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Source: Te Pukenga

NMIT and Uniquely Nelson have partnered to deliver an immersive advertising experience using VR technology.
Uniquely Nelson has added VR technology to its range of marketing initiatives aimed to encourage visitors to Nelson city businesses.
Uniquely Nelson General Manager Simon Duffy, says adding VR to the mix has been a game changer.
“We created a new website about three years ago, then introduced VR and started telling our retailers’ stories,” says Simon, “as a result we had 1.5 million views to the website and our membership increased significantly.”
Uniquely Nelson now has around two-thirds of the city businesses on board and Simon says collectively they can use the technology to create a glorified window-shopping experience for them.
NMIT is the first education institute to add a VR presence to the Uniquely Nelson website listing. It is the ability for prospective students to virtually ‘walk around’ the Nelson Campus that attracted NMIT Marketing Manager Craig Boodee to the concept.
“Having NMIT on the Uniquely Nelson website as a VR advert means viewers can engage with our content without any external disruptions or interruptions,” he says.
“We can catch their attention in a simulated 3D world and connect with them on a deeper level than traditional formats.”
It also means potential learners can get a feel for life at NMIT without stepping foot on a campus. Something Craig believes is particularly useful for anyone outside the region, or the country, who may be considering tertiary study.
“Because you can explore the campus virtually it creates a kind of ‘try-before-you-buy’ situation, which is great as it can be scary coming on to a campus for the first time-particularly for our international learners.”
“It can also give parents some peace-of-mind being able to ‘see’ where their children are going to be and that we are a reputable education institute. We can also link to videos outlining the services we have available to support our learners.”
VR technology has the potential to take online events to the next level especially when trying to reach younger demographics as it is very interactive.
“There are many opportunities for us to embed video content and interactive options, run competitions, and showcase our students’ work and our facilities,” says Craig, “and we are looking forward to working with Simon and his team to expand our presence in the digital space.”
The technical details of embedding VR content are handled by web development and digital marketing coordinator Chandra Tandukar.
Chandra was a student at NMIT, graduating in 2020 in IT security management and he says young people are very comfortable in the metaverse.
“They often want an experience in the digital world first-if the technology is there, they will use it to meet rather than come in face-to-face.”