web3 & NFTs for events: is the future now?
December 15, 2022
NFTs are certainly not going anywhere any time soon, and they are continuing to expand across several industries – proving not to be a fad – but how can the events industry benefit?
At mcm we have seen over the last 24 months that a new generation of digital-native audiences has emerged.
We have always supported brands and creators that have tested new ways to interact with audiences and this has never been more relevant for the time we are in now.
The needs and preferences of the audience have changed, and technologies now allow for the digitalisation of ownership and experiences.
in essence: value has gone digital.
NFTs will enable brands to create one-of-a-kind event experiences that will add a new layer of excitement and encourage participation.
The term “NFT” is a non-fungible token and refers to a crypto asset representing an intangible digital property, such as an image, video, audio file and theoretically anything in the digital world.
NFTs are primarily used on the blockchain to record and identify the owner and information of a particular digital asset. So, when an NFT is traded, it’s not exchanging its copyright but instead the idea of ownership.
Over the last two years NFT’s have become very established, and there popularity with brands and within culture has exploded, with many dedicated events and conferences taking place such as NFT NYC and Vee Con most recently.
Companies in all industries have noticed this trend and are searching for ways to use NFT’s to benefit their consumers, build communities, enhance brand recognition, and generate new income streams. These assets have opened a new realm of possibilities in the events industry, with some organisations experimenting with them with ticketing, as gifted airdrops, and providing access to exclusive experiences.
so how do NFT’s sit at the intersection between brands and events?
It’s not just about NFTs, it is about finding out how they can apply to the world as we know it will be working events for a brand in marketing or in communications can be the way can be the vehicle in which your brands is seen by the wider community – a digitally native community.
NFT tickets make a lot of sense of certain types of events because they are a part of the blockchain, and it links every offer, transaction, and transfer of digital rights.
When the event is over, the utility associated with the ticket could allow the NFTs to become collectables and be sold at any price purchasers are willing to pay, with an optional pre-determined royalty payment to the original event owner.
NFTs cans also be used as providing gifts to event attendees. At the recent Vee Con in the US the event owners and sponsors gifted NFTs to their audience that were redeemable for merchandise.
This concept could be used for award winners, exhibition attendees or even integrated as gamification.
Brands too – especially those operating in the virtual space – can enjoy a slice of the non-fungible pie by harnessing the power of NFTs to elevate virtual experiences.
NFTs offer the owner the chance to be one-of-a-kind. Their unique nature means that owners can feel great in the knowledge that no one else has what they have.
This is particularly appealing to the fans or passionate online communities you typically see in the sports, music and entertainment worlds.
When attending a virtual event, guests still want that unforgettable feeling you expect from a live event, like they were a part of something special.
NFTs such as POAP’s (Proof of Attendance Protocol) are the perfect way to provide those digital souvenirs. Limiting the minting of these virtual memento NFTs also creates a sense of exclusivity by playing with the idea of scarcity.
As well as trophies of attendance, NFTs can be used by brands to grant access to an elevated part of an online experience – for instance, entry into a VIP zone of a virtual concert, or a backstage pass to meet the performer post-gig. This ties in perfectly with passionate fans wanting to show support for these brands or idols, and their desires to be part of a unique and unmatched experience.
From ticketing and live experiences to merchandise and gamification, NFTs hold enormous potential for the events industry.
As mentioned, incorporating NFTs into your next event might be a creative way to add an exciting new element and demonstrate how modern your organisation is. We are still very early and adopting it could confuse some of your attendees who are still adjusting to the concept of virtual/hybrid events.
In which case, you will have to make an effort to provide additional information and make it as uncomplicated as possible, which could result in a lot of extra work.
As a vehicle for creativity & engagement, NFTs provide a new, versatile medium, allowing brands to express themselves in a very creative way and through collaborations, there is the opportunity to leverage the economic potential of NFTs.
However, there are a few factors to consider when deciding whether NFTs are worth it as an added element to your event such as the cost, sustainability, and whether your audience would find them confusing and irrelevant.
Either way, watch this space, as we enter the new age of events and technology.all insights