Adoption of metaverse in events not yet popular in South-east Asia

From left: Blocklime's Harpreet Singh, Evenesis Yusno Yunos, and Experiential Design Team's Fariz Hanapiah discussing about metaverse in an event context

Although event planners in Malaysia readily adopted events technology to organise virtual and hybrid meetings during the pandemic, usage of the metaverse has not gained much traction, said industry experts during a forum at the Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW).

Speaking at a forum entitled Making Events Tech Adapt (META)-verse at MBEW – organised by the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau and held in Kuala Lumpur – Yusno Yunos, CEO & founder of Evenesis opined that the metaverse will one day become a part and parcel of our daily lives.

From left: Blocklime’s Harpreet Singh, Evenesis Yusno Yunos, and Experiential Design Team’s Fariz Hanapiah discussing about metaverse in an event context

Yusno, who is also the vice-president of innovation at the Malaysian Association Of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (MACEOS), further called on event planners in Malaysia to learn more about metaverse, and how this technology can be applied to business events. Aside from enhancing delegates’ experience, he opined that the metaverse will help planners further their ROIs.

This comes as global investments in the metaverse are growing significantly, hence Yusno opined it will one day become mainstream in business events. Event organisers who do not embrace the technology will not be able to attract the younger generation of audiences who are looking for immersive experiences, he cautioned.

This view is supported by Bloomberg, which estimates that investments into the metaverse will reach US$800 million by 2024.

To help manage costs of adopting the metaverse, Yusno also suggested that event venues and PCOs should collaborate with technology companies.

Another speaker, Fariz Hanapiah, creative director at Experiential Design Team, meanwhile, added that it was important to target the right audience if players do choose to use the metaverse when running events.

He elaborated that a younger audience that has been exposed to immersive online gaming might find it easy and natural to navigate a metaverse avatar, but the same cannot be said for Gen X audiences.

Other challenges include the lack of awareness by event organisers as to how to make use of the metaverse to further engagement.

Forum moderator, Harpreet Singh Maan, CEO & founder of Blocklime and ACCESS Blockchain Association of Malaysia, shared that blockchain-based events that make use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse are growing in the US, China, Japan and Korea, all to amplify a delegate’s experience.

However, this adoption of metaverse has not yet taken off in South-east Asia, even though large-scale hybrid events take place regularly.

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