Over the past year, the metaverse is gaining popularity with events industry leaders taking steps towards embracing its benefits. Even though event producers are still reeling from the chaos of moving to virtual, new technologies such as NFTs and holograms, as well as cryptocurrencies and metaverse are reshaping the industry.
The events industry was forced to adapt virtual platforms in the wake of the pandemic. People became more isolated at home and no longer depended on one-on-one interactions for success. We have witnessed a steady demand for better virtual spaces and how virtual events have succeeded in engaging audiences.
We’ll be moving towards more immersive platforms every year. Existing virtual event platforms are not able to offer the interactive capabilities event organizers want. Chat functions and breakout rooms can only yield so much.
What’s the metaverse?
A metaverse is an interactive network of 3D virtual worlds that can be accessed via virtual reality (VR), laptops and mobile devices. It allows people to conduct business, play games or engage in social interaction.
It is basically a 3D virtual environment that mixes the virtual and physical worlds. Users can interact in real time. Metaverse allows users to connect with virtual communities and discover new dimensions.
The term was first used by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It gained momentum after Facebook announced that it would rebrand itself as Meta. These are just a few examples, along with the one Meta (formerly Facebook), is creating:
Technology should allow users to feel like they are present physically. Once they register for a virtual conference, digital assets (such as NFTs) will grant them access to the event. Metaverse allows users to interact in authentic ways with one another by using metaverse components such as virtual reality or augmented reality.
Participants could present themselves in any way they like, and Metaverse events can accommodate attendees from all over the globe without venue or vendor restrictions. This could open up new revenue streams and allow for new networking opportunities.
It’s too early to predict how online events industry will grow and prosper in the future, despite the constant demand from the public.
“Virtual events cater to global audiences that have previously attended local events. Twenty years ago, there were no online events. With the rise of technology and Covid virtual events have been a popular way to connect in a corporate or social setting. It is crucial to include a digital component into your event, as the digital world has changed dramatically. Narendra, founder of VGO & Eventalways, says that it is still unclear what the metaverse is.
Narendra also believes that hybrid events could greatly benefit from the metaverse. He says that the distinction between virtual and in-person events will be gone. VGO hosts hybrid events where speakers address both live and virtual audiences the same way as if they were in one large auditorium. You can interact with speakers and take part in training sessions or participate in workshops, no matter where you live.
In summary, he said, “In the next decades, the metaverse is going to significantly impact the way that we interact with each other.”
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and tech industry guru, wrote in his year-end blogs that virtual meetings will shift from 2D camera images into 3D virtual spaces with virtual avatars within 2-3 Years. He said that virtual meetings could be held with avatars, and people could view their avatars in real-time. Virtual meetings can be replicated using motion capture gloves and VR glasses.
What are some of the benefits to hosting events in the metaverse?
Because of the many benefits that emerging technology can offer brands, vendors, speakers, and attendees, the events industry will accelerate the growth in the metaverse.
Metaverses can provide an interactive environment where people can freely move and engage in two-way conversations without ever leaving their home. One of the most fascinating features of the metaverse is its ability to transcend language and location. The metaverse offers many benefits for event planners.
Because it is virtual, a metaverse can be accessed by anyone. With the right technologies and tools, anyone can participate regardless of their ability. Participants with different abilities and responsibilities do not have to travel far away from home. Instead, they can go wherever is most convenient.
Metaverse users can interact with each other as if they were sitting in the same place, no matter how far apart. Metaverse users can simply walk up to the avatar that they wish to interact with. While in the real world, many events are governed by space and budget constraints, the metaverse does not have these limitations.
2. 3D Avatars
Users are free to identify themselves in whatever way they like and can be any person they wish. The metaverse allows for unlimited creativity and freedom. It allows people to be themselves without any limitations on gender, age, race, physical limitations or gender.
Virtual clothing, skins and accessories can be accessed by individuals. Metahumans can create uncannyly realistic avatars of themselves and the way they wish to appear in the future.
3. Unlimitable Suppliers and Vendors
If your supplier is not available on the day of your event, they cannot be used in the real world. These limitations are not applicable to Metaverse. You can also hire a tech team to help you create the space you need.
The same goes for the decoration and special features of your event. You can design your event in any style and with any features that you desire.
4. Nurture Sustainability
Metaverses can also be used to help event organizers adhere to corporate environmental, social and governance policies. This is because attendees are able avoid travel, accommodation, food waste and other waste.
Because it is digital, the metaverse can be customized in any way you like. With the right approach, brands can create the event they desire. Event organizers have the option to create VIP lounges with entertainment and fun activities.
It is not enough to just host an event in the metaverse. You must also be able create unforgettable experiences on your own. For the best results, partner with organizations who have extensive experience building VR spaces.
Who’s currently investing in the Metaverse at this time?
Metaverse technology has received significant investment, particularly from large tech companies.
These investors are some of the most prominent:
- Meta (formerly Facebook).
Facebook launched Horizons Workrooms, with a large investment budget for the next 10 years.
Unity technology collaborates to create the Metafactory. This lab examines digital twin technology, intelligent manufacturing, and innovation.
It is vital that event planners, event tech businesses, and marketers are flexible, innovative, and adaptable as we embark on the fourth industrial revolution. Events industry can thrive in this new era.
Although the concept has its flaws, like any technological advancement, it is certain to revolutionize how people interact with events. The Metaverse, as an extension of traditional gatherings, can be seen as connecting people in innovative, engaging, and “always on” events.