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Experience a New Way to do Business with Hyperfair

Most entre­pre­neurs know that attend­ing expos and fairs is all part of doing busi­ness, but how about being able to net­work, exchange cards, col­lect brochures and view new prod­ucts with­out leav­ing your desk?

Fresh from Cal­i­for­nia incu­ba­tor Rock­et­Space, 3D vir­tu­al events spe­cial­ists Hyper­fair are putting their mon­ey on mak­ing a suc­cess of online careers fairs, exhi­bi­tions and con­fer­ences and have just secured $1.1 mil­lion in seed fund­ing to help them devel­op their proposition.

Who knows – those look­ing for tech­nol­o­gy or social media jobs may also find their next post at a vir­tu­al expo.

So What’s New?

We all know that devel­op­ers have tried and, on occa­sion, failed to cre­ate effec­tive vir­tu­al busi­ness events – with clunky graph­ics, sta­t­ic spaces and an inabil­i­ty to tap into the imag­i­na­tion of del­e­gates and get them through the ‘door’, the mar­ket for these prod­ucts has been some­what unpredictable.

How­ev­er Hyper­fair aims to raise the bar by offer­ing a ser­vice that stands head and shoul­ders above the rest.

COO Andrea Bal­lar­i­ni claims that while com­peti­tors seem to offer a sta­t­ic expe­ri­ence, Hyper­fair pro­vides much more inter­ac­tiv­i­ty. The tech allows users to move their avatars around a 3D space and the inter­face is easy to use and cen­tered around the key tasks of chat­ting with oth­er del­e­gates using either skype, mes­sag­ing or voice, brows­ing prod­ucts and exchang­ing busi­ness cards.

Exhibitors take up a vir­tu­al booths which can be brand­ed and cus­tomized and they can even upload prod­uct images to cre­ate a three dimen­sion­al model.

How Does it Mea­sure Up?

Those who have sam­pled the Hyper­fair are impressed with its nav­i­ga­tion and lev­els of inter­ac­tiv­i­ty and it appears they were also able to explore the vir­tu­al con­fer­ence hall with­out feel­ing too con­spic­u­ous. Some detrac­tors have sug­gest­ed that a ser­vice such as the one offered by Hyper­fair will nev­er replace a real ‘flesh and bones’ event. How­ev­er, those that feel that way are miss­ing the point accord­ing to Ballarini.

“We’re def­i­nite­ly not try­ing to replace any phys­i­cal event. We’re try­ing to expand the phys­i­cal event.”

The Hyper­fair team feel that their cloud-based ser­vice could be used as a pre-show warm up event where del­e­gates can touch base before meet­ing in per­son, or Hyper­fair could be used to keep del­e­gates con­nect­ed between events.

Mak­ing Money

It stands to rea­son that there are cer­tain com­pa­nies that would jump at the prospect of being able to adver­tise to a cap­tive audi­ence of busi­ness­peo­ple, plus exhib­iters would also be expect­ed to pay for their space, but where Hyper­fair real­ly stands to make mon­ey is by offer­ing the ser­vice as a bolt-on to a real event – as the afore­men­tioned pre-event warm up or post-event wind down. For for­ward-think­ing event organ­is­ers who feel Hyper­fair can add to their expe­ri­ence a mark-up can be added to the exhibitor fee, which at an esti­mat­ed 20–30% per booth could add up to some seri­ous profit.

This is a fair­ly reserved indus­try and one that may prove resis­tant to change, but in terms of adding val­ue by extend­ing the expe­ri­ence for del­e­gates, and poten­tial­ly sav­ing mon­ey by negat­ing the need for phys­i­cal items such as brochures, speak­ers and per­haps even venues, the temp­ta­tion may prove too great to resist. It will just take the del­e­gates get­ting over their inhi­bi­tions and let­ting their avatars do the talk­ing to get a busi­ness like Hyper­fair off the ground.

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