The world has had hybrid events forced on them due to an unforeseen disaster known as Covid-19. And even after Covid is consigned to history, 73% of event planners believe these events will become even more common.
But here’s the thing. As many as 71.1% of event planners see engaging remote attendees of their hybrid events as their biggest problem. Well, there is a dynamic conversation about how to build back better. And one of the solutions is incorporating blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology is most simply defined as a decentralized, distributed ledger that records the provenance of a digital asset. It is a record of transactions, and what makes it different to one a private company might keep is that 1) A blockchain is public; 2) You can’t edit transactions on a blockchain once they’ve been confirmed.
So why is blockchain good for business? Well, blockchain increases trust, security, transparency, and the traceability of data (transactions) shared across a business network.
Although in its infancy, there was a humble $6.6 billion spent on blockchain solutions last year. And that’s estimated to rise to $19 billion in 2024!
What Can Blockchain Technology be Used For?
Before we start looking at hybrid events. Let’s get a better understanding of what blockchain is, let’s look at a few examples of how it’s used.
By now, we all know about cryptocurrency: as many as 13% of Americans alone invest in cryptocurrency, with an average investor having invested $1,003. Well, blockchain is the concept that makes it possible.
It’s not just a way to make money, but it’s gaining traction as a recognized currency. In 2021, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender. More countries are expected to adopt cryptocurrencies as recognized currencies. Will 2022 be the year that cryptocurrency really starts to change the world?
IoT Integration: IBM is implementing the concept of blockchain through physical objects – known as IoT integration. This allows business partners to share and access vital data with each other. The benefits are numerous: it takes away the need for central control and management; each transaction can be verified to prevent disputes and build trust among all members.vFor example, in the freight industry blockchain can store the temperatures, position, arrival times, and status of shipping containers as they move.
Vaccine Manufacturing and Tracking: Sadly, fake vaccines and passports have been targeted by scammers throughout Covid-19. Blockchain has gone some way to alleviate this issue, however. Even in certified vaccine production, a blockchain pilot has reduced its time to recognize a dodgy batch in seconds instead of three days.
Digital Rights Management: Our final example is digital rights management. In short, blockchain can protect digital media from unlicensed distribution. In this process, the media is embedded with money (similar to a deposit), which risks being lost if the media is distributed illegally.
How Can Blockchain Technology Improve Hybrid Events?
Whether it’s increasing sponsorship revenue and attendance or security in the supply chain, protecting attendees and event planners from ticket fraud, or providing bespoke digital content and experiences for attendees, blockchain technology has many uses for the event industry inducing.
As we mentioned, blockchain is big business. And it’s big business with sponsors too! For example, if we look at the world’s biggest blockchain event – Blockchain Expo – they host more than 26,000 attendees. Already, it’s very alluring to sponsors.
But to sweeten the pot even further, 56% of those attendees are director level or higher. Now that’s valuable exposure you can sell! On a smaller scale, look at Paris Blockchain Week – the most prominent blockchain event in Europe – which has mustered more than 80 sponsors for an event of only 3,000 people!
Thanks to transactions being intrinsically 100% traceable, you can also count on added protection of the supply chain of your hybrid events. Slowly but surely, we’re already starting to see this take place. For example, Spacehuntr now accepts cryptocurrency as a payment method for their event venues.
Following on from security in the supply chain is how blockchain will revolutionize ticket sales for hybrid events. Put simply. It stops fraud with verified transactions implicit in the process. Plus, it will also go some way to stabilize unfair prices in the second-hand market.
But there is more. Blockchain has also a role to play when it comes to NFT’s and the Metaverse, especially if you benefit from a first-mover advantage: being early in your industry to adopt blockchain technology is indeed a chance you can’t miss in helping your hybrid events.
NFT’s have erupted and are generally understood as digital art. A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a one-of-a-king digital asset: they are data stored on a blockchain and can be any kind of digital file such as a video, an images or audio. NFT’s uses range from digital art, to proof of ownership, and virtual tickets.
That’s not the whole story, however. Their use function is still in its early stages. Companies like Glenfiddich and Dolce & Gabbana have produced NFT’s as proof of purchase for some of their products. And in the case of hybrid events, exclusive NFT’s can be used in gamification techniques and even as free swag for attendee registrants, as in the case of DC Comics.
Last but not least, blockchain will be key for the Metaverse, which has been red hot news recently. It’s an immersive and persistent 3D virtual reality that is now set to change the world, especially in the world of hybrid events. It’s happening already with Meta and their Horizon Workroom – a space for intimate meetings. For more significant events, you can look to the example of Mytaverse.
These groups have already made it clear that crypto and NFT’s will be a massive part of the Metaverse experience. And it’s not hot air either; most of Meta’s job listings now require knowledge of blockchain technology.
So there you have it, how blockchain will improve hybrid events in 2022. Blockchain technology is a booming concept, with lots of handy uses in its short life already, creating a lot of wealth along the way too. And remember, this is just the beginning!