How Our Company Used Virtual Reality to Demo Our Product All Over the World Without Buying One Plane Ticket

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“We can actively participate, answer questions, network and demo our product just as if we were at a conference or event, even give a high five or two.”

-Amber Osborne, CMO at Doghead Simulations

If we had a passport at Doghead Simulations it would almost be full. We’ve shown off rumii, our VR education and collaboration platform, in Spain, England, Australia, Netherlands, Brazil and that’s just in the last three months of 2018. The overall list of places around the world and across the country that we’ve had our product in a physical booth and did demonstrations of our product goes on and on. Our team has done product demos of our VR meeting software rumii all over the world this year, yet, we have never touched an airplane seat other than traveling to a few local or nearby conferences or spent a dime on global travel. We estimate we’ve saved over $50,000 a year in travel expenses alone and want to tell you how to do it too.

So, what you are saying is you’ll never need to travel to a conference again?

We love attending and supporting conferences, don’t get us wrong there. A part of the business magic that happens is the experience, the events, the networking, the people. We encourage people to travel to conferences as much as possible! However as many of you know, there’s a TON of opportunities and events out there and the reality of being a startup means sending even one team member for a day long event, not to mention to a week long event across the globe can be costly in so many ways (time, production and money). This is more of a way to enhance your current event and promotion strategies.

How can your company or product be seen worldwide without spending a dime and stand out above the competition?

Before you start pivoting your business to build a cloning machine or a teleporter. This isn’t a really complicated secret, or a buy our 3000 page e-book, sign up for our painfully boring webinar series and we might tell you kind of deal. We don’t have a huge global team or worldwide offices, there’s less than ten of us that work full-time at Doghead Simulations. And yes, we’ve all put in hard work and long hours, giving demos of our product and talking to people (and sometimes lines and crowds of people) one-on-one.

We know you have questions. How did we do it? Where’s the secret sauce? Are you all employing David Copperfield over there?

The simple answer is through the power of virtual reality and by using our own virtual reality meeting software rumii with a combination of a few different marketing channels. We can actively participate, answer questions, network and demo our product just as if we were at a conference or event, even give a high five or two.

  • Partnerships - Through global partnerships with larger technology providers and institutions such as Ericsson, MSI, HTC Vive and Full Sail University we are able to attend remotely and leverage the event opportunities already attended physically by our partners to combine technology and event resources for the benefit of both partners. One of the ways we do this is by combining on site demo staff provided by our partners with our remote demo team from Doghead Simulations (inside rumii/VR) to give a real time demo of rumii in VR. It sometimes calls for some interesting wake up times for our team, but we love interacting with people all over the globe that are getting to step into rumii (and sometimes VR!) for the first time. We’ve heard the word “WOW!” in a lot of languages this year and that always makes us smile.

  • Customers  - We have amazing customers and they like to tell the world about us, not only tell but show the world about us! We’ve had customers give demonstrations of rumii during presentations or events showcasing how they themselves are using rumii. Our customers are creating some pretty creative uses such as Teaching languages in VR, exploring hard to access locations in VR, having weekly classes in VR. All the way from Australia to Italy to Japan our software has been used to educate others on how our customers are using rumii.

  • Reseller Program- Speaking of customers being your best marketing tool, recently this year we have started a reseller program for rumii with great success. Some of our biggest resellers are actively giving demos to their networks across the United States, Brazil, Bahrain, Canada, Italy, Australia, Singapore and Europe.

  • Distributed Remote Team - At Doghead Simulations we have a small but distributed team that covers most time zones in the United States (Orlando, Kansas City and Seattle) and part of our team spends some time in Brazil and Europe. Because of this we are able to do on site product demos and attend local events on both coasts with ease and also give remote demos without much strain on the team. We do have a physical office and development location in Orlando, Florida (We call the “Doghouse”) at Full Sail University, because of this location we are able to demo our product to people visiting Full Sail from all over the world weekly.

How would this work for a company that isn’t demoing rumii or VR? Can I demo my own product in VR?

If you build it, you can pretty much bring it into rumii for doing demos in a few ways and introduce your product to a more captive audience in a memorable way. Show off a 3D model of your product in rumii, play a pre-downloaded video of a trailer for your product, share a presentation or PDF of your new startup idea, have a virtual reality press booth at the event with rumii a headset and your PR staff in VR. There are so many ways to enhance the demonstration experience and to reduce your conference and travel costs with rumii.

Surely this can just be done through streaming or prerecorded video right? Why is enhancing on site demonstrations with virtual reality better at events and conferences?

If anyone has tried to use the internet at most conferences, you know that this can be “lag-tastic” as we like to call it due to lack of or overcrowded wifi or internet sources. Giving streaming video demos would get a hearty belly laugh out of most vendors at a conference and would be a recipe for disaster. With rumii, you are able to run smoothly off a hotspot or most conference wifi without lag. We’ve been in  Adding an extra crowd-drawing novelty having shiny VR headsets at your booth and a “WOW! factor” when someone realizes they are talking to a real person around the world in virtual reality.

What are some of the added benefits for a company outside of travel costs to using rumii and VR for product demos and conferences?

This allows teams (especially cash-strapped startups) the ability to have more of their team be part of a conference where they won’t be able to attend otherwise due to difficulties of travel (health, family responsibilities, workload). Typical impact (lost production days) of attending a conference for someone is number of conference days + 2 days (travel, downtime, illnesses acquired at conferences, etc...) Currently, you can buy a standalone (no need for a VR ready PC) VR headset for under $300 compared to the thousands of dollars spent to have an extra person(s) to demo or answer product questions for the press or potential customers.

Also, no convention cultivated illnesses, hangovers or jet lag. Can we get a virtual reality high five on that?


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