Burning Man Goes Virtual: How Virtual Reality is Changing the Entertainment Industry

The Burning Man Festival is going virtual this year. Well, kind of. Specifically, the sculptures, art, photographs and more from past festivals have been put on display as the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery's latest exhibition, No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. 

We think 2020 is just the beginning of brands taking their events virtual – the entertainment industry just happens to be one of the first to catch on to the trend, out of necessity. Read on to learn about what a virtual experience could look like for you and why it might be your next best business strategy. 

Virtual experiences are unique in and of themselves. Because these experiences are so immersive, the value that a user gets from them relies on their own perception of the experience – meaning everyone walks away from the experiences with a unique take on them.  

Does this mean we think more companies will take their events to virtual spaces in the future? Absolutely. Whether we like it or not, 2020 has proven that anything can happen at the most unpredictable times, and businesses should always be prepared with a backup plan.  

Having at least the foundations for a virtual experience that can substitute an in-person one is now essential, especially since these experiences are providing more value to more people (image source: 9to5mac) 

By more value to more people, we literally mean these experiences are bound to reach more people and teach them something. Almost 4.57 billion people in the world have access to and are active users of the internet. In-person events are too limited in how many people can attend, what attractions are possible within the event space, et cetera.

Digitalizing Events to Maximize Your Reach and Reliability

In 2020, we’ve seen an influx of brands taking their popular events virtual. From Burning Man to Apple’s WWDC to Cannes Lion’s ‘Lions Live’ and even CES 2021, brands are taking advantage of digital spaces’ ability to reach millions of people around the world.  

In our opinion, Cannes Lion did it right. They quickly made the decision to go virtual with their event, now dubbed ‘Lions Live’, and made it a free-for-all initiative. Everything was pointing to this being the right move – they listened to their audience’s concerns about the state of the world, provided the same information in an effective, entertaining and engaging way, and removed any uncertainty that their partners or customers had around event. 

By creating customized widgets, the Cannes Lion team was able to personalize the experience and offer exactly what their customers wanted - effectively killing two birds with one stone by positioning the organization as valuable and building its audience’s trust. Who’s to say you can’t do the same for your business? 

Cannes Lions’ Lion Live 2020 (image source: Adobo Magazine) 

Plus, virtual events are extremely reliable since there’s no need to cancel something that’s virtual. Unlike in-person events, there’s not much that can stop a virtual one from being hosted. Physical limitations are no longer a problem. 

Virtual Events Are Scalable, Flexible and Cost-Efficient

Like we already mentioned, there’s no sense in limiting the amount of people that can access your event. Other than physical spaces having a maximum capacity, you might not be taking the cost of hosting people live into consideration. Virtual events allow more people to attend your events while you pay a fraction of the cost.  

That’s not to mention the money you’d be saving on a venue, food and drink, insurance and everything else that goes into hosting an in-person event. Taking your event virtual eliminates many, if not all, of these costs so you’ll be able to focus on hosting an unforgettable event. 

Last but certainly not least, as long as you have the right platform and tools at your disposal, virtual events can be tailored to your needs and goals, and your customers’ needs. At the end of the day, any event that can be hosted in-person can be hosted virtually. 

Make Informed Decisions Based on Analytics and Data

Holding virtual events allows business owners to gather real-time data – how many people attended, what people were most interested in and even how many questions were asked are just some of the data your team can use to enhance future events, or even your brand’s business strategy moving forward. 

These are data points that are difficult to obtain during or after an in-person event, but they are essential to developing the appropriate content and determining what part of your strategy is or isn’t working. 

The Future of the Entertainment and Event Industries – Is Virtual the Way to Go?

It can be argued that the entertainment and event industries were the first to be hit by Covid-19, and it can be said that the future of both industries has been changed forever due to the pandemic. Almost all in person conferences, tradeshows and exhibitions were suddenly postponed, with no clear reopening date for 2020.  

We can’t blame the organizations, however – they can’t possibly plan for an event when there’s no timeline for the end of Corona.  

No one wants to commit time, money or effort into something they might have to cancel once again in the future. Almost the entirety of Burning Man’s budget comes from ticket sales, and they were struggling to make enough money to break even after the cancellation of this year’s event, let alone planning for another one. Would audiences even pay for something that isn’t set in stone?  

Whether businesses like it or not, contingency planning is becoming a necessity. Businesses must now plan for worst case scenarios, making solutions like Burning Man reliable options.


Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Might be the Solutions Businesses Are Looking For
At CXR Agency, we believe that building customized, unique experiences in virtual, augmented and/or mixed reality will become the entertainment and event industries’ reality. In 2020, most brands are simply live streaming their events. We’re sure that, soon, businesses will need to come up with a solution that allows them to stand out against their competition.  

Which is why we think virtual and augmented solutions are the way to go. Not only are they cost effective in the long run - building their foundations, which can be everlasting, requires a one-time fee - they can also easily be adapted to changing trends 

In addition, virtual reality software is becoming increasingly advanced, with new possibilities emerging every year. As businesses grow and evolve, so does this technology - meaning, with the right agency, your business goals are sure to be met no matter the circumstance. 

Looking for Virtual Reality Development Companies? Look No Further.

At CXR Agency, we aim to create virtual reality apps, without over-the-top virtual reality costs. We have experience with virtual reality programming, and virtual reality software development. 

Not sure if virtual reality is the right fit for your company? We also excel in augmented reality app development. We have augmented reality developers who create stunning augmented reality applications and are leaders in augmented reality design. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to reimagine how people interact with brands. To disrupt the status quo and uncover values others can’t find. To solve tomorrow’s business challenges in thoughtful, elegant ways. We aim to be strategic leaders in emergent technologies, virtual reality design, virtual reality development, and innovators in user experiences. Our mission is to arm businesses for digital revolution. Check out our virtual and augmented reality development case studies at www.CXR Agency.com for more information. 

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