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Approaching the Metaverse: What the Events & Experience Industry Stands to Gain

Are you all-in on the metaverse—or are you experiencing meta-fatigue?

If you fall into the latter camp, you’re not alone. Even Meta’s largest shareholders are airing their frustrations at Meta’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s aggressive and insistent investment in the metaverse­–a strategy that has so far “wiped 74 percent” from the company’s stock price in just over a year, according to the Financial Times.

Many people, organizations and industries are still figuring out what the metaverse holds in store for the future–and more importantly, what it means for their business offerings. Though there’s uncertainty ahead at the current topic du jour, don’t completely ignore what’s to come.


Because the shifting landscape we’re in–what we at Spiro call the NEW NOW™–is constantly changing.

The metaverse will be an installment in what is likely to be a multiverse. No, it’s not a Marvel film–it’s the future of your audiences connecting with each other, your company, and society across platforms, technologies, times, and created spaces.

The events and experience industry can benefit greatly from this future where spatial boundaries don’t impede experience design and creation. Indeed, that’s already happening, and today’s consumers are readily embracing offerings and a future that lets them connect whenever and wherever they want to, in their version of THERE.

Here are a few things you can do to embrace the future now, regardless of your projects (or lack thereof) in the metaverse:

1. Stop resisting change because technology hasn't even caught up yet

The first versions of any significant innovation are underwhelming compared with its current version, after technological advancement and new developments make the experience much better than before.

Consider e-learning and educational technology. The pandemic forced many teachers across academic backgrounds and levels to teach in virtual environments, and both the unfamiliarity with digital meeting tools and the lack of features that many carried made the shift one full of bumps and learning curves.

Now, an increasing number of people have turned to online courses instead of traditional college degrees, and a litany of companies (Google, Apple, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Hilton, IBM and Penguin Random House) are no longer requiring college degrees to join their ranks.

Bootcamps, trainings, and other digital education offerings are leading analysts to predict a $325 billion USD market valuation for the EdTech and e-learning industry by 2025.

Now consider digital and hybrid events–the thought of which still makes some event professionals grit their teeth, as the technology for many virtual event and experience platforms are being developed and innovated upon.

Yet, the future is full of remote, hybrid, and other forms of event attendance.

Splash reported that 92% of companies continued hosting virtual events even after in-person events resumed, and 46% said they plan to host more virtual events in 2022 than in 2021. 79% of companies plan to host hybrid events in 2022—and 59% are increasing their investment in virtual event technology.

2. Use data to better understand and cater to your audience members.

Data is more important now than ever–and you don’t have to be Meta, Google, Apple, or Amazon to take advantage of it.

For example, a plethora of retailers have turned to data-driven technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to meet changing consumer behaviors and preferences—and to stay competitive in an increasingly cutthroat landscape.

A Juniper Research study forecasted that e-commerce payments globally will surpass $7.5 trillion USD by 2026—up from $4.9 trillion in 2021. That’s a 55% growth rate, and in a time when customer behavior and needs have drastically changed, data is more important than ever before.

Just as retailers are using data to better understand their current customers and build personalized experiences to attract and keep them coming back, brands can build outstanding events and brand activations that respond to consumer needs, preferences, questions, and desires.

Virtual event platforms can contain treasure troves of data on your current customers and what they’re looking for, but so can savvy content and other touchpoints that invite users to opt-into the experience by sharing their data. From there, you can analyze, create, and better target for increased impact, satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, revenue.

3. Lean into purpose and community. 

Though 94% of marketing decision-makers believe the metaverse offers new ways to reach audiences, 80% of consumers say they consider metaverse spaces more inclusive than in-person places. The majority (85%) say that they can more freely present themselves openly, and 79% say their friends in the metaverse are more open to accept them for who they are.

Match that with Edelman’s most recent Trust Barometer Report, which revealed that 58% of consumers will buy or advocate for brands based on their shared beliefs and values. Along with that, 60% will choose a place to work based on these shared values.

However, 52% believe that businesses are not doing enough to address climate change and 49% think businesses can do more to correct economic inequality.

The metaverse isn’t a magical solution that will fix systemic inequalities or a technology that will automatically extend inclusion and belonging as a competitive offering, but it does offer a space and additional opportunities to better connect with your customers and help them connect to one another­–along with helping you showcase your company’s values within your experiences.

Embracing change despite technology not being perfect, harnessing the power of data, and becoming a vehicle of purpose and community within your brand experiences can open up a bright future for your brand and your audience members­, both within the metaverse and throughout the multiverse we’re heading toward.

Don’t wait to get started on your journey.

Learn more about how you can embrace these and other waves of disruption and change impacting the events industry here.

About the Author

Beki Winchel, Director, Thought Leadership & Innovation, comes to Spiro with years of experience creating, executing, and advising marketing, PR and content strategies for organizations of all sizes to deliver high-value returns. Beki’s background sets her up to show the world how Spiro is tapping into macro-trends and changing human needs to create cutting-edge experiences and lead the way forward in the NEW NOW™.

Profile Photo of Beki Winchel