State of Events: Real-Time, Hybrid, and the Metaverse
Thankfully, we’ve seen a return to in-person events and numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels. It may feel like the pandemic is over, but the events industry has changed forever.
According to the American Express forecast, “in-person meetings and the number of attendees at these meetings will increase across the board, with 87% of meetings expected to have an in-person component.” This figure is expected to stabilize in 2024.”
However, live events look a little different. David Merrell, CEO and creative director of AOO Events, noticed that attendees at live events wanted more opportunities to socialize and network. “Consider building more time into your schedule for real networking, whether it’s a casual cocktail party or a more guided get-to-know-you event,” he says.
After more than a year of lockdowns, restrictions, attendee restrictions and virtual events, people are getting ready to experience events with impressive vibrancy; ‘immersive’ is the key word this year. Between high-tech LED lighting, interactive brand activations and event stations, and efforts to break down the fourth wall between guests and event planning, immersive events are as popular as ever.
A sort of Forbes Article titled “Live events bounce back from the pandemic and head towards an immersive future” Discuss how immersive events can take the spotlight, “bringing together filmmaking, live theatre, sculpture, and even architecture. One of the most successful marriages of technology, performance, and art is Lighthouse Immersive around Vincent van Gogh, Frieda An experience crafted by the works of Kahlo and Gustav Klimt.”
Even back in the real world, immersive events give people the chance to step into fantasy worlds: virtual companies like Netflix are creating immersive events (read our review of the “immersive Bridgetown experience”) “impression.)
This Forbes The article also notes the rise of hybrid events that include a virtual component: “The definition of ‘live event’ is also evolving as new cross-platform creators combine music, sound, images, video, live performers, props and projection mapping and Technologies such as augmented reality.” Live broadcasts and webinars remain an important part of hybrid events. While everyone craves this in-person connection, there’s no denying the convenience of mixing events, not to mention the benefits of saving money and reducing environmental impact.
events in the metaverse
There are two main ways to incorporate the virtual world into events: Augmented Reality (AR), where digital elements are superimposed on the real world via a screen; or Virtual Reality (VR), where users impose themselves into a fully digital world through an avatar simulation , which requires the user to view through a headset (eg Meta Quest or Samsung Gear).
AR is often used to gamify events, access additional resources during presentations, and even act as a map to guide event attendees through the venue. VR is growing rapidly, and current top event-specific VR platforms include Allseated and Meetaverse’s exVo. With Metaverse’s technology, users can create avatars and attend events and trade shows that allow for networking, education, visual presentations, and even after-party perks like virtual entertainment and networking events.
Hybrid, virtual and VR events have many benefits such as unlimited number of attendees, increased networking opportunities, higher profit margins, greater flexibility, and allowances for attendees with hearing impairments or language differences. While these event types are growing in popularity and growing, economic hurdles can stifle the prosperity of these events: In early November, Meta announced that it would begin a massive layoff of 11,000 jobs as it spent more money pursuing the Metaverse. As a result, stocks have plummeted, so the future of this event technology is yet to be determined.
Stay tuned for the rest of our 2022 State of the Industry!
To view Part 5, click here.