Look out event organizers! NFTs will change virtual/hybrid events forever.
When a digital artwork called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for $69 million at Christie’s in March this year, it became clear that the time of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) had arrived. Although they have been around for years, the hype around NFTs has skyrocketed recently; there’s been $2.5 billion in NFT sales already in 2021.
Wait, what is an NFT?
First, to address the elephant in the room, an NFT is a crypto asset (similar to a coin) representing an intangible digital item such as an image, audio file, video, gif, meme, or moment. An NFT is made and stored on a blockchain platform, which is the same technology that powers Bitcoin. The digital asset is traded online and cannot be duplicated.</span That’s why NFTs are so valuable.
What place do NFTS have at virtual or hybrid events?
NFTs have the power to disrupt the landscape of the events industry. Brands can now create unique, engaging, and interactive experiences for attendees, and give them a token of ownership — something meaningful from the event that they can cherish forever.
Take the example of the music album ‘When You See Yourself’ which was released by the band the Kings of Leon in the form of an NFT. The group released tokens for special album packages, front-row seats at their concerts for life, and exclusive audiovisual art. This way, they gave all those who bought their tokens a piece of a one-of-a-kind and personal moment in time that any fan would have been proud to own.
Event organizers and marketers can employ a similar strategy at virtual and hybrid events. But while there are plenty of ways to use NFTs at your event - from ticketing to giveaways - providing value to your attendees and driving loyalty should be central to your strategy. Here’s what to keep in mind when you make your plan:
Allow the audience to “own” a moment and not just remember it
By enabling your attendees to take home a unique NFT from the event aka actually “owning” an exclusive piece from the event experience, of which only a specific number will ever exist. With scarcity and uniqueness comes value.
Take digital artist Ahmed, for example, who attended a Clubhouse event on digital assets and NFTs. Instead of doing things the traditional way, he decided to capture a special moment from the event and turn it into an NFT. The ability to “own” this moment—through an NFT—made people buy it for 0.24 ETH from him.
Pique interest and nurtures brand loyalty
Using an NFT as a virtual/hybrid event ticket lets you give attendees rewards, assign prizes to particular seats, or even offer additional event perks such as an invitation to an exclusive virtual after-party. Such a unique and exclusive brand experience can pique attendees’ interests and nurture brand loyalty.
5 ways to use NFTs at your next hybrid or virtual event
Here are a couple of suggestions to get you thinking about how to use NFTS at your event, and how they can work to your benefit.
1. Leverage NFTS as part of your pre-event promotions
With countless virtual events being held every week, it’s not easy to stand out. You’ll need to create a customized and valuable event experience to truly give attendees more than what they signed up for.
This is where NFTs can come into play. You can use them as a major Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for your virtual event. They can act as a tremendous pre-event marketing strategy, help you create buzz around your event, boost brand and event awareness, and give your audience yet another reason to sign up.
To this end, The Preakness Stakes, a legacy American thoroughbred horse race launched a range of digital souvenir NFTs this year, to market an old sport to a younger audience. Soft NFTs are digital such as full race videos and a digital rendering of the trophy, while others come with real-life experiences at the 2021 Preakness, such as VIP tickets and naming a race on the undercard.
2. Create digital assets and collectibles for mid-event giveaways
Virtual event engagement can be challenging, especially when Netflix and online shopping are just a tab away. NFT giveaways are a great way to keep your attendees’ attention firmly at your event and boost their event experience. Creating and offering digital assets and collectibles around the event theme or cause will further cement brand loyalty and bragging rights for attendees. Win-win.
3. Use NFTs to create a unique ticketing system with add-ons and ticket tiers
Traditional ticketing systems are becoming increasingly unsafe due to online scams and phishing (12% of customers buying concert tickets end up being scammed). So using NFTs as tickets to your event not only adds an interesting element to your event, but makes the ticketing process safer as well. Here’s how:
- Straightforward authentication, as blockchain stores the ticket’s code.
- Preventions of resale frauds and transfer of tickets by making tickets non-transferable.
- Ability to offer value add-ons to specific ticket tiers such as rewards and prizes enables curated experiences drives enthusiasm and loyalty
- Better security and protection as NFT ticketing systems have top-tier access restrictions, privacy, and anti-scalping measures
Not to mention, it takes less than 5 minutes to generate NFT tickets, and for less than $2.
4. Offer NFTs as gamification rewards
Virtual event gamification is a simple and fun way to encourage attendees to participate more at hybrid and virtual events. Organizers can set points to specific attendee actions, such as asking questions, answering a Poll, or visiting an Expo booth. Attendees who rack up the most points can then win themselves an NFT. In this way, you can drive engagement and steer audience behaviour.(Click here to read more about how to leverage gamification at your next event).
5. Give attendees NFTs as virtual event swag
Lastly, NFTs can be used as “I was there” event souvenirs for attendees. Think limited-edition iconic pieces that celebrate memories and moments from the event itself - a charismatic moment from a keynote address, a stylish product launch, a bold prediction by an industry leader, a high-energy musical performance, or an unexpected moment of hilarity. Others who were not able to attend the event themselves may be able to access or view these moments, but only your attendees will own them.
Plenty of opportunity lies within the exclusivity and value that can be generated by NFTs. The five points highlighted in the article will help you use NFTs in exciting and innovative ways—to drive conversions, boost attendee engagement, deepen consumer relationships and drive new revenue streams.
If you’re interested in learning more about enhancing your next hybrid or virtual event experience through NFTs, gamification and other engagement solutions, talk to our team! We’ll walk you through best practices used by some of our clients like Microsoft and Kellogg’s, and give you a demo of how to use our platform to achieve your event goals.