Has your latest online customer event given you the blues? Avatars will sure help you keep things real…
Digital people are everywhere nowadays. It’s not surprising, then, to see avatars wedging themselves into the world of virtual events recently. When you look at the evidence for using virtual characters at your next online forum, you’ll quickly see why you need to do the same.
Avatars and 3D virtual events are on the rise
You’d have to have been living on a different planet not to notice the avatar has become quite the thing. And we don’t mean planet Pandora, home to the blue-skinned characters from the 2009 Oscar-winning blockbuster of the same name…
What is an avatar, anyway? In simple terms, it is an alternate version of ourselves, a virtual human created and used within a digital world in place of a real person – or people, ideally, since there’s no fun in having just one lone avatar without others to interact with!
They became big initially in gaming before spilling into the wider digital world. Nowadays, it seems they are everywhere, with avatars available in many places we visit regularly – digitally-speaking, of course. Websites use avatars to represent a customer support person in a chatbox to make the 2-way communication seem real.
Social media platforms like Facebook love an avatar, too, with members able to recreate their best self in a matter of a few clicks for use on comments or as a profile image in place of a real-life photo, again, simulating ourselves in a life-like way.
Recently, avatars have found yet another playground that suits them to a tee: 3d virtual events.
Avatar-based events have landed!
Let’s face it, we all love to see a face! When the pandemic forced physical get-togethers off the table for a while and companies moved their events online, video shot up dramatically as a means to bringing people together.
Seeing your colleagues or customers in the flesh (so to speak) became the only way to connect. That was fine until your forum was a conference hosting tens of hundreds of delegates all at once. Go on, try to imagine THAT Zoom call, for a second!
Instead, savvy companies turned to 3D virtual events as an effective way to gather large groups while overcoming social distancing, travel restrictions and spiralling event costs. What was missing initially, however, was the feeling of a real audience. Enter the room, the avatar army!
Now, more organisations using 3D virtual spaces for their conference setting are incorporating the use of avatars. Why? Because a successful event is driven by people. While they might only be virtual, avatars provide a human presence that feels genuinely real—even more so than when people congregate via webcam in 2D video.
Not only do they look real, but avatars also act naturally too, moving within the conference space as humans would, interacting with one another in real-time. And that’s with limited technology, to—a laptop, tablet or smartphone is all a host and their delegates need to get going with an avatar-based event.
What are the benefits of using 3D avatars at your events?
So, your next customer conference is on the horizon, and you need to build a case for hosting an avatar-based event. Here, we’ve put together a few benefits worth placing on the petri dish for your boss to look over!
This means EVERYTHING to an events team. You want to engage your delegates from the moment they arrive with you to avoid them sloping out of the auditorium back door soon after entering and missing the good stuff! By giving end-users an option to create an avatar for themselves, you’re providing their opportunity to take ownership of their event experience from the get-go, immerse themselves and become 100% involved, which leads to a higher level of engagement.
Everyone knows the feeling of togetherness a face-2-face conference brings. This is easy to accomplish using avatars, giving delegates and event staff a genuine feeling of being there together in the present moment. The more life-like features you provide for your avatars, including facial expression and hand gestures, the closer to ‘real’ your delegates can become – increasing the feeling of co-presence between themselves, other guests and you.
Humans like to feel connected; it’s a life-long trait since those years spent in the caves... Yet, getting together is all the more difficult in the pandemic era, and we yearn for some lost community spirit. Avatars are the closest one can get to ‘real’ without an actual physical presence, bringing community back to the forefront and lifting the mood as they go—which means a more enjoyable experience for your delegates.
The technology behind avatars has advanced to a stage where anything is possible. The options you can provide for hair, eye and skin colour, for example, allows users to create a digital version of themselves that’s exceptionally life-like. It’s just another way to ensure users feel included—and shows you do more than talk the talk when it comes to diversity.
Once over, the hero, Zoom is now to blame for workers' fatigue. No wonder when the flat format leaves many an attendee feeling uninspired—not to mention encroached upon while several tens of faces stare back.
There is also the off-putting competition to be heard, with one voice cutting out while another sounds clear. It’s hardly a free-flowing conversation! Time to move onto a format that operates in a space that feels real, with your delegates free to roam as avatars without being eyeballed or misheard—and kept awake!
Ready to take your next event up to a new level?
It’s time to join other global businesses and appreciate the benefits of marketing from within a virtual world. Contact our team today to book an exciting demo with avatars and experience first-hand our innovative virtual spaces.