After the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of its flagship motor show, Volkswagen was determined not to let months of planning to go waste. As the world fled online, VW turned to us to help build a virtual showcase for its latest products.
In just four weeks, we used the Unity3D engine to build Volkwagen’s first-ever immersive digital exhibition booth. Visitors could virtually see the finished product, helping VW achieve a far greater level of reach than a physical expo would have allowed.
Event cancellations and showcase closures can often be disappointing, but sometimes they’re inevitable. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean an alternative solution can’t be crafted to ensure a given set of plans don’t go to waste. Volkswagen realised the importance of staying ahead of the curve in the face of certain events potentially being called off. As such, they wanted to virtually replicate their exhibition booth following the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show.
We were approached to develop this virtual replication of Volkswagen’s exhibition booth so that in the times of travel restrictions their products could still be displayed. Naturally, this needed to be an adequate replacement of the real experience so that the brand awareness and customer experience goals could still be met. We worked in close conjunction with the International Auto Show department to jointly develop Volkswagen’s first-ever virtual motor show.
The virtual booth allowed any interested customer the ability to experience over 30 car models from Volkswagen. Visitors could freely explore the tradeshow booth by virtually walking around and seeing the cars from any angle rather than seeing them from fixed vantage points. This was done through high-quality 3D visuals and effects, which also let users change car colours and parts or explore interactive panels before being forwarded to an ID.3 car configurator.
The virtual motor show was streamed from the cloud to any device. Not only did we optimise the 3D car models, apply materials and shaders, and recreate the whole tradeshow booth in 3D, but also we included video and music originally produced for the live booth. The whole experience was implemented in real-time 3D based on Unity3D.
With Volkswagen’s first-ever virtual motor show behind them, our work benefitted Volkswagen in this unprecedented situation. For example, our solution was quickly created and implemented within four weeks, with the virtual booth remaining online for about four weeks thereafter.
The 3D booth also maintained extensive reach due to its virtual nature and allowed for adaptability to accommodate any last-minute product updates or market demands.
As the world continues to evolve in new and exciting ways, there’s no telling where we will go next. Should Volkswagen require a similar solution for future exhibitions, our virtual motor show can be tailorable in multiple ways and can even work as an add-on to physical events, providing them with plenty of room to navigate the road ahead.
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