The Metaverse: A New Frontier for Associations


February 2, 2023

Having trouble keeping your industry engaged with memberships and events? Ever thought about the metaverse? Might not seem legitimate, but it’s a new frontier for trade associations and nonprofits.

The metaverse offers an immersive, interactive, and 3D online environment that could be used to improve retention and engagement. And while still in its early stages, the metaverse has the potential to revolutionize the way our organizations operate, and possibly worth exploring if your organization is looking to go to the next level.  

What is the metaverse?

A term that carries a lot of weight these days, the metaverse is essentially a virtual reality on top of physical reality. Chances are you’ve already seen aspects of the metaverse already through

  • Cryptocurrency: digital currency – like Bitcoin – formed on blockchain technology.
  • NFTs: digital assets that represent real-world assets like art, music, and videos.
  • Virtual Reality (VR): a close-to-reality experience that allows users to process sensory information through a computer-generated virtual environment.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): a 3D technology that allows users to see the real-world environment with a digital augmentation overlay.
The metaverse is estimated to become an $800 billion market by next year and tech giants like Google, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft are already investing in it to make that a reality. 

Is it worth my organization looking into?  

Simply stated, the metaverse isn’t for everyone, but if you’re curious, there are some perks that will be well-defined in the future. This new world provides organizations with a powerful tool for marketing, membership, and engagement. It’s also a great place to host events, conferences, and meetings. Within it, organizations can create virtual environments that are interactive, lifelike, and engaging.

If used, the metaverse can offer a number of benefits for associations and nonprofits, including the ability to reach a wider audience, create more engaging content, and increase member engagement.

Let’s put this into perspective for a minute and consider the following opportunities:

  • Healthcare associations could provide a realistic environment for its members to interact and learn from each other in the field. Continuing education on new surgery technology can be “live” no matter where you are in the world.
  • Realty and building associations could create an immersive, virtual tour of houses.
  • All associations could create a 3D virtual town hall meeting to engage its members and prospects.

The list goes on, as the possibilities are endless when it comes to the metaverse. There are even ways for advertising to take place within the space via billboards, so you can incorporate suppliers and vendors! And soon, large-scale events like concerts, marathons, and fundraising events will emerge. 

How does my organization get started? 

No matter your stance on the new tool, make sure to discuss it with your entire team before making a decision. Include your boards, members, suppliers, anyone you can think of within the industry to determine if it’s best for your organization. Consider the questions below to get started:  

  1. What does my board think about this? Get a pulse check, as your board, staff, members and suppliers are all important voices to consider when taking on a new venture. 
  2. Does it align with our value and mission? No matter what decision is made, always make sure that your mission and value are still being displayed clearly. 
  3. What are the risks and returns for my organization? Keep a budget for long term goal to determine if its worth investing in. 
There’s no single entrance to the metaverse but if your discussions ended up with praise and excitement to test out the metaverse, consider experiencing the different aspects of it through AR or VR, for instance, to help see the opportunities that your organization could get involved with. Make it a team bonding event! However, if the opposite happened and you received dislike on the topic don’t fret. It’s not for everyone. That said, make sure to stay on top of the leading technology out there because you don’t want to be left behind on what’s taking the industry by storm.

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