Conference Report - Using Virtual Reality for Stakeholder Engagement

­­­Public Decisions today released the conference report for the Using Virtual Reality for Stakeholder Engagement conference back in July. Very insightful, including many comments and feedback from the event. This summary table outlines some of the key findings: 

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Benefits Drawba­cks Tradeoffs
­Appropriateness - May appeal to some participants who otherwise might not attend
- May be useful in instances where biases or limited abilities (such as for persons with physical disabilities) place constraints on effectively achieving engagement goals
- The idea of virtual worlds may be unappealing or have a residual negative connotation for some people (e.g., “gaming”)
- Technology can be overwhelming to some not used to it
Like other engagement techniques, virtual worlds may be appropriate for certain proportion of stakeholders
Effectiveness Provides an immersive, collaborative experience to the degree that in-person, telephone conference calls and web-enabled meetings cannot Requires computer that meets systems requirements and high-speed internet; some organizational firewalls also may block access Requires some willingness by stakeholders to learn how to use / navigate in virtual worlds (orientation sessions are suggested)
Efficiency - Provides opportunities for participants to have experiences that otherwise might be too costly or difficult / dangerous
- Costs of using virtual worlds can be very low and other hosts in-world are often willing to assist at no charge
Creating your own “island” or space in virtual worlds can be costly - Organization / host must invest time and effort to first understand the potential applicability and acquire the capabilities needed for virtual worlds in order to create a successful immersive experience for participants
- Networking with other organizations in-world is key for locating free or lowcost spaces available for use in virtual worlds
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­To access the full report, go to the Public Decisions website >>
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