Virtual Cottbus: Innovation in Location Marketing

Virtual Reality Headsets

Cottbus is taking digital paths and relying on pure innovation to market the region to both businesses and tourists and present itself online. With offerings like the Night of Creative Minds in the Digital Age, Cottbus is already demonstrating itself in various ways as an innovative and future-oriented location in Germany. However, with the offering „Virtual Cottbus,“ the city is taking it a step further. As one of the first cities in Germany, Cottbus presents itself in location marketing using virtual reality. The focus is not only on making the city digitally accessible for potential visitors but also on attracting companies looking for a suitable location to establish their presence. With „Virtual Cottbus,“ Cottbus showcases itself as particularly innovative and embraces cutting-edge technologies.

Virtual Reality makes waves

Virtual reality is still a relatively new technology that has gained tremendous momentum within the last decade, although the first VR device in history was developed back in the 1960s. The technology’s journey since then has been long and bumpy because, despite attempts by the video game industry in the 1990s to make virtual reality mainstream, it wasn’t until 2012 that the first consumer-ready VR headset was introduced by Oculus. Since then, immersive technology has skyrocketed and is finding its way into more and more households. Various VR headsets are now affordable, ranging from Meta Quest and HTC Vive to Sony’s PS VR, giving consumers a choice. As a result, the number of VR games is steadily increasing, including hit games like Beat Saber, Skyrim VR, and Moss, as well as innovative VR adaptations of classics such as board games and poker. However, this medium of the future not only propels the video game industry forward but also finds applications in numerous other economic sectors, including location marketing.

A virtual tour of the city

Cottbus is taking the lead as an innovative location and has recently embraced VR technology to market the city online, virtually, and in a highly immersive and informative manner. VR films have been in development since 2020 and are now being used as a key measure in location marketing since 2022. The VR experience was created in collaboration with various local stakeholders and received support from the GRW-I program of the state of Brandenburg and the federal government. It is now possible to access a selection of VR productions online, providing a digital experience of Cottbus through 360-degree videos. The most immersive experience is achieved with the use of a VR headset, where the video is controlled through eye movement, allowing users to virtually explore the location. However, VR equipment is not a prerequisite, as the virtual Cottbus can also be experienced on smartphones, tablets, PCs, or with a DIY cardboard VR viewer. The city has created both linear VR films and interactive experiences. In the linear films, viewers can sit back and learn about everything related to the city, while the interactive 360-degree videos allow users to freely navigate the city and explore Cottbus digitally on their own.

Experiences are available for both private individuals and businesses. Those considering visiting Cottbus for a weekend trip will find a 360-degree VR film focusing on the city’s cultural life and its major attractions. This is also interesting for entrepreneurs considering establishing their startup here and for employees whose companies might be moving to Cottbus. However, for founders and decision-makers, a more specific VR film is available, focusing specifically on Cottbus as a business and scientific location. It showcases what makes Cottbus an innovative city and a suitable location for companies, with a particular emphasis on municipal companies, startups, and scientific institutions. The film even includes virtual conversations with regional leaders. A third VR film allows viewers to soar to new heights and view the city of Cottbus from a bird’s-eye view. With a virtual balloon ride, you can ascend high above the city.

Virtual Cottbus offers an immersive and engaging way to explore the city and its opportunities. Whether you’re a tourist planning a visit or a business looking for a strategic location, the VR experience provides a comprehensive overview of Cottbus’s cultural, economic, and scientific aspects. By leveraging virtual reality technology, Cottbus showcases its innovative spirit and embraces modern approaches to stand out in the digital landscape of location marketing.