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Should You Use Avatars for Your Virtual Events?

  • Written by NewsServices.com


A global pandemic that drove businesses to only use the virtual world for events has caused the industry of virtual event technology to flourish over the past few months. Associations, corporations, event firms, and planners have shifted their focus to digital platforms in an effort to forge and maintain professional connections with members, clients, and business partners. Although we are all appreciative that 2D online conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx were available to support this shift, their lack of involvement and connection leaves users yearning for more.

The demand for connection has led to an increase in immersive platforms, from fully interactive 3D settings to 2D approximations of real-world environments. The adoption of avatars is a key distinction between these platforms. Virtual event platforms that use avatars are growing increasingly popular, even though the avatar concept is nothing new. Numerous studies conducted over the past few decades have demonstrated the advantages of enabling people to communicate with a virtual version of themselves online. Avatar-based platforms and accessible 3D event technology work hand in hand.

Let's examine the fundamental capabilities and characteristics of avatars inside the virtual event venue before delving into the specific advantages relating to avatar-based platforms.

Avatar-based platform

Any technology that depicts event participants with a graphical representation of their physical appearance is an avatar-based event platform. Avatars show the user from head to toe and enable real-time interaction in place of a profile with a portrait or a 2D video screen displaying a camera. The lifelikeness of an avatar, as well as its quality, varies from platform to platform and can be influenced by the hardware and internet connection of the user.

Platforms based on avatars can be accessible via a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone and do not require a VR headset. It is not expensive, difficult, or takes months to create a virtual conference that allows guests to personalize and move about a 3D world using an avatar. The best avatar-based engagement platforms have already done the hard work, offering a simplified, user-friendly infrastructure that can be white-labeled and operational in a matter of weeks.

So why would you even want to think about using the HoloFair Metaverse Platform? Given the context and limitations of in-person gatherings, there are several obvious explanations. Event planners are desperate for fresh approaches to interacting with guests, and stakeholders expect more from them than the conventional 2D platforms can deliver. However, research demonstrates the advantages of using avatars during events.

Coexistence

The experience of co-presence is that of sharing a space with another person. Shared experiences are made possible by creating a virtual world that can be accessed collectively and provides a sensation of co-presence. According to research, users who interact with virtual worlds through avatars report feeling more present. This is especially true of avatars that have more realistic gestures and expressions.

Relationship

Feeling alone in the workplace when working from home is one of the major difficulties. Since so many of us yearn for connection, avatar-based platforms aid in fostering a sense of community and connection among users. Giving users an avatar and enabling interaction between avatars promotes social engagement and a sense of community. A 2020 study on the advantages of avatars and coworker familiarity discovered that showing off employees' avatars on a scoreboard encouraged helpful actions and boosted motivation among employees who had never met before. Applying avatars and gamified activities through a leaderboard to virtual events when many of the guests have never met helps to create a genuine connection.

Interaction

We've all had Zoom Fatigue, or at the very least, we've read about it recently in the news. The majority of professionals struggle to concentrate on their jobs while juggling distractions at home like restless kids, deliveries, chores, and a variety of other urgent matters, spending hours each day on Zoom or another video conferencing platform. Engaging at-home workers requires offering them a novel, simple-to-use experience that is different from a standard video conference. Platforms with avatars enable greater agency, or, to put it another way, give users more control over their experiences. Instead of just passively consuming an advertisement, it becomes more of a "choose your own adventure" situation.

Individuality and Inclusion

The use of avatar-based platforms, which offer a wide range of skin, hair, and eye colors as well as thousands of outfit options, enables virtual participants to express their personalities and be more authentically portrayed in the 3D environment. According to a study on avatar technology, people who are normally shy to speak up in real life may feel more at ease speaking and engaging in the virtual world. By offering a library of gestures and actions as well as multiple various 1:1 communication channels like group chat, private chat, and private video calls, avatars can aid in the facilitation of social interactions.

Trust

People trust virtual information offered by avatars more than equivalent interactions without avatars, according to the same study on the rapidly developing field of avatar technology. This makes sense because most people believe information from reputable sources. Users who have never met in person can become more comfortable with one another by using avatars, which offer nonverbal cues and other information.

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