APEX Debuts 360-Degree Virtual Reality Tour
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Duluth, MN: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is pleased to announce the availability of a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) tour that provides prospective business partners and site selection consultants a full-immersion experience of the APEX region from anywhere in the world. The Place VR tour, created by Golden Shovel Agency, highlights existing industry and infrastructure and showcases the region’s high quality of life.
“It’s one thing to see images or video of our region. It’s quite another to be fully immersed in the Place VR tour,” said Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “This innovative approach showcases many elements of our region to engage site selection consultants and business owners looking to expand and grow here.”
Place VR tours allow viewers to experience a community from anywhere in the world. The technology can be viewed easily through a headset, mobile device, or even a computer. In the competitive world of economic development, this technology brings the community to consultants and business owners—eliminating the time and cost associated with travel.
APEX worked closely with Golden Shovel Agency to create the Place VR tour, which debuted at the IEDC 2017 Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada. Conference attendees enjoyed the tour because it provided a first-hand experience of the APEX region right in the conference exhibit area.
“Even though the people only had the goggles on for a short time, the VR experience will stay with them throughout the entire conference,” explained John Marshall, President of Golden Shovel Agency. “We witnessed a tipping point, and many conference goers are going to start thinking differently about economic development marketing strategies.”
Economic developers and IEDC participants waited in line at the Golden Shovel Agency booth for a chance to strap on a headset to experience the Place VR tour. Once the headset was in place, the participant could explore the community and environment. The video showcases excellent opportunities for businesses in a wide variety of industries and highlights what makes the region an attractive place to live and work.
“The virtual tour of the APEX region was great and this technology will keep getting better,” said Gregg Wassmandorf, Senior Managing Partner for Newmark Knight Frank. “I felt like I was visiting in person and got a great introduction to the community and its local assets.”
Place VR technology creates a dramatic and immersive experience for viewers, virtually transporting them to a destination. This is changing the economic development landscape by allowing site selection consultants and business owners to experience first-hand the benefits of locations around the globe without having to dedicate time and resources to long-distance travel. Place VR tours capture interest quickly, showcase community assets and draw attention to regions that are truly innovative.
To view the Place VR tour of the APEX region, visit www.APEXgetsbusiness.com, and click on “NEW 360 Degree Virtual Reality Tour” in the header bar.
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APEX is the private-sector led business development engine for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. APEX investor-members represent some of the most influential companies in the region, with a collaborative approach to promoting sustainable economic growth. APEX attraction, expansion and retention efforts focus in areas including aviation, manufacturing, professional services and next generation forest products. APEX has impacted over 4,200 jobs in the region, resulting in an annual regional payroll of over $170 million and contributing to over $23 million in state and local taxes annually. For more information on APEX, please visit www.APEXgetsbusiness.com.
About Golden Shovel Agency
GOLDEN SHOVEL AGENCY is a Minnesota-based Web full-service economic development firm specializing in workforce attraction for economic and community development. The Economic Gateway Web system includes an expandable and on-demand content management system (CMS) and a robust social media implementation strategy.