Getting people together for an in-person business conference involves lots of planning, travel, and expense. Conventional virtual alternatives and 3D videoconferencing platforms have both benefits and drawbacks in comparison to live conferences. But already there’s a new alternative in the world of virtual events: the metaverse.
Although it’s still a very new technology, the option of holding conferences in the metaverse is already generating conversation among event professionals. The metaverse has all the benefits of virtual events, plus some extra benefits that make it superior to Zoom and other standard conferencing platforms.
Why Hold Conferences in the Metaverse?
Even though the metaverse is very much a new kind of event venue, it has some major advantages over both live events and conventional virtual conferences. In fact, metaverse conferences have the potential to blow every other kind of conference out of the water.
Reduce Participation Barriers
Live events, including conferences, have barriers that can sometimes prevent people from attending. For some people, cost is a factor. They or their company may not have the budget to fund an event in another state or country. Perhaps they can’t spare the time to travel and attend a conference. They might have physical limitations that prevent them from attending.
Conferences and meetings in the metaverse have none of those barriers. To access most virtual worlds, all that’s needed is a computer and an internet connection. Entry is open to anyone and everyone, no matter where they live. Every virtual world is fully accessible, and physical disabilities pose no limitations.
The removal of these limitations is a boon for event professionals too. For a virtual conference in the metaverse, there’s no physical venue to organize, fewer vendors to hire, and far fewer logistical concerns. And the reduced participation barriers apply to event organizers, too, meaning it’s easier to line up a diverse array of speakers.
Reduce the Event’s Carbon Footprint
Holding a conference in a virtual world venue also allows for a greatly reduced carbon footprint. For a live event, carbon emissions are generated not just by travel but by venue operations, including:
- Heating or cooling
Other tech needs
Plus, there’s event materials such as signage and printed marketing materials. Event swag can also represent a significant amount of carbon emissions if your giveaways are not selected with sustainability in mind.
At a virtual event, none of those things are needed—even event swag can be digital these days! That means a significant savings of carbon emissions. And the bigger the event, the more you save.
According to data from the University of Michigan Office of Campus Sustainability, going virtual can make a huge difference in carbon emissions for a single event. For an international conference of 5,000 people, it means an estimated 98% reduction in carbon emissions. The savings is equal to the annual carbon emissions of 158 American families.
Engage Attendees in a 3D Digital Environment
Conventional conference platforms such as Zoom provide very little in the way of engagement. Even with a more sophisticated platform that offers gamification and other engagement-boosting features, there’s still room to grow.
In the metaverse, it’s all different. A conference venue in the metaverse offers a three-dimensional virtual world with immersive technology that attendees can actively explore. There’s more interaction, more to see, more to do, and that means more engagement. When your audience is actively engaged, they’re more alert, and more focused on event content. They’re having more fun. And all of that means they’re also more receptive to marketing messages. The combined effect is:
- Higher audience satisfaction
- More participation in event content
- Better event metrics
Higher engagement is a win for everyone—attendees, sponsors, the event, and you.
Combat Zoom Fatigue
Using Zoom for long periods of time can lead to an issue called Zoom fatigue. It develops because Zoom users are forced into extended eye contact, while watching themselves in real time. Long periods at the computer also limit physical movement. The combined effect is mentally exhausting. Zoom fatigue can greatly reduce the ability of attendees to stay focused and engaged during a virtual conference.
The engaging virtual world of the metaverse can sidestep almost all these issues. In the metaverse, Zoom fatigue is a non-issue. And by keeping sessions short and offering plenty of chances for attendees to take breaks, you can also ensure they’re able to get up from the computer and move around.
Create a Customized Venue
When you hold a live or hybrid event, it can sometimes be difficult to find just the right physical venue. It needs to be large enough to accommodate your attendees but not so large that you end up paying for a lot of unused space. It needs to be in a good, central location with easy access to a variety of travel types. And it needs to have the space and tech capabilities you need for the activities you have planned.
Hold your conference in the metaverse instead, and, again, those problems disappear. And you’re presented with an amazing advantage, in that your digital world is highly customizable, both in size and appearance. The metaverse is more or less infinitely scalable, meaning any conference can be as small or as big as you want it to be. Want an intimate venue for a few hand-picked special guests? Or a huge convention center with room for thousands of virtual attendees to mingle? The metaverse can do it all.
Your venue can look exactly as you want it to, too, whether you want a traditional setting for your sales conference or product debut or something unconventional. There’s plenty of room for creativity in your venue design, along with lots of room for customized branding and marketing messages.
Evoke the Feel of a Live Event
There are lots of advantages to holding a metaverse conference. But there are things about the live experience that many event attendees particularly enjoy. The spontaneous, organic nature of networking. The excitement of a hotly-anticipated keynote. The after-hours social events!
Metaverse events can help fill in the gaps and supply some of those unique benefits of live events. In a metaverse event, attendees can sit in a packed-out lecture hall along with their peers. They can walk around the venue and look out for people they know. And they can even attend networking or social sessions within the metaverse venue. The metaverse is still a new technology, but already it’s capable of filling in many of the gaps that exist between live and virtual event experiences.
Get Ready for Conferences in the Metaverse
For event professionals who are active in the world of virtual and hybrid events, the metaverse is very much part of the future of events. When your conference venue is in the metaverse, your event has the potential to outperform on every metric you measure, thanks to its unique blend of benefits that make it an incredible option for business conferences of all sizes, in every industry.