site showrounds?

By Gareth McTiffin 


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