Are virtual events in the metaverse still in demand post-pandemic?
When the pandemic hit two years ago, the events industry was largely impacted. From conferences to concerts, everything had to be canceled. The industry took a big hit, with many event companies even having to shut down as they were unable to organize any events.
However, it was not all doom and gloom for all of them. Some companies took the opportunity to invest in virtual events. This included conducting seminars and even concerts virtually, over web communication tools like Zoom, and even going live on social media apps.
While the technology enables live streaming and web conferencing to work seamlessly, there was now a new problem developing. Most users who initially enjoyed such content delivery for events and concerts soon found themselves experiencing online fatigue or an overload of such events.
Zoom fatigue is tiredness, worry, or burnout associated with the overuse of virtual platforms of communication, particularly videotelephony. While the name derives from the cloud-based videoconferencing software Zoom, it is also used to refer to non-Zoom video conferencing platforms.
So how could organizations deal with this? They needed a solution that can keep users entertained and interactive during these sessions instead of just watching them. As such, the metaverse was the answer.
Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the metaverse last year as the next-generation communication platform for almost everything. True enough, the metaverse was soon seeing huge investments with other tech companies also investing in their own versions of it.
For businesses, as much as they wanted to be part of it, many were still unsure how exactly their employees would react to it. Also, many employees preferred remote or hybrid work instead of working in the metaverse. However, this was a different scenario for the events industry.
When it comes to virtual events, the metaverse is now proving to be a game-changer. The metaverse seemingly brings a new experience for users as it enables them to not only interact with each other but also enjoy it the way they want it.
As the world begins heading back to normality, hybrid events are poised to be the future of the industry with the metaverse at its core. Organizations will look to have physical events but add virtual features to make them more appealing to their attendees.
The future of virtual events in hybrid
According to a report from EventX, an Asian-focused event technology company providing hybrid event management solutions for businesses and marketers, 70% of businesses planned to host hybrid or virtual events in the coming 12 months. The three most important elements needed for online experiences to work seamlessly included the need for a digital footprint for analysis, enabling digital transformation, and provision of flexibility and variability.
The respondents of the study also rated “Education & Learning”, “Employee engagement”, “Showcase”, “Entertainment streaming” and “E-commerce” as the top 5 beneficiary sectors for running virtual events. With over 80% of marketers agreeing holding events in the metaverse could bring a positive impact on their organization’s revenue, EventX also sees the need to seek a continuation of virtual event trends in the metaverse.
As such, EventX acquired an undisclosed amount of virtual land on the decentralized digital real estate platform The Sandbox to gear up for the metaverse shift. The purchased virtual land will be used for building an event-focused digital world. It will allow organizers and marketers to hold conferences and events, create virtual experiences to shift from Web2 to Web3 in light of the metaverse’s emergence, and prepare for a more digital future.
Being at the forefront of event technology companies to shift into web3, EventX will further tap into metaverse-associated solutions that support a digitalized world and stay ahead of advances in this ever-changing technological environment. The company is as committed as ever rolling out new initiatives down the line to help enterprises and brands to drive business performance with its extensive expertise in event management, including the upcoming launch of a VR solution together with the investor HTC Vive.
“Hybrid events are likely to overtake in-person events even in the post-pandemic world, and the world will expect more advanced technology to enhance the experience of going to an event. Striving for continuous growth, we will be ramping up our metaverse strategy to get our clients prepared for the new digital age,” said Sum Wong, CEO of EventX.
Wong also believes that the details in the virtual world are key, especially in ensuring users get the ultimate experience. Users using VR goggles and other wearables would want it to be comfortable. The technology also has to be seamless, with any tech delays or lagging surely impacting the experience which may result in unpleasant outcomes.
EventX aims to enable marketers to generate leads through running virtual events, which can save 90% of the cost. Built with smart features such as all-in-one CRM management, event analytics, and email sending tools to streamline invitations, EventX’s hybrid event platform strives to serve companies of all sizes to let them spot new business opportunities by enhancing audience reach, helping small and medium enterprises or even the startup community to strategically harvest leads through engaging and interactive events with its extensive expertise in event management.
In Asia, EventX has empowered 70% of the universities in Singapore and Hong Kong in hosting virtual career fairs or information days which successfully drove a 15% increase in oversea attendees on average.
With that said, hybrid events may just keep all the industries involved busy for some time to come. At the end of the day, hybrid events would be meeting the demands of consumers who prefer both a virtual and physical experience.