Published on : Thursday, November 1, 2018
This newest event will officially run from November 27 to 28,2018 although the conference “space” will be virtual and indefinitely browse-able online.
The platform is a digital recreation of a standard travel fair where destination marketing organizations (DMOs), tour operators, airlines, etc. can virtually network online to drive sales and exchange information between Chinese and European industry players. The organizations can present their digitally recreated booths and post content (both images and videos) on drag-and-drop boards that attendees’ avatars, whose appearances are customizable, can peruse. The fair is primarily for B2B networking, and the European Commission hopes that the platform will become a mainstay matchmaking hub for Chinese and European travel businesses.
Furthermore, attendees can interrelate and interact with each other via chat windows and call each over Skype while at the fair, along with exchanging business cards. The software used to host the EU-China Virtual Travel Fair is a product of Hyperfair, a San Francisco-based company that creates 3D platforms hypothetically usable for all manner of business meetings and expos.
Conceptually, it’s an interesting approach that allows a greater number of businesses to attend a conference, but in practice, the software is still somewhat clumsy. For one, recreating a VR travel fair that’s available on a web browser (assuming many users won’t want to fully install the program on their computers or mobile devices) has resulted in bare-bones graphics and low-res images and textures. It’s an understandable compromise, but appearance-wise the look of the EU-China Virtual Travel Fair leaves something to be desired. Of course, given that it’s an experience primarily geared towards networking, it may not matter much to participants.