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Event Managers Of The Future

Last updated April 4th, 2022

Why the Metaverse and NFT's are going to play such an important part of future events...

If you are an event manager you have undoubtedly embraced virtual events over the last few years as we struggled through the pandemic.

Virtual events suddenly became the norm and we all lived with the permanent “You’re on mute” soundbite and talking heads.

But there’s a bigger conversation going on, one which hasn’t had a huge amount of airtime in the world of events but it’s a crucial part of our evolution and represents a large part of the future of our precious industry.

You have probably heard of the Metaverse but have you heard of NFT’s? Well look out because both of them are coming at you FAST!

 

At the end of 2021, as it was widely reported, Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his group of companies to Meta – you will all have seen the changes to the various social platforms you use.

Whether it’s Instagram, Whats App or Facebook – that sneaky icon at the bottom of the platforms is just a small indication of his vision of the future and it’s much more than a name change – it’s a cultural shift.

 

Zuckerberg spoke at SXSW 2022 and gave a little more detail of exactly what he envisions.

“It’s different from the internet that we experience today, in that you might look at documents, you might look at a website. But the future is you’re going to be in it. More of the time is going to be spent with experiences. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll basically have the ability to feel like you’re right there and present with another person and everything that comes with it.”

Wow. That’s huge.

Now we all know that a virtual experience is radically different to the in person experience but the pace of change was rapidly accelerated by the pandemic with investment on an enormous scale into technology from virtual reality headsets to social experience platforms. And while Zuckerberg accepts that technology is not as good as in person he caveated… “yet”.

“There are a lot of reasons why people want to be in person with each other and why the technology is not as good yet as people being in person. That’s going to be true for a while. People are wanting to get together. But I also think that a lot of people’s opportunities, whether they’re social opportunities or economic opportunities, has been really anchored to where they were physically — where they were born, where they happened to live, where their families are. And I hope through this technology, we can try to break that down, make it that no matter where you physically are anchored, you can jump into the Metaverse and teleport to a different place and access all the opportunity of anywhere.”

Did he just use the word “teleport”?!?! WHAT!

 

So what does that mean for event managers? How do we embrace this change? 

Essentially we are talking about a virtual universe – the metaverse – with shared, 3D virtual spaces that you access through different online tools.

This opens up possibilities off the scale – let your imagination run wild because you are not held back by the boundaries of reality.

 

Let’s look at some of the ways that our events will be impacted..

Accessibility for a massive range of people as almost anyone can join a virtual reality event. Web browsers today are incredibly powerful and, with the right web platform, the metaverse can be enjoyed on almost any mobile or laptop with a single click of a link. This kind of accessibility helps to democratise the online environment by ensuring that no member of society is unable to access and embrace an online ecosystem due to their technology.

No limits on attendee numbers in a virtual world. Event organisers aren’t held back by venue capacity or design, which provides unlimited scalability. A venue in the metaverse can be designed to suit the exact needs of an event and unlimited capacity can also mean unlimited monetisation too.

Enhanced audience participation – yes I know we are all sick of talking heads but in the metaverse you can be creative in your approach to event planning to build truly customer-centric, memorable virtual experiences.

Diversity and inclusion in events cannot be overlooked either. An attendee’s ability to create their own avatar means they can be whoever they want to be, which can result in a more inclusive audience and ultimately a more diverse selection of experiences and opinions.

 

So onto NFT’s aka non-fungible tokens. So what the hell are NFT’s? 

Well the official definition is “Non-fungible tokens digitally represent any asset, including online-only assets like digital artwork and real assets such as real estate. Examples of the assets that NFTs can represent include in-game items like avatars, digital and non-digital collectibles, domain names, and event tickets.” But beware – this is NOT a cryptocurrency – it is a one off digital asset.

 

So what does this mean for us in the world of events?

Well – ever worried about your tickets? On average, 12% of people buying concert tickets get scammed. With NFTs, you have the option to make tickets non-transferable in computer code and prevent the transfer of tickets and resale fraud.

Plus in terms of costs, the set up is miniscule and you won’t be paying fees via platforms like Eventbrite.

What about personalised marketing to your attendees? Accurately capturing attendee information has never been easier with one-time downloads.

Guests are able to walk up to a booth, scan a unique QR code, enter their contact information, and collect personalized marketing materials that will live on their device instead of the bin.

And what about the giveaways...one of the most talked-about use involves providing NFTs as gifts to event attendees and at the 2021 Oscars, the Academy presented award winners with NFTs for digital artworks.

In both cases, however, the NFTs were from collections or artists who already had some form of name-recognition value.

And if that’s not enough to convince you that NFT’s are coming your way then don’t listen to me – Zuckerberg has announced they are coming to Instagram… “we’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term. I’m not ready to announce exactly what that’s going to be today, but that’s over the next several months.”

So – sit up, take notice!

Our world of events is opening back up and the sheer joy of seeing people and gathering together is without a doubt thrilling and ensuring the return of our beloved industry.

But look onto the horizon and PREPARE because there are big things coming!

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