Metaverse: Fairs soon on a new dimension?

The digitization of our reality continues to advance, and since Facebook was renamed "Meta", the expanded universe has been on everyone's lips. But the German market is also following suit: with MILC, the TV station Welt der Wunder under Hendrik Hey launched a digital marketplace for license trading of any creative services.Especially in the ongoing pandemic times, metaverses offer platforms with almost infinite possibilities - also for the furnishing industry.

Fairs, festivals, concerts: events that have long been taken for granted are once again coming to a standstill. But there is a way to make events happen either way: Digital. Hybrid events are no longer entirely new, not least due to the pandemic, but the metaverse still offers the opportunity to lift spectacular performances into a - literally - new dimension.

First large-scale interactive events

A first step toward digitizing the event industry was taken, for example, with a concert series by U.S. rapper Travis Scott. The computer game Fortnite served as the platform for this, and 12.3 million viewers watched the digital performance in the meantime - in other words, more than could come together in reality. However, the tour was not to remain an isolated case: Fortnite developed the so-called Soundwave series, a series of music shows with artists from around the world embedded in an interactive experience. Just like a real concert, except that you participate from the comfort of your sofa.

Digital trade fairs - fluid transition between offline and online

While we were still optimistically looking forward to the upcoming spring trade fairs a few months ago, we have had to accept in recent weeks that once again many trade fairs have been postponed or cancelled. Alternative digital trade shows or platforms with education offerings are no longer a new development, but despite this, the variety of implementation options is overwhelming. Elements of traditional trade shows such as booths, networking opportunities, workshop rooms and live stages for discussions and lectures can be recreated virtually, but all this is possible not only in 2-D, but also 3-D models, with and without virtual reality.
A fluid transition between realities was created this year by the CES trade show in Las Vegas. As one of the world's largest consumer electronics trade shows, it stands obvious that the metaverse plays a central role. Various innovations such as VR goggles and headsets are now part of the basic equipment for entering the metaverse, but one of the new features is a vest that simulates wind while you're skiing down the virtual mountain. Of course, it's up to you whether you prefer to go outside, but we'd still like to try it out for ourselves.

Will furniture meet meta soon?

It remains to be seen whether trade shows in the interior design industry will also jump on the bandwagon into the metaverse. If concerts are already accessible via computer games and the senses are tricked with the help of VR, reality-based digital interior trade shows no longer seem too far away. After all, Meta offers designers and architects, among others, an interactive platform that fundamentally changes the way we experience and interact with a three-dimensional space: trying out new products, construction methods or colors without having to pay attention to material or construction costs, designing and entering rooms and being able to change everything interactively sounds like the dream of many trade fair exhibitors and visitors, and will certainly come sooner than you think.

The disadvantage: not everything can be recreated virtually

Entering another world and attending concerts or trade shows in 3-D sounds tempting at first, of course. The possibility of almost completely changing one's own reality is exciting and something new - but not everything can be recreated virtually. Whether it's feeling the new fabrics, having an after-work beer with colleagues or trying out the new scented candle collection: not all senses can be tricked and interacting with fellow human beings is a bit more fun in real life.

Perhaps the line between real and augmented reality will become increasingly blurred. In any case, we're excited to see what the future holds in store for all kinds of realities.

With this in mind, we hope you have fun immersing yourself in the metaverse - perhaps we'll meet at the next (digital) event!

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