Since we launched ALTADYN 9 years ago, we regularly hear the above question. Why Virtual Events Look Like In-Person Events? Why Meeting in a 3D space ? Why using AVATARS? Why not having Virtual Events user-interface as simple as buying a book on AMAZON or renting a movie on NETFLIX ? Etc…
A few consultants who covered this space have done a decent work answering to these questions, including FROST & SULLIVAN (who predicts more “presence” will be required in Virtual Events), and THINKBALM (who has published several reports on this matter).
We see a few reasons why Virtual Events NEED to look like in-person events if they want to become mainstream:
- 3D immersive creates the Sense of Presence, and the Feeling of the Space
- Avatars lead to more « Human » Interactions, more engaging, more networking among attendees
- Avatars and 3D immersive lead to stronger Visual Memory of the Meeting
- Importing 3D objects improves communication and collaboration on 3D virtual products
Have you ever questioned why corporations have always spent so much time and money in building well designed and greatly architect-ed headquarters, and reception areas? Do you have the same feeling when you walk in an underground dark railway station hallway, compared to when walking in a bright glass bridge with a green landscape around your meeting room? Are you familiar with the emotions that environments create in you?
The 3D immersive environment and its design by itself creates feelings in each attendee. Now add the fact that you see another avatar in front of you talking and/or chatting. Is it the same sense of communication compared to trying to visualize someone just by their name, in text, in the lower right corner of the screen?
Connecting attendees into a virtual event, so that they can see slides, hear a presenter, watch a video (live streamed or not), or even chat to each other, is a resolved problem since 10-15 years ago ( by Webex and webex like platforms). The same way netflix has done with movie watchers or Amazon has done with book readers or Facebook has done for friends… a simple easy way to accomplish the needed tasks mentioned above. But why do people still go massively to in-person events?
The demand is now for more HUMAN Interaction, more ENGAGEMENT and for virtual events which are closer to the in-person events. So that the attendee “FEELS” like he/she is “THERE”, and interacts with the exhibitors and with other attendees.
Some book buyers, those who miss the human interaction and the seller’s advice, continue to drive a car and go to Barnes & Noble to buy a book where they spend a lot more time and money than just ordering online. Why do they do that? Because they miss something AMAZON is not offering today.
Now for Virtual Events, the HUMAN aspect is even much more crucial than for AMAZON. The goal of Virtual Events vendors should be to enable attendees participate to more events, get more content, be more engaged, connect more to each other, enjoy the experience and even have fun. All this in less time and at a lower cost than the in-person event. That’s why everyone tries to create that SENSE of PRESENCE. Some do it with background images(full-size 3D generated), and some go further with 3D immersive, avatar based solutions. In a platform like 3DXplorer, you can virtually “walk” on the same floor as other attendees, shake hand with each other, use your laser pointer to point out something on a slide or show an object to someone, see where each person is looking at, etc…you FEEL being in the same place. PRESENCE makes sense this way.
Now, are ALL Virtual Events going to look like in-person events? No. But unlike AMAZON for books, here we have the larger market who has not yet gone virtual, despite solutions being available since 10-15 years. because most virtual event platforms can’t provide that feeling of presence, and they simply don’t facilitate networking and engagement that is effective or fun.
If the Virtual Events market wants to deliver on its growth promises, it needs to develop something fundamentally different than Webex which will capture those in-person events.
Register for one of our upcoming webinars and give it a try, and Feel free to react…