Metaverse events will change the attendee experience in a number of ways. Here are some of them.
Participants will attend as avatars
“You don’t choose your Avatar… your Avatar chooses you.” – Jake Sully, Avatar the Movie
There are different ways to attend events in the Metaverse. Eventually, you’ll choose how you’re digitally represented at a Metaverse event. For example, you could hologram in as yourself or use an avatar instead. In the early days of the Metaverse, we don’t have hologram technology for everyone – yet, but we do have access to avatars.
What is an avatar?
Avatars are a digital representation of yourself. In the Metaverse, avatars are tied to a digital account or your identity. You could have multiple avatars, but they’re all tied to one identity. Avatars can be humans, animals, or inanimate objects. In professional events, people normally choose human avatars in business attire. However, as the Metaverse evolves, avatar fashion may evolve, too.
Are avatars good or bad?
Avatars, like any digital technology, have their advantages and disadvantages. Current technology makes it difficult for an avatar to represent the details like facial expressions and body language that you depend on at events. How much you can make your avatar do depends on the hardware you have at home or the emotes (short pre-programmed actions performed by the player) programmed into the app. Check out an example of the difficulties avatars face in the Metaverse with Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Horizon avatar.
In spite of the difficulties, avatars give you a sense of privacy in online events, especially when you might not know everyone attending an event. Avatars give you an “in-person” feeling in the comfort of your own home. Plus, avatars are a fun way to play with your identity. If you don’t feel confident at in-person events, you can use your avatar, through dress and action, to try new things like meeting people, talking on stage, or demonstrating a product.
Avatar’s special abilities
That leads to what avatars can do that can’t happen at in-person events. Avatars are great for events where you’re representing a product. Avatars size up objects and try out goods such as clothes.
One of the challenges of in-person events is remembering to bring your business card and connecting with people after the event. Avatars can immediately share the contact information (that they choose) with each other. Avatars can record key conversations so you remember why you wanted to connect with someone.
If you’re speaking at an event through your avatar, you can transform the stage into the subject of your talk. You can show and tell so that your in-person interactions are richer and connections stronger.
Avatars consume information differently
One of the assumptions when it comes to avatars is that you need a virtual reality headset. It’s important to remember that the mMetaverse is not virtual reality(VR). VR is just one way to access the metaverse. Access is similar to how you access the Internet – through phones, computers, tablets, TVs, smartwatches, and VR. People have been using avatars in computer games like Fortnite and Roblox for years. Metaverse apps like Decentraland and Sandbox have avatars through the computer. Avatar service Ready Player Me lets you design avatars on your computer and then use them in a variety of apps, from 2D social apps to 3D VR or augmented (AR) reality platforms.
Avatars will change the way you access information in the Metaverse. It’s difficult to read the text and view 2D slide decks. The better way to talk about information – especially at events – is to show it. Instead of talking on a stage, create a digital experience about the subject of your talk for people to explore with their avatars. Use spatial audio (virtual surround sound technology) to personalize the experience and make it easy for people to hear what they should.
Since you’re immersed in the Metaverse, it can be difficult to take traditional notes. Avatars give a fun way to take information with you, such as screen grabbing or saving a recording of your avatar in an experience to our personal devices. You can talk to yourself in a private mode. Those notes can be transcribed to a document after the event.
Since avatars are digital beings, what they can do at events is endless. It’s up to your imagination to make immersive interaction look and feel the way you want the event to be.
The "event" may not be an event in the Metaverse
One of the exciting things about the Metaverse is that an event may not have a traditional conference feel. Avatars don’t need to sit down to rest. They don’t need to visit booths because exhibitors can have whole worlds in the Metaverse to show off their products or services. Events don’t need to be scheduled, one-day affairs.
You can program your avatar to work for you, even when you’re not there. If you’re hosting a virtual booth or experience, you can program your avatar to give tours and hand out your contact information. If you’re attending an event, you can set your avatar to “away mode” where the avatar can still walk around and meet people for you to get in touch with later. Digital maps of where your avatar went can be stored in your personal backpack.
Avatars, the Metaverse, and the future
Avatars offer a range of features for attendees in the Metaverse. The avatars you choose – their look and style give you the confidence you need to experience an event in the Metaverse. Avatars show what you’re talking about – because, in the Metaverse, you can build things that don’t exist in real life.
While the possibilities with avatars are theoretically endless, the technology today may limit some of what avatars do. As technology and the Metaverse evolve, so will avatars and the events they attend.