It’s no secret that the events industry has seen significant changes in recent years. The events sector & Event of Champions® are now getting ready for the metaverse.
When the COVID-19 hit in March 2020, most of the world was shut down, event planners utilised internet event platforms to swiftly shift to virtual gatherings. With rising vaccination rates and a decrease in reported cases, many event planners are turning to hybrid experiences, which combine the benefits of both in-person and virtual meetings.
Things are slowly but steadily getting back on track, leaving many of us wondering what the next big thing in the event sector will be. While some 2022 event trends will follow social event shift from 2021, the event industry will also see new developments.
Continue reading to learn more about it! ?
What is the Metaverse? ?
The metaverse is a broad label that refers to virtual, 3D experiential spaces accessed by virtual reality (VR) technology, computers, and mobile devices that allow you to work, play, and interact with others virtually using digital avatars. The metaverse is any place where a community can interact digitally.
???With the metaverse in hand, virtual encounters will only get more engaging, giving even more value to attendees no matter where they are in the globe.
In 2022, the metaverse market is estimated to generate $47.48 billion, with that figure likely to rise to $678.8 billion by 2030. We believe that the events sector will account for a significant portion of that expansion.
What are the benefits of the metaverse for the events industry?
✅ Accessibility – A metaverse is accessible to each and every one of you due to its virtual nature. People of every ability and from any location can participate with the necessary tools and technology in place. Attendees with varying abilities or responsibilities don’t have to worry about a stressful journey somewhere else; instead, they may enjoy events from the comfort of their own home. You can reach individuals you couldn’t reach previously and develop a community that would have taken a lot of work in the actual world to establish.
✅ Inclusion and diversity – Similarly, event organisers may use the metaverse to produce truly diverse, egalitarian, and inclusive events. For example, the metaverse facilitates the creation of a varied speaker line-up by providing chances to people from many walks of life and abilities all around the world. It also enhances the likelihood of people from different countries attending your event ???. Metaverse is quickly evolving to allow users to personalise their avatar with for example equipment like traditional and religious dress or a wheelchair. There is an opportunity for limitless creativity. You can completely reinvent yourself and be anyone you want to be.
✅ Minimising Logistics – Event planners typically dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to logistics in order to offer a great in-person event experience. In addition to deciding where the event will take place, event organisers must consider how guests will travel to the site, which employees and vendors will be needed to carry off a successful event, and if their event software will be able to meet everyone’s demands. In the metaverse, the barrier of entry is a phone and a computer and an internet connection.
✅ Improved Sustainability – Because guests would avoid travel, physical accommodation, food waste, and other material waste, the metaverse aids event organisers in meeting corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies.
What are the challenges associated with the metaverse?
Although the metaverse’s benefits for the events sector are self-evident, there are a few obstacles that event planners must consider before jumping in.
❌ Connectivity – Although many people in Europe and the United States have high-speed internet in their homes or businesses, this is not the case for everyone. When preparing an event in the metaverse, event organisers should pay close attention to where their prospective guests are located. Let’s say your ideal guest lives in a region where internet speeds and connectivity aren’t up to par. In such scenario, you might want to re-evaluate your plans for a metaverse event.
❌ AR/VR Technology – There isn’t consistency between platforms. Some users use iOS or Android smartphones, as well as Chrome or Safari, while others use Oculus or iOS VR headsets. Integration might arise as a result of this diversity of technology, causing friction in the event experience. Additionally, headsets or AR glasses are required to enter these 3D virtual worlds, which might create a socioeconomic barrier to participation.
❌ Other Challenges – Event planners may have difficulty adjusting to new technologies. The planning process can be complicated and time-consuming. Conceptualizing and creating dynamic metaverse experiences may need substantial training, unique collaborations, a bigger budget, and other factors. It requires a full-on testing as a software developer would do before releasing a new app. Furthermore, the vast majority of metaverse platforms have limits. Some venues, for example, only allow 30 to 60 people in a room at any moment. This would be suitable for internal training, team meetings, and networking events, but not for a conference.
What types of events would metaverse work best for? ?
In short: anything! From a more obvious use for virtual work and meetings to product launches and more. Meta events that are successful are those in which the audience welcomes the idea of interacting in virtual reality.
Meta events that aim for the unsuitable audiences only for the sake of novelty will fail. Because the norms of involvement in the environment and how they function are so different, marketers will have to toss out existing rulebooks and develop new methods to communicate.
On the bright side, the metaverse can have a great impact on events centred around keynote speaking sessions as the format enables speakers to go beyond existing audio-visual capabilities and take guests on an immersive and unforgettable journey ?. This can be a powerful experience for companies and organisations under the right conditions.
At Event of Champions® we see great potential for the metaverse particularly in the world of remote work events and smaller events such as our masterclass sessions ?. We find that especially once you’ve met someone in real life, you’re generally comfortable continuing that engagement online. But will the human connection that comes with in-person gatherings ever go away? While the metaverse will likely find a substantial home in the event industry, it’s not quite there yet.
To move past the novelty and into the true value, there is still a lot of groundwork and experimenting to be done. When that occurs, it will be a thrilling opportunity to introduce our consumers to this realm—in addition to, not instead of, getting together ??.
Don’t forget! If you want to find out more about Event of Champions® events, check out the following:
✅ Visit Event of Champions website: https://eventofchampions.com/
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Read our previous blog post HERE.