PRT 458: Virtual Reality Training Application for Special Event Planning

Developed with an Exploratory Grant, this NC State virtual reality (VR) training allows students to engage in environments to gain a better understanding and grasp the importance of risk management with regard to special events. Interactive 360° virtual reality video provided a unique opportunity for students to view high-risk factors for events from a variety of perspectives. The VR training establishes opportunities for students to be proactive rather than reactive while managing or coordinating an event. This encourages students to think creatively and critically when planning for risks and developing backup plans for special events. 

The in-house project team leveraged immersive technologies, specifically 360° virtual reality video, to create a series of interactive virtual experiences in which students explore risks that are prevalent in planning, developing and operating large-scale events including weddings, corporate events, community festivals and other various events. Immersing students into various event venues helps students visualize and manage event risks.  

The in-house production crew used five 360° video cameras to capture various activities and observable risks throughout one of the large-scale events. After assessing hours of footage, the team selected key segments for integration into an interactive platform. The final course deliverables were deployed across 40 Oculus Go headsets over three on-campus class sessions. 

Instructional Challenges

  • Static images do not sufficiently or accurately portray the risks involved in planning, developing and operating large-scale events such as community festivals, sports tournaments, concerts, parades, and other various community events.
  • As the threats of violence increase throughout the nation and world, this project better equips our students for real-world challenges they will face in planning events and assist them in identifying risk factors. Through the use of VR technology, students will be immersed in authentic event settings in which they could be challenged to address the risks and manage them in a simulation-style situation. 
  • With larger class sizes, it is difficult and cost prohibitive to travel to other locations to get the desired settings for the learning objective. Special events require several days of setting up to operate the event, which prohibits the students from viewing the pre-, during- and post-event scenarios. Additionally, using only the 2-D images, the students are not provided a comprehensive understanding of the actual risks and the steps to prevent any catastrophic accidents or injuries.


  • Incorporating the VR technology into the course immerses students in the actual environment where they will have more ownership and feel more a part of the setting and situation. 
  • Engaged learning creates challenging situations that inspire critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Two immersive experiences for each type of event allow students to explore real-time events, identify possible risks that could occur and create risk management plans upon completion.
  • Course assignments related to risk management and

Related Links

Project URL for Krispy Kreme Challenge

For more information about DELTA services, please contact LearnTech.