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The Ultimate Guide to Metaverse Events
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caught entrepreneurs and educators by surprise. Within a short time span, planned events had to be canceled or transitioned to an online format. After more than two years, these technologies for online events have advanced to deliver more opportunities and tools to allow for a truly immersive and engaging experience.
These new tools allow you to easily transition your events into a metaverse reality. You can easily meet with employees, host a board meeting, give a lecture, or create a webinar for planning your marketing strategy. Let’s go through some of the most critical components for hosting a successful metaverse event in 2022 that will guarantee your next event is a hit.
What is a metaverse virtual event?
A metaverse virtual event is an interactive meeting that takes place within a special online platform. Unlike in-person events, metaverse events are not limited to one location. Participants can join from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access.
Modern metaverse events provide a number of features that help to create a highly immersive atmosphere. There are a variety of online spaces available to “host” an online event, attendants are present there in the form of their avatars, and there are different options for activities during an event.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, the metaverse and hybrid event experiences have been received extremely positively. A 2021 study found that 91% of respondents were highly satisfied with online events. And according to Grand View Research, the global virtual events market will grow to more than $500 billion by 2028.
What are the different types of virtual events in the metaverse?
Virtual events are a separate type of event, and while they do not reinvent the wheel, they do deliver the novelty of technology to what’s currently available. Virtual events can be divided into four main types.
- Virtual conferences
Like traditional conferences, virtual conferences are built around a popular agenda, speakers with reports – and, let’s not forget the important thing – coffee breaks. Participants view performances in real time and build their own programs based on the content of interest and interacting with other participants.
Virtual conferences consist of multi-session content and may include community engagement tools.
- Webcasts, webinars, and training meetings
A webcast is an event that a host broadcasts using streaming technology. Webcasting is often used to spread important messages in cases where it is not possible to hold an event with the direct presence of participants. Broadcasts can be embedded in other sites or broadcast live through social networks, for example, through Facebook Live.
Webinars were originally conceived as “online training seminars”, but are now used for events of various formats, from training to online sales. This is where participants from all over the world join in and listen to one or more speakers presenting content. The standard length of webinars is from 30 to 80 minutes.
Webinars usually use video conferencing tools that allow you to not only see the speaker but even ask questions. This is not necessarily a “live broadcast” as you can also put a pre-recorded video on the air. By the way, in any type of virtual event, it is usually better to record media. Once concluded, the recording can be offered to users upon request, maintaining interactions even after the meeting.
- Podcasts and online radio
If you can’t create visual content, or if you want to make your on-air event available in more formats, consider podcasts or internet radio.
Podcasts have maintained their popularity due to format flexibility. Podcasts are easily listened to by people on the way to work, even in places with a weak network signal. Unlike a podcast, real-time internet radio cannot be stopped and played at will, but it expands the audience of the broadcast compared to video content.
- Hybrid events
Not all virtual alternatives are able to replace the environment and experiences created by physical events. But if it is not possible to gather a large audience in one place, then part of the event can be virtualized. For example, if an international company wants to communicate with teams in other countries, co-broadcasting offices in the form of an interactive webinar between them are suitable.
What is the difference between metaverse events vs hybrid events?
Both a hybrid and metaverse event provides attendees with a virtual experience. But a hybrid one offers an in-person component in addition to online. In such a scenario, some people can attend an event personally while others can join virtually.
Hybrid events are a bit more difficult to organize than traditional or completely virtual ones.
With hybrid events, organizers have to coordinate two different agendas to provide a seamless experience. While in-person guests are attending a networking session, virtual attendees will need to engage in a different activity. However, with the right virtual event management platform, organizing a hybrid event isn’t such a headache.
Why host a metaverse event?
There are many ways metaverse events deliver value. First, they allow the individuals or companies hosting them to reach a wider audience. For example, if you were to host your event in New York City, not everyone in your audience would be able to attend due to the cost of travel. With a metaverse travel event, it’s no problem.
Metaverse events are also much cheaper. Event organizers don’t have to book gigantic seats or hire a group of temporary staff. These savings can be passed on to each metaverse member in the form of lower ticket prices.
Metaverse events are extremely measurable. Companies can easily find out which sessions were the most popular, how many people attended, where those attendees live, how they paid for tickets, and more. Almost every visitor action is easily tracked and analyzed. This information can then be used to improve the event strategy.
The benefits of metaverse events
The priority and obvious value of a virtual event is reaching a wider audience. Holding an event in a particular city means those who are far away can’t attend, or at best, it is inconvenient or expensive to get there.
Also, as mentioned, an online event is cheaper, eliminating the need for temporary employees and additional intermediaries.
The metrics of these events are much easier to measure — you can easily get data on how many sessions or users there were at peak moments. A detailed specification of the invited guests will also be available: you will know their geography, tastes, and much more, especially if you choose a hosting platform that is compatible with your corporate CRM. Further, this information is structured, analyzed, and used in building an organization’s strategy.
Here are some of the most impactful benefits of metaverse events in details:
Accessibility. Expand the scope of your brand without having to travel. Virtual events can not only connect you with a global audience in real time, but through the recording of events, your event content can be accessed on-demand. This gives people more opportunities to consume your content at times that best suit their schedules. What’s more, all attendees and speakers need is a computer, laptop or mobile device, and a reliable internet connection.
Engagement. Personal events are unmatched in their ability to engage and facilitate real human connections through creative interaction. For this reason, you may be concerned that virtual events fail to attract an audience. While there is no avoiding the fact that there are limitations compared to face-to-face meetings, there are plenty of opportunities to mix rich content with live polls, Q&As, and dashboards to keep engagement levels high throughout lengthy sessions. Social media can also be used as a great engagement tool — use event hashtags, encourage attendees to post images of their highlights from the event, and get creative with other ways to build a sense of community through social channels.
Experience with multiple or single content. As with physical events, virtual events have the ability to run multiple content streams simultaneously. This allows different speakers to host sessions at the same time and attendees to choose which sessions they want to watch. If this is not required for your event, then working with multiple materials is best.
Network interaction. While there is no avoiding the fact that in-person events are the most appropriate way to network and make meaningful business connections, networking can still be incorporated into a virtual event’s agenda. Give attendees the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings or get together in group meetings where they can connect with each other, your team, sponsors, or speakers over the internet. A range of tools can be used to help participants get the most out of their interactions.
Insights: metrics and insights into the data generated from virtual event platforms can help measure ROI and success against predefined KPIs. The information obtained can be used to determine whether your event was successful and influence future decision-making.
What are the cons of metaverse events?
Of course, it would be naive to believe that a virtual event is a complete benefit without flaws. Most of the problems appear because of the inconsistent and incomplete feature sets of online platforms. Here are some of the cons of metaverse events:
Difficulties in engaging. Engagement has become one of the most sensitive issues for online events. The vast majority of participants in online events often or always solve extraneous tasks while watching and listening to the content. It is also much easier to disconnect from a broadcast than to get up and leave the first row of the hall.
The online format highlights all the shortcomings of speeches — monotony of speech, inaccuracies, inconsistency in speakers’ reports, and lack of quality content. The conclusion naturally arises that, in order to keep the attention of participants, it is necessary to increase the value of the content, give out information in a more concentrated way, squeeze highlights out of every report, and prepare for questions. Famous moderator partner Grigory Airiev also advises online event speakers to pay more attention to preparation and work on their speech delivery.
There is a misconception that, unlike regular events, the online format basically involves only passive viewing of content. But this can only be the case if it is intended only to view certain content, without participating in the discussion, for example, watching a movie together. In reality, even watching a movie can be with discussion or commentary during the movie, thereby increasing the interaction between the participants of the event. Various game mechanics can also help organizers with involvement. Quizzes and ratings, challenges, and giveaways at the end of the event provide viewers with the opportunity to directly participate in the event, express their reactions, and become more deeply involved in it. It is better to combine all these tools during a broadcast so that the interest of participants does not fall. Psychologist Margarita Ushakova also advises organizers to be more interested in the opinions of participants: “Traditional surveys, feedback forms, chat discussions, specifically organized focus groups, and video exchanges within communities or personalized video calls can help. Firstly, all this allows you to quickly fine-tune events to the interests of your target audience. Secondly, this type of work shifts the focus from speakers and presenters to participants, giving the latter the opportunity to be significant, to see the reality of their presence, and to influence what is happening.”
Awkward networking. Thus far, there are still not many tools for convenient networking at online events. During group calls, all participants are present, but only one speaks. In the general chat, each remark looks like it was voiced into an “open microphone”. You can’t leave private chats “for coffee” and disappear without an unwanted conversation.
That is why we analyzed these complexities and implemented them in Party.Space Metaverse: you can speak using spatial audio in 3D space, you can sit down at the table and talk with each other via video camera the way you would communicate in a live presence.
Some organizers will send attendees a contact list of other attendees after the event, but this can lead to backlash and spam complaints. In addition, a database can fall into the wrong hands. If you plan to send participants’ data to each other, advise them to create a separate email for receiving “virtual business cards” — partner letters and invitations to communicate with other guests of the online event. The participant will be able to use this box in the future and at other events.
Online events are tedious. What do most online reports look like? A disembodied voice speaking over changing slides, or talking heads of presenters (we bet you don’t often participate in events in your life, standing directly in front of the speaker and looking into their eyes for 30 minutes in a row). Video conferencing tires people far more than live interactions. This not only happens because of sitting in front of a monitor for lengthy periods but also from a lack of non-verbal signals humans crave. According to Daria Kuss, a cyberpsychologist at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), a lack of information makes people concentrate harder to get the most out of the audio and video channels, therefore making them tired faster.
A lot of distractions, an unusual format, lack of allocated space, and possible interference with communication, all this is exhausting, makes it difficult to concentrate, and reduces the overall satisfaction derived from an event. Experts advise organizers to reduce the duration of a session, provide attendees with a live handout, and allow them to turn off the camera from time to time (this also applies to speakers).
Online events require some time to get used to the platform. Even the most intuitive ones, like Party.Space, require few minutes for a person to understand the navigation and communication opportunities, which may sound problematic for not tech savvy people.
Metaverse parties require good promotional campaign even in case of the internal company event to show people that it is not another boring Zoom meeting but an engaging party in 3D environment where you can communicate and have fun indeed
How to organize a metaverse event
Whether you have experience running events and it’s time to expand your audience, or you’re just starting a marketing campaign and want to attract new customers, launching a virtual event is a great way to build an audience.
Depending on your platform of choice, the event will include varying degrees of interactivity. Your content may consist of live video streams, articles, audio recordings, and chats. The main focus is that all this is connected by a common (and urgently desirable) theme, that creates a unique experience of participation for attendees. Relevance, a well-thought-out strategy, and an unconventional format attract people, turning the event into a valuable business asset. Below we look at the seven steps in planning, marketing, and hosting a virtual event that we’re happy to vouch for.
1. Create the proper context
It’s relatively easy to gather different speakers, spread out a webinar broadcast over a couple of days, and call it a virtual conference. The problem with this approach is these types of sessions are loosely coupled. The user will select one or two performances and there will be little or no interaction.
To bring real value and coverage, an event needs curation. Your task is akin to putting together a museum and gallery exhibition: each work exhibited in the selected exhibition begins to play with different colors, increasing the effect of the entire collection and creating a holistic impression.
2. Provide simple marketing opportunities for partners
The best virtual conference promoters are the people who are interested in it. These can be presenters, sponsors, participants, and visitors. Make sure everyone is able to easily advertise their participation.
Prepare banners, email templates, speaker photo frames, and hashtags for social networks. Thanks to this, speakers and vendors wishing to talk about their participation in the initiative will be able to use and spread their ready-made identities.
3. Emphasize interaction
Virtual events are often criticized for poor networking. Indeed, personal interaction has qualities that are difficult to “digitize”. But the level and quality of an interaction that can be created online is quite high if it is built out separately.
By registering on a virtual platform, users can immerse themselves in the 3D space that is customized according to their company’s and the event’s needs, with different rooms and activities in each of them. With such possibilities, an online event appears to be very similar to an offline one.
4. Provide powerful customer support
Providing clear, competent support is one of the main measurements of an event’s level of professionalism.
The widespread use of technology does not mean that all visitors to webinars and any other metaverse event have mastered these technologies. Technology itself does not work without errors. You need to make sure that every user understands the logistics of the event, such as what sessions there are, when and where they take place, or when attendees can expect a recording of an event.
Embedding a button leading to chat support is a good idea. Make sure your support team responds as quickly as possible so that every user will not be distracted from the event for a long time. Test the support button and chats and prepare some templates for responses.
5. Take full advantage of the platform you use
User expectations are such that despite the virtual environment, the event must conform to familiar analog formats. By creating it from basic elements, such as presentations, discussions and coffee breaks, you make the event recognizable to visitors.
But don’t miss out on the opportunities that digital media provides. Ideally, don’t just don’t miss out, but reveal it to the maximum and make it an enticing feature.
Party.Space provides features that will help you make sure that your metaverse event won’t look or feel like your daily morning meetings in Zoom. By revolutionizing the world of virtual events, Party.Space brings the feelings of the good old days back while staying remote. It’s a convenient virtual space where you can interact with any guest, sip cocktails, and listen to DJ sets.
With Party.Space, you get all the tools you need for your next virtual or hybrid event in one place — like ticketing and registration, limitless event rooms, an expo hall, chat, networking, and more.
Check how companies leverage the metaverse for their events.
What are the Trends of Virtual Events in 2022?
With virtual events as an expected component of modern corporate life, we have prepared some trends for 2022 to keep your eye on.
1. More interactivity
In the last two years, metaverse event technology has come a long way. Since the start of the pandemic, many people have attended a huge amount of different online events, from daily meetings to corporate parties. That’s why attendee expectations have grown.
People will expect more and more interactive virtual event elements and organizers have to ensure they’re able to deliver immersive experiences that come close to equaling traditional in-person experiences. Mixology classes, quests, 3D products, etc., are indispensable components of a modern metaverse event.
2. All-in-one solution
The modern world of business requires scalable solutions that can address several challenges at once. The same is true for online event platforms. Metaverse event solutions need to provide all the tools for organizing an event. This way organizations can overcome the inefficiencies and challenges of relying on many third-party solutions.
3. Gathering event data
As we said earlier, virtual event technology makes it much easier to collect detailed data about your virtual event. Data collection processes will continue to improve, focusing more on providing features that enable event organizers to gain critical information. Organizers can use this information to improve future events and use what they learn about their customers to add value and make each event better than the previous one.
4. Deep personalization
Personalization is a trend in almost every software designed around interacting with others. Businesses turn to it because it helps to attract users’ attention and encourages them to stay for a long time. Virtual events need personalization as well. One example of it is session tracks which allow you to tailor content topics to the interests of each visitor. This ensures a higher level of engagement for every participant and helps attendees get the most out of the event.
In a Nutshell
Metaverse events will only increase in popularity as they’re the most cost-effective, efficient, and scalable way for businesses to connect with customers, partners, and employees. Still, organizing and hosting a metaverse event can be overwhelming.
Make the right choice with an all-in-one metaverse event platform that provides you with all the necessary tools and features to create a truly immersive and exciting virtual experience. Try Party.Space to experience all the benefits of a modern metaverse event.
Published May 31, 2022
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