Now is the Time to Establish your Brand Event Strategy for This New World.
The Metaverse is a rapidly growing, immersive online experience comprising various virtual worlds and the digital assets they contain, boasting over 400 million monthly users. It builds on existing technologies to offer users an enhanced level of interactivity that extends what’s possible in the physical world. Concerts and sporting events are using 3D cameras to create Metaverse experiences that have increased their audience attendance from 30,000 to 2 million people. With this many “eyeballs” on your brand, this technology is beginning to be used by brands and organizations to engage customers and create new event experiences that engage differently.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a network of virtual worlds, or “spaces”, that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and AR or VR technology. It consists of 3D-rendered environments where users can interact with objects and other active users in real-time. These digital spaces allow for the seamless integration of different technologies such as voice assistants, 3D graphics, and more. Through the use of Web 3.0, users and brands will have more control over their experiences in this digital world, as well as their data and interactions within it. Web 3.0 technology allows for increased decentralization and transparency, which can further the growth of the Metaverse. This combination of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse can lead to more expansive and immersive opportunities for all users and service providers within this digital universe.
How Does this fit into Events?
Depending on the industry, brands are exploring the Metaverse as an option for hosting events that bridge the physical and digital worlds. Brands are beginning to leverage this technology to create unique, interactive environments that engage their customers through virtual experiences. Recently, fashion brands have been turning to the Metaverse to host virtual fashion shows and catwalks. However, these digital experiences will not replace interactions that take place in the physical world. Instead, the Metaverse can be leveraged to enhance events with things that would be impossible in the “real” world.
Examples of Events in the Metaverse
The use of the Metaverse for events has grown significantly in recent years. As more people become aware of its potential, organizations are leveraging its features and capabilities to create interactive, immersive experiences for their guests. From virtual conferences to augmented reality events, the Metaverse provides a complimentary platform for connecting with an event audience. With 74% of US adults expressing interest or considering joining the Metaverse, it is clear that people are starting to warm up to the idea of using digital worlds for event experiences.
At CES 2023, the Metaverse received a dedicated area on the show floor for the first time to demonstrate the steps that companies are taking to “humanize” technology, showcasing the technology as an interactive digital world offering immersive experiences. This signals a shift in the events industry, with more and more events embracing virtual elements like the Metaverse to provide attendees with an interactive and engaging experience. Whether it’s utilizing blockchain technology, digital assets, or NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), the use of the Metaverse is rapidly becoming a popular component of diversified event programs.
During CES 2023, virtual and augmented reality technology had grown even more advanced. From PlayStation’s VR2 and HTC’s Vive XR Elite headsets to AR glasses, companies are looking to compete with Meta’s own line of Quest VR products by creating new options to help users access the Metaverse. All of these advances in Metaverse technology open up a variety of opportunities for entertainment, education, health, and wellness that are more human-centered and immersive than ever before.
Why should Events be Part of the Metaverse?
As the Metaverse continues to grow, more and more brands are beginning to explore its potential for events. It is expected that by 2026, 25% of people will be in the Metaverse for at least an hour a day for entertainment, work, shopping, educational, or social reasons. The Metaverse offers many compliments to an in-person event. It is a cost-effective enhancement, allowing for a larger attendance than traditional events due to its unlimited scalability and increased accessibility for global audiences. Additionally, it offers a sensory experience with 3D graphics and sound effects which creates an immersive atmosphere that is only enhanced by the addition of 3D headsets and haptic or olfactory devices.
For those looking to tap into the potential of the Metaverse for events, there are several strategies available to help with the transition. At Impact XM, we have the capabilities to work with brands that want to explore their presence in Metaverse. This could include a phased approach that begins with augmented reality or mixed reality; or building out a virtual world for a live event; or explores participating in other brands’ Metaverse environments to test the waters before building your own full-fledged presence.
Think of the Metaverse as a concept that promises to transform our future and we are just seeing the “edges” of this virtual world in a myriad of emerging technologies and products. The Metaverse is a great way to enhance your event format, and this can become the competitive advantage for forward-thinking organizations.
Ready or not, the Metaverse is coming, and now is the time for your brand to establish your transition strategy.
See below for more examples of how companies are starting to tap into virtual worlds for customer experiences.