The Gold Rush is gathering momentum. Nike, Nvidia, Dolce and Gabbana, Bytedance (TikTok’s parent company), JP Morgan, HSBC, Shopify, Gucci, Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton, Warner Music, and Disney are all exploring, building and creating in the metaverse. Entertainment, financial, fashion and tech brands testing the lucrative waters of Decentraland, the Sandbox and Somnium Space for their grand entrance into web3.
Since Covid put real-life events on an unwelcome hiatus, brands have been using digital events to build community, seduce existing fans and create an exciting customer experience for a new generation of web3 natives.
Pushed on by advancements in VR AR, 360 stage cameras, sound analysis, the nefarious sounding skeletal-tracking, and hepatic suits which use everyday chemicals like menthol and capsaicin to simulate touch and temperature, metaverse events are on the verge of transcending the boundaries between the digital and the real.
What is a metaverse event and why are brands falling over themselves to create them?
If you find yourself at a loose end this weekend, what are you going to do? Go see a movie or a fashion show? Check out a gallery opening, a concert, or a conference? If you look at the Decentraland Events page, the same events unfolding IRL are happening in the metaverse. Technology hasn’t altered the deep-seated human experience of sharing music, culture, education and life. The metaverse is an extension of real life, not a replacement for it. Congratulations, you just got more choice.
Metaverse events come in two tiers. First are the small events: the clubs, galleries, concerts and conferences which attract small numbers of visitors. Then there are the yearly events, the international trade fairs, festivals, and exhibitions which send tremors across Twitter and mainstream media: SXSW, TED, NFT.NYC, Coachella, NFT Miami, Paris Fashion Week.
SXSW held a mirror in the metaverse. Tomorrowland and Coachella are both selling lifelong passes. Warner Brothers have teamed up with the Sandbox for live concerts and experiences — Coldplay, Lizzo, Muse, and Ed Sheeran could conceivably be having concerts in the Sandbox in the next year, joining the likes of Twenty One Pilots, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande of Fortnite event fame.
How Much are Metaverse Concerts Worth?
Where the big names go, the money flows. Artists can earn $350,000 per appearance in a video game. Travis Scott earned a heart-stopping $20 million for his Astronomical Tour in Fortnite, including millions in merchandise. Ariana Grande, queen of the metaverse concert, also pocketed a cool $20 million.
Dig deeper and the knock-on effects catapult revenues up further. Avatars wear brands, that’s advertising. New fans, platform crossover, virtual fashion, and in-game merchandising add more zeros. In the decentralized metaverse where RLTY operate, you can add the NFT layer.
Counter-intuitively, the biggest value proposition of metaverse events, and concerts, in particular, is the money you don’t spend. Take a world music tour. Record labels need to pay for the crew, insurance, transportation, accommodation, food, equipment, lighting, and set design. Even for a small band that equates to thousands of dollars a week. For the global megastars that frequent the stages of Fortnite, the outlay can be $750,000 per day, whether playing a show or not.
The metaverse is a cheaper alternative to real life. And avatars don’t get tired, drunk, or miss the bus.
What is so exciting about Metaverse events?
The economic returns are exciting. But beyond that, any new adventure is thrilling, and in The metaverse, the opportunity is open to everyone, not just the established. Emerging artists, filmmakers, music producers, athletes and brands can all participate.
Further, metaverse events offer a next-generation experience, a way to personalize, enhance, and monetise, embrace existing fans and customers and onboard the next wave. To turn curious into passionate fans. And, yes, you can even buy VIP, backstage tickets to Snoop Dogg’s personal party.
Conferences In The Metaverse
Conferences are the perfect vehicle to experience the power of metaverse events. Unlike large scale sporting and music events, conferences are easier to set up. They have fewer overheads, and less need for flamboyant virtual architecture and offer potentially unlimited returns.
As Paris NFT Day in Decentraland demonstrated, a conference could run projections of speeches simultaneously across metaverse platforms and turn a real-world attendance in the thousands into a global conference for millions.
Brands, Web2 event organizers, NFT creators, DAOs. From the biggest to the smallest, they are coming to the metaverse. Some are in search of financial returns, others to access a global audience and the unique opportunities metaverse events offer.