April 30, 2022
Imagine waking up in the morning, hitting the gym, meeting with friends, taking a trip to a whole new world and still making it to the office before your first meeting. While this sounds impossible, it could be a reality in the metaverse.
With applications including new virtual office spaces, hands-on training in a completely virtual world and just a general modernization in the way we connect and interact with others, the metaverse can have far-reaching implications.
Today, many of these innovations are still theoretical, but countless organizations and tech companies are already jumping in. From metaverse technologies and meta-specific product offerings, association leaders should be looking to the metaverse and seeing what opportunities there are to help evolve their organizations and move their missions forward.
At its core, the metaverse is all about immersion. It’s a way to turn the things we do daily – work, socialize, travel, and even learn – into a digital experience. While there are already immersive experiences today, like video games and even virtual conferences, the prospect of the metaverse is much more complex.
For starters, many of the companies getting involved, including Microsoft and Facebook, have discussed the idea of an avatar. These digital representations of us will be the way we interact with the metaverse. They can be styled to our liking, using things like NFTs, and will also be the lens with which we view and interact with the metaverse.
Speaking of interacting, the metaverse will likely leverage the technology we already use, things like smartphones and computers, but will augment them with additions. From VR headsets, haptic gear (gloves and bodysuits that let you “feel” in the metaverse), and even treadmills to simulate running and climbing, these tools will help build that immersive experience.
Outside of the technological requirements, an entirely new economic system will also be needed. The metaverse will open the doors for a decentralized economy backed by blockchain technology, which will allow users to buy and sell NFTs, register and attend events, and experience all the offerings found in the metaverse using cryptocurrencies.
Today, many organizations are developing programs and teams to tackle the segway into the metaverse. One of the biggest was Facebook’s rebranding to Meta and their focus on developing VR technology in the form of Horizon Worlds and the Quest headset.
However, there are a few other notable entries that associations can gain inspiration from, including:
The metaverse may not be at the top of mind for many associations, unless you’re in the tech industry, of course, but there are still lessons to be learned from it. The impact on associations falls into two categories – operations and business development.
This means that the development of the metaverse can impact how associations work internally, how they interact with members and how they raise funds and operate.
Acknowledging the value of modernization and emerging technologies helps organizations plan for the future. Your organization can leverage possibilities in the metaverse, from digitizing your existing platform offerings to developing new products with emerging technology.
The idyllic version of the metaverse - think Ready Player One – is still a ways away. However, that doesn’t mean organizations should “wait and see” on the metaverse. As cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and Web3 continue to gain popularity, taking the time to understand this evolution of the internet is critical.
So what do your members need to know?
Preparing for the metaverse can be daunting, but can be an opportunity for the future. Whether that means minting new NFTs for your next virtual event or experimenting with augmented reality meetings, associations have plenty of ways to start planning and experimenting.
Jose Triana joined the Sidecar team as the Content Manager in 2021. He is a writer and creative focused on helping purpose-driven organizations learn and find value online. When he isn't working on content, you can catch him going for a run or resting with a good book.