Last week, we were highlighted in an Untold Business article. Click the link to read the piece, or see below for a summarized version!
Think back to your 8th-grade science fair – you likely remember rows of projects lined up side-by-side, parents and classmates browsing the aisles, and judges stopping to engage students on their hard work. And then there was a large group always surrounding one project in particular that belonged to a student who created a masterpiece that everyone had to see. Didn’t we ALL want to be that student?
At corporate trade shows, a similar dynamic exists in which companies are vying for the attention of attendees who are either disinterested or overwhelmed. Running a booth can be truly disheartening, especially if there is a company that has the bells and whistles to attract most, if not all, of those in attendance. Thanks to a startup out of New Orleans, companies that are often overlooked in these settings now have a game-changing solution.
Custom VR Experiences for Business Events
Founded in 2016 by David Denny and Devin Regan, Maverick VR provides and deploys custom virtual reality experiences for companies that want to maximize their time at trade shows and conferences. We had a chance to catch up with Tufts Alumni, Venture for America Fellow, and Maverick VR’s General Manager, Grant Steinhauer, to get the inside scoop on the startup’s backstory, unique value proposition, and overall growth strategy
The Event Partner Everyone Wants
Maverick VR is an events services company that creates custom and immersive virtual reality experiences for clients to use on a short-term basis. The team travels nationwide to bring the “wow” factor to any booth demonstration presented at a trade show, corporate conference, or private event. The startup has a vast portfolio of full-motion VR games and experiences ranging from 2-10 minutes long that can be set up in 10×10 spaces. General manager, Grant Steinhauer, described a recent trade show experience that puts the company’s value proposition on display. Several weeks ago, Maverick VR was hired by a healthcare technology company that wanted to “be the popular booth at the show.” The Maverick VR team took the company’s 2D logo and created a virtual reality-enabled experience where conference attendees could interact with and manipulate the logo in a 3D environment.
“We turned our client’s 2-dimensional logo into a 3D model and uploaded it into VR so guests could interact with the logo, making it the size of an elephant or a penny, draw round it, and manipulate it”
– Maverick VR General Manager, Grant Steinhauer
As a result, the client was able to show that they were in touch with disruptive, cutting-edge technologies, and deserved the attention of conference attendees. Steinhauer has seen first hand how Maverick VR’s demonstrations can attract huge crowds, all waiting to try the interactive VR technology themselves.
How does Maverick VR differentiate itself from other technology-based entertainment services? The company focuses solely on creating exceptional and unforgettable virtual reality experiences, explained Steinhauer. Rather than provide a broad array of entertainment services, Maverick VR wants to be a recognized leader in the VR space that offers services at an affordable price.
“Part of the fun is curating this personalized VR experience. It’s great because developers would charge tens of thousands of dollars, if not more depending on the complexity of the VR environment, to build an environment from scratch. If you are a medium-sized business, you most likely won’t have the budget to afford a completely custom VR experience. But there are so many great applications that currently exist that we can manipulate and still personalize.” -Maverick VR General Manager, Grant Steinhauer
Additionally, the company partners intimately with its clients to facilitate larger brand activation. Steinhauer shared that Maverick VR’s branding packages are extremely popular, and include items such as branded headsets, banners, and table runners. To date, the startup has supported over 100 events since its founding, including special events hosted by Red Bull and Microsoft.
Overall, Maverick VR has worked with dozens of companies over the last two years and expects to continue growing at a healthy clip as virtual reality technology increases in popularity.
Maverick VR’s founders, Devin Regan and David Denny, found their way to New Orleans after joining the BP oil spill cleanup effort back in 2010. Towards the end of 2016, Regan tried virtual reality for the first time and fell in love with the technology, immediately realizing its exciting applications across many industries. In our conversation with Steinhauer, he described the initial concept of the business – a brick-and-mortar arcade featuring a variety of virtual reality-enabled experiences. In 2017, VR technology bubbled up to the mainstream, causing the team to question whether or not they needed a physical storefront. Ultimately, they decided to re-brand as an entertainment services company that would provide VR experiences all over the U.S.
“Our team flies out anywhere we are needed. We’re at the event, often wearing our client’s shirt. It’s necessary for us to be there in person for the duration of the event because if guests aren’t technologically adept, someone then needs to know how to properly instruct them on operating and navigating the VR environment. It’s challenging for our clients to instruct their guests themselves, since it’s relatively complex and they would have to know the ins and outs of the device. That’s where we come in!”
-Maverick VR General Manager, Grant Steinhauer
Earlier this year, Maverick VR was selected to participate in IDEAx, a four-month-long, intensive accelerator program designed to prepare highly scalable startups for rapid growth. The program is part of New Orleans’ Idea Village, a nonprofit organization that has supported nearly 6,000 entrepreneurs and startups since 2000. Looking ahead, Steinhauer believes the company needs to invest in building its online presence. Currently, most of Maverick VR’s leads come through the startup’s website. With improved SEO and digital marketing, Maverick VR could attract the attention of more destination management companies and event planners, the company’s target demographic, and stretch even further across the country..."
Looking to add a unique, immersive, and exciting new experience to your event? Skip the boring photo booth and choose an amazing experience that your guests will be talking about for years to come with virtual reality!
Click here to watch a video and see what guests think of Maverick VR:
Service areas: New Orleans, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Orlando, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, Minneapolis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington D.C., Miami, Raleigh, Milwaukee, Savannah, Cincinnati, Spokane, Boise, Tuscon, Memphis, San Jose, Long Beach, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Austin, Mobile