If it seems like everyone is talking about the Metaverse, it’s because they are. The idea that a digital landscape exists with full interactivity that mirrors that of everyday IRL (in real life) is more than just a buzzworthy topic; it’s the next frontier of how we communicate and connect as a planet.
The quickest way to understand what the Metaverse is and what it offers, is to think of it like living in a video game. You create an avatar/digital character version of yourself, and you navigate yourself through a world of shared environments and experiences. These could be digital storefronts, or exhibition galleries, live-streamed entertainment, a conference center, and anything else someone might think to create. If it exists IRL, the Metaverse promises there is a counterpart in the digital realm. Instead of getting in your car or catching a flight somewhere, you enter the Metaverse to access the experience. At the same time that you’re interacting in the Metaverse, so are millions of other people all around the globe, each pursuing their own wants, needs, responsibilities, and connections.
To be clear, the Metaverse isn’t about simply checking into a zoom – these are fully interactive experiences tailored to an all-digital environment. Take, for example, the idea of a digital storefront. It could be your favorite fashion retailer. In the Metaverse, you wouldn’t simply walk your avatar to that retailer’s website, you would walk into a digital 3D space, with fully realized digital representations of clothing on mannequins, or displayed around the store. A shopkeeper (who could be human or an AI bot) might guide you to a fitting room, at which point, you could either enter your body measurements or take a full body photo of yourself to “try on” clothes and then tap to pay for your purchase and have it shipped to you. Your avatar would also get to update its appearance with your new look. You might choose to attend a concert with several friends all logged into the Metaverse at the same time and be able to chat, dance, or even digitally high-five each other – even if those friends were on a completely different continent.
Imagine the possibilities this opens up for events and meetings. The spirit and energy of a live, in-person gathering is there, but there were no airline flights to coordinate, no travel delays, no hotel arrangements, no worries about health check ins, just the interactions, conversations, and shared activities people really want (and with the added benefit of sleeping in their own bed every night). What’s more, your Metaverse environment could change from day to day, or throughout the day, to best suit the purpose of the activity. What starts as a presentation stage during a welcome segment can seamlessly lead to a “hands on” digital demonstration where attendee’s avatars can manipulate an object in 3D space, see digital representation of a product’s effects, or even learn a series of instructions or controls that would later apply to an IRL product or tool.
In fairness, though the Metaverse simplifies a great many things, the tradeoff is that digital environments don’t build themselves, and they don’t operate on thin air. Heavy-duty computing platforms with state-of-the-art engines for graphics, e-commerce, and internet bandwidth are absolute essentials for being part of the Metaverse. What you may save on travel and lodging will most likely need to be applied towards creating a digital presence. The benefit here is, once you’ve built an environment, you have the chance to “save” it and repeat it for another time. Or, you can even decide to let it permanently exist if it makes sense to do so (a regular product training center, for instance, might have suitable longevity to make it permanent, with password or credentialed access granted only to appropriate staff or guests).
The future is going to be here sooner than we all think. Have you given any thought to the Meta-version of your brand or business? VIBE can help! Check out our Video right here!
About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry. The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020. Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry. If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!