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Digital destinations: the business trend to watch in 2021

In 2021, the world of business has started travelling again. But it’s not by plane, train or automobile. Instead, businesses are creating their own digital destinations on the web.

Remote-working has created an enormous gap between organisations and audiences. Businesses are struggling in a world without face-to-face customer communication – it’s been difficult for many to adjust.

It’s a similar story for colleague-to-colleague communications. In a survey by Cushman Wakefield of 50,000 workers, 55% of them said they miss in-person colleague connections the most.

Business needs the buzz of the office. We miss the people, the great ideas, the teamwork. But all is not lost: new technologies are beginning to bridge the gap between the digital and real world. This year, companies are bringing back the best bits of in-person engagements through digital destinations.

What is a digital destination?

Digital destinations are virtual environments explored from your screen. Once upon a time, this would’ve needed expensive VR equipment. Instead, visitors can just click a link to a website from a desktop or smartphone browser.

A screenshot from the Vismedia digital destination hosted by Viital.

The difference is the dimension

Think about the blog that you’re reading right now. This is a 2D space with two directions you can travel: up and down.

Digital destinations let you break the rules by travelling in any direction. Virtual spaces take all the best interactive features of flat websites – interactive buttons, embeddable videos, clickable buttons, etc. – then place them strategically into a 3D and 360° environment.

While competitors are still working out their next move, there’s a competitive advantage for early innovators.

Business digital destinations examples

EY

Professional services firm EY speaks to employees all over the world with an interactive and immersive 360º digital destination. It features videos and games to engage visitors and capture the sparkle of an away-day event.

In one example, EY’s digital destination brought 7,000 of their remote employees together in one virtual room to understand the company’s new strategic direction. In the end, 84% of those 7,000 visitors participated in the game and told EY exactly how they felt.

B2B Marketing Ignite London

When doors closed for physical venues, B2B Marketing opened a browser window. Taking their yearly Ignite London event entirely online, the marketing training and events company blurred the lines between real and digital.

Leading up to the multi-day event of webinars and keynote speakers, B2B Marketing set up a virtual exhibition hall. The space was an entirely 3D replica of the Islington Business Design Centre that event attendees were free to roam and discover topics and speakers.

Cory Riverside Energy

Cory Riverside Energy was put up for sale and needed to demonstrate its capabilities to investors all over the world. They built a digital destination that blended 360° panoramic photography, videos, and animation.

Their ingenious digital destination gave overseas investors a comprehensive tour of the plant without buying a single plane ticket.

The top 3 considerations about digital destinations

There’s a great deal of buzz and excitement with this new technology trend. However, with a confident strategy, you can ensure that you create a virtual space that excites audiences and delivers on business objectives. Keep these three tips in mind as you plan for your digital destination:

  1. What does your audience want? It’s important to understand what visuals and content will speak the most to them.
  2. What do I want my audience to get out of it? It’s more than a picture gallery. Consider what actions you want visitors to take and how you want them to interact.
  3. What content do I already have that could work? You can upload existing PDFs, images and videos inside your virtual space. You may already have evergreen resources that can be repurposed here.

Build a virtual space with us

If you’re not sure where to start, Vismedia’s team can help. We’re well-versed in award-winning 360° interactive and immersive environments.

We’re also a Platinum Partner of Space, a new user engagement platform for businesses to build their own virtual destinations. Whether it’s an office on the moon or an exact replica of your HQ, our team can help you make it.

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