Making it happen virtually around the globe: Lloyd's Register wins the B2B Marketing Awards Best Digital Customer Experience for its Virtual Reality and gaming training simulator for the energy industry.

The B2B Marketing Awards 2017 recognises the 'ground-breaking' virtual experiences taken by Lloyd's Register with its customers to deliver excellence in its interactive training and knowledge share that is helping to deliver reputational and commercial training benefits across the energy industry.

Lloyd's Register (LR), a leading global provider of engineering and technology-centric professional services, has won one of the most prestigious industry awards in recognition of its ground breaking Virtual Reality (VR) technology, achieving Winner of the Best Digital Customer Experience at the B2B Marketing Awards 2017.

B2B Marketing Awards rewards the best in global B2B with submissions from four continents, representing all major global marketing professionals and agencies. There were more than 1000 submissions, 500 judging hours, 150 global judges and 28 categories with only one winner each.

Peter Richards, VP Marketing and Communications at LR says: "The B2B judging panel indicated that our VR immersive experience provides a clear focus on the issues of training and knowledge share, and is a clever and compelling use of digital technology to enhance the level of engagement and understanding of the safety challenges which are faced in the energy industry."

There are three key issues borne out of real-life incidents which users of the VR experience first-hand through sight, sound and touch. Users can then choose one of three multiple choice answers for each scenario, and the gaming experience is then replayed on the answers the user decides are correct.

"Any form of recognition by industry peers is obviously welcome and well received but to be acknowledged for our innovation and by using state-of-the-art technology is particularly pleasing," highlights Richards. "The VR safety simulator is currently in use at our Houston Training Centre with us further developing the use of augmented reality in our oil and gas drilling training programme." Developed in partnership with Polar Media, the experience was provided at Europe's flagship energy conference in Aberdeen, UK, in September, following its first pubic launch at OTC Houston, Texas, USA, in May. The results from the user experience at both events has proved more needs to be done by the industry in training its employees to ensure the risks of getting decisions wrong are fully understood.

Joe Kane and Lewis Young, both Directors of Polar Media who are partnering LR in the development of the VR technology, says: "VR has such a big role to play in engagement as well as learning and the two can be combined perfectly in the right context. Our job is to make sure that people enjoy the experience as well as it being credible. LR always wanted us to do something ground-breaking. Getting an industry-recognised award for doing it successfully is a really nice bonus."

VR technology is being used by LR to raise an understanding of the critical nature many workers are exposed to in everyday energy operations, in this case oil and gas rig operations. LR is also using its VR to provide innovative training initiatives to support better skills training and a step-up in knowledge sharing. It intends to offer the experience at other industry events across the world.

Richards highlights: "Energy companies understand the value of training and how it can help them save millions of pounds by keeping their equipment operating and reducing downtime due to unexpected failures or incidents. Companies can improve the quality of maintenance training by focusing on troubleshooting skills. Companies must stay focused on training programs to better develop their people."

LR was presented with its winning award for Best Digital Customer Experience at the 2017 B2B Marketing Awards, which took place on Thursday 23 November 2017 in The Roundhouse, London, UK. To receive the award for LR: Peter Richards - VP Marketing and Communications, Katie Begg - Head of Marketing Oil and Gas Services, Amy Davys - Oil and Gas Marketing Manager, Lakshmi Woodings - Internal Communications Coordinator, Heiko Haasler - Group Product Director, Robbie Palmer - Digital Media Specialist, Jason Knights - Head of External Communication and Media Relations, Joe Kane - Creative Director at Polar Media, and Lewis Young - Animation and VR Director at Polar Media.