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These days, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage. You might have heard the term all over the news and in the tech world, but do you really know what they’re all about? The whole phenomenon can be quite confusing, as you may think how can people own digital images which are easily available all over the internet. However, things are a bit more complex than that. Here’s everything you need to know about NFTs, and how they can kick your virtual and hybrid events up to a whole new level.
So, you might know that NFT stands for ‘Non-Fungible Token’. But what exactly does that mean? Something that’s non-fungible means that it is unique and cannot be replaced by something else. Generally, this can refer to drawings, music, or other unique creations. However, in the tech context, we’re talking about digital art or other unique digital properties. Essentially, NFTs are unique files which are stored along the blockchain, and signify ownership of a piece.
Recently, NFTs have become a major conversation in the art and tech communities. This is because their market is quite active, with companies like Bored Ape Yacht Club selling digital imagery for as high as USD 2.85 million. In addition, NFTs have even made it to Christies, the prestigious auction house, which sold a piece of digital art by Beeple for an astounding USD $69 million.
You might be confused at this point. Why are NFTs such a big deal if you can just right click and download digital art? In short, while everyone can simply put up a print of the Mona Lisa in their house, there’s only one original version out there, and that’s the one in The Louvre. Just as with artwork, the value of the original piece is decided by the people who buy and sell it.
How do you track which is an original piece of digital property or art? It’s not as difficult as it seems, thanks to the latest major tech fad of the decade, cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Generally, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is another form of cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, but also supports these NFTs. This allows you to get ownership of an artwork, with the blockchain holding the information necessary to prove this ownership.
While the Mona Lisa example may be a simplistic comparison, there is no stopping the NFT market at this point in time. It has taken off quite quickly, with digital artists prospering. So, it comes as no surprise that companies are paying attention, and trying to get on the bandwagon. You shouldn’t lag behind, and be part of this global phenomenon. The video game industry and numerous corporations like Coca Cola, Ray-Ban, and even Taco Bell are using NFTs for various purposes, especially marketing. These have a lot of potential for the virtual event industry as well, especially with the drive towards the metaverse going on these days.
Virtual events are the ideal platform for you to utilize NFTs but the concept is still new for most event organizers. That means that using NFTs at your virtual event will not only bring in revenue, but also help you cut through the clutter and become a market leader. Here are some great ideas you can implement.
This is something that is quite doable for almost every industry. You can sell digital versions of branded merchandise as NFTs. This can include digital posters, event souvenirs, or even moments from the event itself. Along with these, you can sell custom avatars, mint artwork or event items themselves.
While these may be viewable for others, only the people who actually attended the event and opted for these NFTs will ‘own’ these assets. With the right marketing campaigns, your visitors will have bragging rights for these NFTs, and will generate more hype around your event. In addition, exhibitors can also sell their products as NFTs.
You should build anticipation around a virtual event by hooking people well before the event even starts. While there are countless virtual events taking place all the time, you can make yours stand out with NFTs.
A good way to do this is by marketing them as Unique Selling Points (USPs) for your event. For example, you can incentivize registrations by offering them digital souvenirs for signing up. These souvenirs should be related to your industry, and to the event itself to be effective marketing. They can even include real-life experiences, such as exclusive access and the naming rights for certain parts of your event.
Discord is a great channel for this purpose. A lot of conversations around NFTs and their sales take place on this tool. Look up channels which match your company interests and have an interest in NFTs. This will help you generate considerable hype.
Giving out NFT tickets has multiple benefits. You can prevent them from being transferable, as well as gain hype around your event. The security of the blockchain means that you can easily authenticate the tickets, and prevent resale or other kinds of disliked practices.
In addition, you can offer add-ons to different ticket tiers. These add-ons may include prizes and rewards, and will encourage more people to sign up for your virtual event. Offering varying levels of rewards will pique audience interest as well. Offering varying levels of rewards will pique audience interest as well. These digital assets can add a lot of appeal for your audience, so do work on offering something interesting.
Gamification is now expected to be part of most virtual events. You should incentivize your visitors to participate and engage with your event as much as possible. So, features like leaderboards, trivia games, spin the wheel, and others can add a lot to the experience.
You can steer audience behavior with this gamification if you offer appropriate rewards. NFTs are an excellent way to give out these awards, especially if you have a global virtual audience. When you incentivize engagement, visitors will engage with more aspects of the event. In addition, when you reward people for winning various games and competitions, they’re more likely to appreciate your event as well.
This is one of the most fun ways you can use NFTs at virtual events. Top-notch platforms like vFairs have extremely immersive virtual environments, complete with custom avatars. Why not take this customization a step further and allow visitors to buy outfits for their avatars? You don’t just have to limit this customization to clothes. You can allow visitors to choose from a variety of customization options. You can make these options available on the blockchain, and even turn them into sellable merchandise.
This is something that can work quite well for virtual sports, varsity, art, or video game industry events. However, the sky’s the limit, and you can make these avatars fun no matter what industry you belong to.
To sum up, NFTs are a great way to spice up your virtual events. These are especially relevant with the emergence of the metaverse, and are expected to become a bigger part of virtual events over time. You can get on this trend early, with options like online merchandise, avatar customization, and more.
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