Photo Credit: MEETYOO

Kongres Magazine talked to Tony E. Kula, Founder and CEO of MEETYOO, a premium all-in-one platform for immersive virtual and hybrid event experiences. Tony talked about the future of the metaverse, hybrid events and why offering clients multiple choices will foster business growth.

Q1: Which technologies will change event organisers’ lives in the upcoming years and decades?

The shift towards the virtual world will bring many benefits to the event industry, and I’m not just saying that because my company is a virtual event platform! We’ve already seen the efficiency of hosting events online, especially when it comes to sustainability. Studies have shown that digital events can reduce the carbon footprint of an event by 94% and energy consumption by 90%. The virtual world also allows event planners to focus on content for their events and worry less about logistics. When they go virtual, they utilise event planning software to support their organisational workflows of virtual and hybrid concepts and formats.

Having a digital aspect to your event, whether it is just a virtual twin or a fully virtual experience, allows you to collect valuable data. The ability to track your participants’ actions and interests gives you quality leads and provides them with a better and authentically curated experience. While on the experience side of things, I believe that VR and AR are not going anywhere. Audiovisual productions and immersive web streams and experiences will be a game-changer in the event space and will definitely have an impact on our way of thinking about the event industry.

Q2: It is crucial for a company to be directly connected to its clients. Events enabled organisations to do so in the past. What is happening now?

Our world is becoming more and more digital by the year, especially with the new generation of consumers who grew up with the internet. Consumers are also expecting to be exposed to very curated content made specifically for their own needs. This is all translated into the event world, as participants want to be as efficient with their time as possible, and interact with what is relevant to their needs.

The event industry is now trying to curate a specific experience for each individual participant with match-making, content libraries, pre-event organisation and more. That is made possible and easier with virtual events. We are seeing a high satisfaction rate with participants who attend virtual events and get to walk away feeling as if they learned a lot and were efficient with their time.

Photo Credit: MEETYOO

“Giving your audience the possibility to choose gives you a higher chance of having the maximum amount of attendees and quality leads.”

Q3: What is your take on the current state of development of Metaverse events?

At the moment, the Metaverse offers lots of interesting and valuable elements for the conception and organisation of entertainment events. Above all, we can already recognise that it will empower the user and the visitor and offer a vast variety of communication opportunities for the transfer of more than just information, shifting into a real space of co-creation. From the perspective of the enterprises directly addressing consumers, these will have the opportunity to reach all digital generations and new target groups to present their most innovative offerings.

However, for business-to-business communication, I believe a presence in the Metaverse will not necessarily be the choice to go yet. One of the reasons is accessibility. In offices around the world, there are limitations like business networks, VPNs, or the lack of VR / AR gear that will hinder accessibility. Besides, the METAVERSE is slow when it comes to knowledge transfer. Avatar-based environments will require users to “walk” for minutes and hours before finding their spot.

Q4: If we draw parallels with cryptocurrencies, more than half of event organisers are unfamiliar with Metaverse. How would you explain its benefits briefly?

The first benefit of the metaverse for enabling business opportunities in virtual events is accessibility. Almost anyone who purchases a ticket to a virtual event can attend it without physical or geographical limitations. As a result, businesses could leverage the benefits of improved audience participation in virtual events through the metaverse. At the same time, the metaverse also offers improved prospects for collecting audience data and assessment of audience behaviour.

In addition, what we are seeing at the moment is that the Metaverse has become a completely new marketplace for companies, brands, and corporations. It’s an immersive experience in itself that offers users the virtual 3D manifestation and identity of a company with the possibility of projecting themselves into it. It has also become the expected communication medium for all digital generations.

Q5: What does MEETYOO offer in this segment?

In our own way, MEETYOO already offers a couple of elements that are known to be part of the metaverse. Our compromise is a 2,5D immersive environment that allows navigation through point-to-click functionality. The environment derives from the organisation’s wants and needs, choosing what kind of space they want to create to communicate with the attendees using design.

If it is about knowledge sharing, employee interaction, lead generation with a virtual trade show, or facilitating global connections of experts in the digital conference space.

We’ve listed some areas of the MEETYOOverse below:

– Virtual show floors, trade fairs and career fairs with e-commerce experience.
– Interactions with users as digital avatars for customer service, employee onboarding, sales, service, and many other business communications and applications.
– Participation in virtual social experiences.
– Use of virtual classrooms for fueling immersive learning experiences. (Events, conferences, workshops, seminars…)

“Being able to give back to our community and promoting sustainability has always been in our DNA.”

Q6: Are you planning on future collaborations and partnerships?

We are looking at collaborations and partnerships around the Metaverse and 3D avatars. We have incorporated full 3D rooms in our 2,5D event venues with specific customers before. Also, we offer 3D models to be shown in our virtual booth. But for the reasons mentioned around accessibility and efficiency of usage, we won’t move into a full avatar and VR-driven approach yet, as our core target is still corporate companies.

Also, our vision is to decarbonise the event industry. The metaverse is known to have a huge carbon footprint, so for now, this is still a bit against our values. So we want to focus on business events, reduce our carbon footprint, and compensate for all our event emissions. That is why we’ve partnered with Plan A, a TÜV certified Berlin startup that focuses on “carbon accounting” for businesses to actively reduce and offset our carbon footprint.

In addition to our internal efforts, we are also looking to sponsor a climate-focused event. Being able to give back to our community and promoting sustainability has always been in our DNA. This year, we would like to offer the MEETYOO Pro experience to someone creating a climate-focused event free of charge. Those organising such an event can apply to this unique opportunity here.

Q7: What is your advice to clients for the next decade? What should be their focus?

My biggest advice to clients is to focus on their event content. What truly makes a great event is the quality of the speakers, networking opportunities, and learnings. To create great content, they need the time and resources to do so and shouldn’t spend countless hours figuring out the event logistics. That is where platforms like MEETYOO Pro really come in handy. Our team is able to free our clients of these tasks to allow them to focus on more important things.

I’m aware that people are eager to go back to in-person events, and virtual is not always the way to go. That is why I think hybrid will be a huge thing in the future. Giving your audience the possibility to choose gives you a higher chance of having the maximum amount of attendees and quality leads.

Find out more about MEETYOO’s services here

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