NFTs have been big in the tech world in 2022 and 2023. But what are they? And what do they have to do with virtual and hybrid corporate events? If you’ve been wondering about how to use NFTs for virtual events, we have the answers.
What Are NFTs?
NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” NFTs have been getting lots of press over the past year or two. Most notably, interest in NFTs soared after the digital artist known as Beeple sold a collection of NFT art for the staggering sum of $69 million. Other NFT collections such as Bored Apes and CryptoPunks have also garnered a lot of interest. But NFTs aren’t just a new art form, and they actually have a wide range of applications.
The ”non-fungible” part of the term NFT refers to the fact that each token is unique. Each NFT has an intrinsic and independent value that can’t be uncoupled from the token itself. Compare this to traditional money, which is fungible: Any single dollar bill is the same as any other dollar bill. If you have a one-dollar bill and exchange it for another one, you still have one dollar. You can’t do this with items (or tokens) that are non-fungible.
To understand what NFTs are, you also need to understand the blockchain. This is a decentralized digital ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions and updates in real time. Every time a cryptocurrency transaction is made, the blockchain updates with the new information. The blockchain and cryptocurrency were conceived as a way to make financial transactions independent of any central financial authority.
How NFTs and Blockchain Technology Are Related
A single NFT is tied to a unique section of blockchain code, and that code represents a unique digital file. An NFT is a way to represent ownership of a digital asset. For instance, when an NFT is coupled to a unique digital artwork, that NFT is what proves ownership of the art. If the artwork changes hands, the change of ownership is recorded in the blockchain code that’s represented by the NFT.
It’s a highly abstract concept, and that can make it hard to understand. And when it comes to digital art, the waters can get murky because purchasing an NFT artpiece doesn’t mean you own the copyright. But it does mean you have authenticated ownership of the original digital asset. And while NFTs themselves are a little abstract, they do have real-world value.
What Is an NFT Event?
There are two ways to use NFTs for events:
The first way is when NFTs or a related subject such as the blockchain is the focus of the event. For instance, this means events such as NFT NYC, the North American Bitcoin Conference, or the World Blockchain Summit series. These global NFT community events focus on subjects such as the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, or NFTs.
The other option is when NFTs are used as part of the event organization process. In this example, NFTs enhance the event in some way, even if the event itself isn’t about NFTs or related concepts.
5 Ideas for Using NFTs for Virtual Events
Minting NFT tickets can add an extra layer of security to a virtual corporate event. For instance, NFT tickets can be made non-transferable. This instantly renders them useless to ticket-scalpers. In addition, because NFT tickets are unique and authenticated on the blockchain, they can’t be duped or faked. Using NFTs for virtual events in this way also makes ticket theft harder because all transactions are automatically recorded. Several NFT ticketing services already exist, including Wicket and YellowHeart.
2. Collectibles and Perks
Another NFT ticketing service, SeatLab, has gone a step further than ticketing. This service mints NFT tickets that also give ticketholders unique video collectibles. Another option might be NFTs that give the owners exclusive event experiences, such as a meet-and-greet with a speaker or VIP perks.
3. Event Marketing
There are lots of ways to advertise or market a virtual event, and NFTs can be of use here too. Any new tech generates interest, especially when it’s used in novel ways. For instance, if you decide to go with an NFT ticketing service, pair the tickets with digital collectibles or souvenirs. You can even offer limited-edition collectibles with random ticket purchases or VIP packages.
4. Event Gamification
Gamification is no longer an optional extra for online events. It’s a huge component of attendee engagement and has come to be expected by event attendees. Virtual event gamification already tends to offer online rewards, so consider NFTs a natural step forward. Offering unique NFT rewards could be an effective way to further incentivize event engagement.
5. Personal Avatar Customization
If your virtual event platform lets attendees use customized personal avatars, NFTs can be used here too. This option would allow attendees to purchase unique custom outfits and accessories. If you run events regularly on the same virtual platform, it may even be possible to let those purchased NFT customizations carry over to future online events.
Event NFTs Go Hybrid
For a hybrid event, you have even more options for using NFTs. Many of the ideas of NFTs for virtual events can work for the live arm of the event too. This includes ticketing, swag, perks, and more. In addition, you have the option of incorporating NFTs in ways that are unique to in-person events.
Swag and merchandise: Branded merchandise and event swag pairs perfectly with the NFT concept. It’s particularly ideal for hybrid events because you can combine physical and digital items to create the ultimate hybrid swag bag. You can even let attendees mix-and-match digital and physical options.
NFT activities: One easy option is to use an NFT photo booth such as Outsnapped. Your attendees use the booth to take photos, gifs, or video clips, and the booth mints a brand-new unique NFT at the same time as the photo is taken. The user receives the photo, gif, or video clip, plus the NFT as proof of ownership.
This kind of NFT-based activity is a great alternative if you want to incorporate NFTs somehow but don’t want to rely on NFTs for ticketing and other essential organizational elements. If you’re not confident using NFTs, the photobooth option lets you tap into the new tech with a much lower learning curve.
NFTs for Virtual and Hybrid Events: Tap Into Big Potential
There are lots of potentially useful and interesting ways to add NFTs to virtual and hybrid events. Using NFTs for virtual events can enhance event safety, as well as add fun features and activities for attendees. NFTs may start to play an important role as event tech. Now is the time to investigate all they have to offer and get your foot in the door!