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Chart of the Week: Metaverse consumer spending to almost triple

Consumer spending on the metaverse is projected to have grown by more than 180% over eight years, according to figures.

Findings from Statista show that global sales for virtual reality hardware and software segments was at £1.3 billion ($1.8bn) in 2016.

The research suggests this is likely to reach £3.7bn ($5.1bn) by 2023 – an increase of around 184%.

Facebook’s announcement that it will be rebranding to become known as a metaverse company over the next five years has given a shot in the arm for interest in this online world.

It means these numbers could in fact become higher as the likeliness of other companies getting involved increases.

What’s behind the figures?

The pandemic fundamentally shifted how people view their work life balance.

Organisations are moving their teams to hybrid model, split between home and office.

Brands have already started to see the potential of revenue opportunities now available in the virtual economy.

It’s also not uncommon for corporate training to take place in the metaverse reality, with some festivals even having experimented with this world.

Although these sorts of gigs are different to business events, the fact they can attract such a wide audience shows the huge potential of this technology.

Metaverse products could provide better ways of connection and collaboration to improve remote work.

What does it mean for organisers?

Our industry was slow to embark on the digital transformation witnessed due to the pandemic.

So it would not be too much to suggest that there will be some scepticism over the event sector heading for the metaverse.

There is a danger though in not paying attention to the huge amount of faith Mark Zuckerberg has placed in this future by rebranding Facebook as Meta.

The more consumers get onboard with the metaverse the more this type of digital engagement will become natural.

Virtual options already available should first be explored

Revenue: organisers should diversify their budgets to futureproof their business models. This includes placing more emphasis on digital revenue streams and opportunities. Audiences are changing and so too are their expectations.

Environment: the vast majority of carbon emissions produced at an in-person show comes from travel. Create a metaverse event of hybrid format for long-distance attendees would be hugely beneficial to the planet and your pocket.

Accessibility: using virtual alternatives for attendees who can’t afford to or are otherwise unable to get to your venue opens up your reach. This means a wider audience than only doing an in-person show and increases revenue opportunities.