Taking events to the metaverse
Just when you think you’ve seen it all in the rapidly evolving world of events – enter the Metaverse! Pundits say that the metaverse will open opportunities across all industries through the deployment of new generation connectivity and communication tools.
While it is still in its infancy, the metaverse is already developing and investment is exploding, with Bloomberg estimating it will reach a value of $800 million by 2024.
If it’s not on your radar, put it there. The metaverse could transform the way we meet in the future and allow for next-level engagement at events.
Conferences are just the types of events most likely to be influenced by the metaverse. Virtual attendees won’t simply be able to talk to brands or keynote speakers via social media and virtual breakout rooms.Instead, they will be able to interact with them directly in 3D or holographic form. With its roots in video games, the metaverse will help to boost energy and engagement through gamification. Even before the metaverse, gamification left 87% of workers feeling more socially connected.
Chat forums and breakout rooms can only take engagement so far.And, engagement in online events remains a big pain-point for brands and event organisers.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a network of persistent 3D and 4D virtual worlds focused on social connection. In futurism and science fiction, it is often described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.
Let’s put it simply; the metaverse is an online 3D universe where users can interact, play games and experiences things as they would in the real world. Video games offer the closest metaverse experience available, with developers staging in-game events and establishing virtual economies. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg describes it as “the place where the physical and digital worlds come together”.
How do we interact in the metaverse?
Much like in a video game, people will represent themselves with avatars to communicate with others and explore virtual worlds that mimic the physical world, using technologies like virtual and augmented reality, and digital currency.
Games like Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft are examples of early metaverse spaces. Gamers create an avatar, meet other people (represented by avatars), interact with the virtual world, build things and buy things, all in real-time.
In the metaverse, people won't need to go to physical stores or expos to try new products before purchasing. Augmented and virtual reality technologies will enable them to explore different products from different brands from anywhere, virtually in the metaverse.
Volumetric/3D video will allow for more immersive conversations and interactions with others who lead completely different lives to our own. Empathy from these experiences will become more achievable than what is possible with 2D video.
It’s quite exciting if you think about it! The metaverse offers almost limitless ways for us to create our virtual identities with customisable avatars. Avatars can move, walk, talk, dance, shake hands, share, comment, and engage with others as they explore virtual worlds – and interact at events. This could help to deepen virtual meeting experiences by enabling a stronger sense of presence.
What does this mean for events?
The metaverse has the potential to elevate online events, expos and meetings to another level of engagement, using augmented, virtual and physical reality to create experiences that are as immersive in the online universe as they would be int he real world. This strips away the barriers of space, distance, time, and location to give event attendees the chance to step into a whole new world to experience anything from products and places to entertainment.
In the metaverse, brands could have a permanent virtual location and address or virtual showrooms and exhibition spaces where customers can visit to interact with products and make purchases. Imagine the possibilities to unify online and in-person experiences and unrestrictedly host grand-scale events, conferences, and trade fairs of almost any size that straddle multiple geographic allocations and accommodate thousands of people.
In education and corporate training, it will allow anyone wherever they are in the world to benefit from learning from the best teachers and instructors in simulated environments.
Smaller events have a place in the metaverse too. Colleagues can attend meetings and conferences together, regardless of where in the world they might be. Think of your avatar sitting at the boardroom table with a colleague thousands of miles away, interacting, talking and engaging as if you were really right there.
Already,Microsoft is bringing the metaverse to Microsoft Teams to allow users indifferent physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences during online meetings.
Still, the metaverse has some very real challenges to overcome, with a big one being that the technology needed to interact in the digital world, namely augmented and virtual reality tech, are renowned for making people feel fatigued and nauseous. The cost of these technologies is another inhibiting hurdle for the average person.
However, tech companies are developing avatar-based platforms that don’t rely on special hardware. A good example is Mytaverse, which offers prebuilt 3D environments that can include meeting rooms, conference booths, training simulations and auditoriums, amongst other spaces.
What are the advantages of metaverse events?
With the right platform, anyone from anywhere in the world can attend a metaverse event on almost any mobile device or laptop.
Guests can get involved in the event experience using immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality and gamification. They can also connect, talk and interact with others in the 3D virtual environment.
No space limitations
Metaverse platforms can accommodate almost unlimited numbers of visitors. Brands and event organisers are not restricted by the size of arenas, conference rooms and stadiums.
There are no holds barred on creating and customising metaverse environments. Event themes, venue layouts and sizes are not limited like they are in the physical world. Want to take 200 guests skiing in the Alpes? You can!
Rich data for analytics
Metaverseevents will give brands access to volumes of useful data about audienceinteractions, purchases, behaviors and engagement levels, allowing them totailor experiences for more targeted marketing.
Whether you understand it yet or not, the metaverse is coming and it will be the next big thing for events and conferences. With over 25 years of experience producing world-class, memorable events, The Event Production Company has the skills and resources to produce immersive metaverse events. We can’t promise you the world, but we can take your events to the metaverse!