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Nightmares are loose as Verizon launches virtual immersive experience for marketers

Verizon Media is trapping people in a creepy laboratory this Halloween as part of an immersive theatrical thriller made for the internet.

Giving an insight into a virtual future powered by next-generation technology and supercharged by 5G, Immersion 2021 is a virtual event with a Halloween escape room experience created by the technology company’s Ryot Studio team in partnership with award-winning immersive theatre company Swamp Motel and experiential and digital agency MVRK.

Participants will be trapped in a virtual room and left to explore 3D spaces, inspect items, listen to audio and discover video files or access the open web in order to gather information that will help them crack a code and escape to the next room.

Held online on 29 and 30 October, it will be a showcase of Verizon Media's technology, knowledge and expertise in enabling virtual experiences and deeper engagement, and providing demonstrations and inspiration to brands for its client solutions, from creative technology and 3D production studios through to its innovative adtech platforms and data solutions.

Through its virtual platform, Verizon Media will demonstrate how the growing virtualisation of our world is a benefit, and a tool we can use for our own good. It will also present its leading partners and technological solutions at the event, showing what can be accomplished when supported with the right technology.

Participants will also be invited to immerse themselves further in the XR world and attend virtual, inspirational talks within Immersion 2021 from some of the world’s leading thinkers in the space, with speakers shedding light on the future of tech, the effectiveness of immersive storytelling and the virtualisation of the real world.

They will also discuss the wealth of opportunities for technological progression and what a future 5G world will look like.

As this year of unexpected twists and turns draws to its close, this is an event more relevant than ever. And while lockdown may have pushed people indoors, thanks to VR and AR it hasn't pulled them apart, with the public’s interest and use of these technologies skyrocketing as a result.

Demand for exciting and interactive virtual digital experiences has accelerated because of the coronavirus, and the ability of cutting-edge technology to foster connections and allow people to feel part of something is also creating competition among brands, meaning they need to be more imaginative than ever in its deployment. The introduction of 5G into this sphere, meanwhile, has helped catapult creativity to the next level, with its ability to amaze and inspire audiences. For the first time, the consumer is not only bearing witness to incredible brand experiences, but completely immersed in them.

In a UK study conducted by Verizon Media*, 51% of adults who attended live events prior to the pandemic would now be interested in having the option to attend them virtually. This number increases to 55% among 18- to 34-year-olds. Similarly, UK consumers are more interested in the prospect of VR and AR experiences. In September, 69% admitted they were excited by the possibilities, up from 50% from the previous March.

These encouraging statistics reveal just how wide an opportunity these experiences present to brands looking to engage with their audience in new ways. So while we might not be able to come together as usual this Halloween, we can access a full suite of creative technologies and virtual experiences that allow us to enjoy the season, regardless of rules and distance.

Ready to immerse yourself? Sign up to take part in Verizon Media’s Immersion 2021 here.

*Source: Verizon Media/YouGov Immersive Experiences Consumer Study. Online fieldwork March & September 2020, UK adults 18+ nationally

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