The term ‘Metaverse’ has been floating about the internet and popping up all over the place, but what does it actually mean? Put simply, the metaverse is a 3D, fully interactive rendition of the world, available via the internet, that has its own rules and even its own currency - bits, coins or tokens.
Think of the metaverse as a computer-generated replica of our physical environment, consisting of 3D graphics, environments and avatars. It’s made up of all the different websites, social media platforms, and online games, but is fully immersive and allows you (as an avatar) to interact with people (other avatars), shops and public spaces, albeit from the comfort of your own home. It's for these reasons that the metaverse is suddenly of great interest to marketing teams - all real-life geographical and time-based barriers to shopping don’t exist there.
And while the possibilities of the metaverse are thought to be significant, the “how’ of it all is still being worked out. The pandemic and its enforced social distancing certainly sped up people’s acceptance of interacting digitally through virtual meetings and events, but there are still technological barriers hindering the adoption of the metaverse from the wider public, not the least of which is the the general confusion around what it is, and the lack of interoperability between platforms that claim to service it.
How will the Metaverse impact the events industry?
Given both the metaverse and events are about connecting people with each other and their areas of interest, the events industry is a bit of a natural fit for the metaverse. Successful early adoptions in the event space that we’ve been a part of have included interactive concerts being held within platforms such as Fortnite and Decentraland. It would certainly seem that if it’s utilised in the right way, that the metaverse offers events limitless opportunities to drive revenue and transform the way people experience events. For example, despite the incorporation of interactive activities such as live Q&A and polling, virtual events are still, in essence, one-way content. Utilising a VR headset and customised avatars, an event platform created in the metaverse allows delegates to explore the event, interact with other attendees and presenters and ultimately, create their own event experience from the comfort of their home.
As with all new technologies, we acknowledge that the very idea of the metaverse can seem overwhelming & even threatening. In our experience, there’ll always be a place for live events - people are inherently social creatures - so in the events space, it’s likely that the metaverse will be used to supplement a live event, providing an alternate way to participate in an event, for those who can’t attend. We’re excited by this new technology and will be staying across all of the metaverse changes and updates to pass them onto you.