With the rise of interest in metaverse events, gatherings and parties, our social lives are about to get busier. More and more events lately have been blurring the lines between the physical and digital spaces and many of us have already attended Web3 concerts (like Fortnite x Ariana Grande), read about Decentraland’s upcoming Fashion Week, visited Decentraland’s Australian Open or mingled with Paris Hilton during New Year’s Eve on Roblox.
So, as an agency with our finger on the web3 trigger, we turned to the metaverse to host our own agency office party in Decentraland. To make it happen, we invited anyone we thought would be interested in spending an evening out in the metaverse with us (inclusive of our teams, clients, PR firms, freelancers, and more), created our own POAP (a proof of attendance protocol aka totally customizable and collectable NFT) and set up a packed agenda featuring four rotating speakers and a treasure hunt.
In total, we had almost 100 attendees pass through and our POAP was claimed over 180 times.
And as we jumped into this new world, we found that just like physical party planning, virtual parties require coordination and troubleshooting – with their own distinct twist.
Interested in taking your next event to the metaverse? Use this step-by-step guide to help jumpstart your party planning (and make sure to send us an invite!)
1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Because we had our office ready in Decentraland, it was easy for us to decide where in the world we would be hosting our event. But one of the coolest things about the metaverse is how vast it is to explore and how accessible the map is for every player.
- Looking for an introspective night at the museum? Visit Sotheby’s and others at Voltaire Road.
- More interested in a multiplayer trivia game? There’s QuizZone for that.
- Just want to dance the night away with some cool neon lighting? Check out SugarClub (and our other top Decentraland spots here).
2. ESTABLISH THE MAIN EVENT
A virtual party in the metaverse can certainly sound like a world of endless possibilities. Teleporting onto the dance floor is almost guaranteed to get the party started. But what happens next? Without being able to rely on the usual party staples like salsa or organic conversations that might sprout with the person physically next to you, it helps if your party has an easy to follow activity that provides your attendees something of value (be it information, experience, or whatever else).
- MAKE IT EASY TO GET INVOLVED
Consider how familiar your guests are with the metaverse or other multiplayer online experiences. Before individuals can dance the night away, they’ll have to register, load the platform, customize their avatar and learn the basic controls. Would anyone benefit from a technical overview prior to the event? How quickly can someone join the party and get in the swing of things?
Our invites boasted a robust four person speaking rotation and a treasure hunt. Certainly interactive and worth attending – but we soon learned that there were some tricky barriers. As people were freely flowing in and out of the room and newcomers were popping up sporadically, it was difficult to consistently relay any sort of instruction. In comparison, people readily understood how to collect our POAP because we were able to put up a giant sign that quickly and simply told users exactly where to click. No additional instructions needed!
- MAKE IT WORTH ATTENDING
A POAP is a customizable, limited edition NFT that is often used as a collector’s item or to add users to a “club” that will grant them access to additional news, events, or prizes. As the latest must have metaverse accessory, it also made for the perfect party favor. For our event, we expected them to be nifty reminders of our event that would look great in a digital wallet.
What we didn’t expect was for complete strangers to find out about our party and swing by just to collect our POAP. As more of our co-workers joined our party and our numbers grew, the Decentraland Explore tab took notice and quickly put us on the front page of trending spots. This caught the attention of some serious POAP collectors, who immediately made a bee-line to click and collect our NFT. Suddenly, our “nice to have” item turned into something very desirable. Memorabilia, both digital and physical, and no matter how niche, can be a great way to entice others to check out your next event.
- CONSIDER MAKING IT A PUBLIC
Speaking of the Decentraland Explore tab, Decentraland readily aggregates all upcoming events and users have the ability to submit their own event to be featured on the page. If you’re open to making your party open invite, this could be a great way to spread the word. Take the opportunity to browse and attend some events hosted by other users and brands (for research purposes).
3. PLAN AND THEN PLAN SOME MORE
Great parties look easy from the outside, but they’re actually anything but. From the carefully curated playlist to the perfect appetizers and drink list, most events require some sort of planning for a great night. The metaverse, with all of it’s unexpected updates and new rules, is no different.
- PLAN FOR POSSIBLE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
For some of us, loading Decentraland might be one of the biggest hurdles. It’s not unusual to experience some pages lagging or have difficulty accessing the platform depending on your browser, internet connection or other programs you may have running in the background. After some trial and error, we’ve found Google Chrome or the Brave browser (a free and open-source web browser that automatically blocks ads and trackers) to have the best results. It also helps to set up a digital wallet so you can add friends, and have access to the full range of features, rather than playing as a guest.
- PLAN FOR UNPLANNED UPDATES
The metaverse moves fast! Minutes before our party as we went in to get our speakers on stage, we immediately noticed that it was pitch black outside. A back-end change in the platform meant that night mode had officially come to the metaverse, and the controls to remove this were replaced – gone was the toggle to adjust from day time/ night time. Instead, “dynamic skybox” had been implemented, which made the UI continuously oscillate between nighttime and daytime. We investigated this as quickly as we could but realized this was just one of the updates that were rolling out.
We quickly learned that because Web3 is moving so quickly, updates to Decentraland could be readily deployed. We pivoted by adding as many lighting options as we could but ultimately, we decided to embrace it and party on in the dark. Like everything else about the metaverse, rolling with the punches, staying nimble and having an adaptable mindset helped us weather all of the last minute changes.
4. WHEN IN DOUBT, CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY EXPERTS
Party planning in the metaverse came with a lot of firsts, including the first time we had minted a POAP, decorated a digital office or engaged with the Decentraland Events page. But as we dove deeper into the community, we learned there are some experts who have been in the trenches since day one that can help you troubleshoot concerns as they arise.
A flourishing Decentraland community exists on Discord. Here, users can ask other users and moderators questions and share information about the latest events and updates. New Discord users also have access to older conversations, making it easy to look back and see what was previously asked, or what solutions others have tried in similar scenarios. Discord is where we learned about how others were equally struggling with dynamic sunset and what makeshift solutions we could try.
We had a ton of questions throughout our POAP creation and design process. How do we set one up? Is there a limit to how many we can request? Should we share our POAP via QR codes or a direct link? Luckily for us, the POAP website has a FAQ page and a great chat feature that allows you to connect with a member of their team. Like Decentraland, they also have a very well monitored Discord server (which we obviously joined for all questions, comments and concerns) with moderators that provide 1:1 support for miscellaneous requests.
If your teams are having difficulty getting together in person, a virtual get together could help. Not only is it a change from the typical Zoom happy hour, but it can be a fun, easy and hands-on way to quickly learn what the metaverse is all about. We found that if teams share photos, videos or gifs of them randomly dancing, others were motivated to pop in, even if it’s just for a minute to customize their avatar. Once they’re in Decentraland, they might learn it’s not as difficult as they thought to get started.
If you’ve been wanting to host your next event in the metaverse, consider this your sign to take the plunge. We’ve learned plenty from our experience and continue to discover new ways we can use our digital office space for upcoming team gatherings.
Still need help getting started or have a question that we didn’t answer?
Let us help you plan your next party!