What The non-Fungible are NFTs?
And, do they have potential in the events industry?
The non-fungible token (NFT) market value tripled in 2020, reaching more than $250-million. In the second quarter of 2021, the market soared to a whopping $2.5-billion in sales. If you don’t understand much about NFTs, you’re forgiven – although they have been around for a while. The earliest emerged in 2012 in the form of Colored Coins (made of small denominations of Bitcoin) but NFTs really started to explode in 2018.
A NFT is a crypto asset, representing an intangible digital item such as an image, video, audio file or in-game item - and even gifs and memes! These digital assets are stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain, certifying them as unique and not interchangeable. Owners of NFTs are recorded on blockchain, allowing an NFT to be traded as a stand-in for the digital asset it represents.
NFTs in action
NFTs are designed to give their owners something that can’t be copied, that being the ownership of the work whether it is a piece of digital art, a meme, music, VIP lifetime tickets to concerts by their favourite bands. They also have a feature that pays a percentage to the creator every time the NFT is sold or changes hands. That means that the artist sees the benefits as the demand for their work and its value increases. There are a number of NFTs marketplaces that allow people to buy and sell their digital collectibles, including amongst others, OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Gateway.
What can you buy as a NFT?
Open-source blockchain-based platform, open-source platform Ethereum says on its site that the scope for NFTs is anything that is unique which needs provable ownership. Look at these examples for an idea of what you can buy as a NFT:
- A unique digital artwork.
- A unique sneaker in a limited-run fashion line.
- An in-game item.
- An essay.
- A digital collectible.
- A domain name.
- A ticket that gives you access to an event or a coupon.
Noteworthy NFT sales
In March this year, a digital image called Everydays: the First 5000 Days by an artist known as Beeple sold for a record $69.3-million at Christie’s as an NFT. The second most expensive known NFT sale was a CryptoPunk that fetched $11.8m at Sotheby’s. Another piece of Beeple’s art, Crossroads, was sold on Nifty Gateway for $6.6-million.
Twitter’s CEO and founder, Jack Dorsey, sold his very first Tweet from wayback in 2006 as a NFT for &2.9-million. Genesis Land, a rare and costly in-game item in the virtual game, Axie Infinity, fetched a savvy gamer a cool &1.5-million.
Kings of Leon became the first band to ever release an album in the form of a NFT. The band dropped three types of tokens as part of a series, one being special album packages, the second offering front-row seats at their concerts for life, and the third type being exclusive audiovisual art. deadmau5 has sold digital animated stickers and William Shatner has sold Shatner-themed trading cards.
NFTs have the potential to disrupt the events marketing industry
Kings of Leon’s NFT drops serve as an indication of NFTs’ potential to disrupt the world of events and entertainment as we know it. Imagine owning front-row tickets to all of their concerts for the rest of your life?
One of the big reasons that NFTs are significant for brands is that they can be used to present any form of digital file, from photographs, videos and audio to virtual tickets to events. They also have exciting scope to represent other types of creative work like virtual real estate, virtual worlds, clothing, and electronic games’ characters.
NFTs give marketers special opportunity to create unique brand experiences that inspire interest and interaction. Because NFTs can provide a small sense of ownership, they become valuable when they carry meaning for a person.
How can you use NFTs in your event marketing?
In the context of an event, NFTs offer exciting possibilities to allow guests to keep a token that gives them ownership of something from the event that they find meaningful. Think digital collectibles from your event, giving your guests a chance to “own a moment”. Think about how community membership perks and rewards shared as NFTs could nurture brand awareness and loyalty.
In your pre-event marketing, NFTs can be used as an incentive to get people to attend. An NFT can also be the unique representation of someone’s right to attend a real-life show – like a virtual ticket but it can’t be copied. Only the owner who has the correct password for the correct digital wallet can use it.
Traditional ticketing processes are marred by high costs, in-authenticity, and limited options for customising packages. Using a NFT as a ticket for an event, you can include rewards and value-adds to certain ticket-tiers or to a limited number of early-bird purchasers. Perks can include digital copies of an album, backstage access or an invitation to an exclusive after party.
NFTs as virtual swag eliminate shipping costs and ensure each gift is unique. It is also possible to share multiple NFTs from your sponsors and speakers as part of a bundle before, during and after your event. Within an event, when your audience interacts or certain outcomes occur such as participating in a particular workshop or speaker session, a series of digital collectibles can be unlocked. In this way, event marketers can really start to drive engagement and steer audience behaviour.
Ask us how you can use NFTs to elevate your event marketing
NFTs might be relatively new territory for event marketers but they are quickly gathering traction. We’re seeing brands and marketers using NFTs in exciting and innovative ways to drive brand awareness and storytelling, boost interaction and engagement, and drive loyalty and conversions. Contact us to get some ideas for your next event.