Have you heard of Web3? It is the nascent, third generation of the internet. It promises greater democratization through decentralized blockchain technology and token-based economics.
The virtual events platform BuzzCast uses blockchain integration in its core events platform to leverage non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to drive engagement through rewards and incentives. NFTs are any digital assets stored in the blockchain; they may take the form of art, videos, music and even less traditional forms such as tweets.
After a $4.3 million Ayre Ventures-led seed round, BuzzCast was drawn to blockchain technology for a plethora of reasons, including superior scalability, low transaction costs, enhanced security and its transformative potential. The company is in the process of integrating the technology in its native platform, which will allow BuzzCast to create trackable smart digital objects and further enable attribution and the potential for smart contracts.
This is what meeting professionals can learn from their experiences on Web3.
How to Leverage NFTs
“We envision lots of use cases for NFTs and blockchain to make it easier to track and promote content on the platform—allowing sponsors and hosts to set goals to drive users to get the most out of an event and rewarding people for loyalty by being strong participants. Reward people for being good citizens of a community,” suggested BuzzCast CEO and Co-Founder, Ryan Byrne.
His company is creating an ecosystem with trackable, tradable assets that exist within an event to empower creators and organizers alike, while also enabling these digital assets to move beyond the borders of the event itself.
NFT integration is not a nascent concept for Byrne and his team. The CEO’s two co-founders, Luke Peterson and Matthias Thoemme, have successfully employed blockchain-based promotional tools for live events before the pandemic era in a live event-based solution that showed a significant engagement boost to in person festival attendees.
Overcome Sponsorship Challenges
Blockchain technology and NFT integrations may also solve one of the most pressing challenges for the events space; optimizing sponsor value propositions for hybrid and virtual events. Full or partially virtual events have struggled to replicate the levels of attendee engagement delivered by their live counterparts, inviting concerns about event return on investment (ROI) and thwarting sponsor confidence.
“The problem with virtual events is that compared to live events, where the traditional model is to sell physical interactions with attendees to sponsors, the virtual space struggles to imitate the experience,” said Byrne.
“We think the need is to rethink the model and find new ways to connect people to sponsors and maintain that connection before, during and after the event. We are designing a model that will enable sponsors to reward attendees based on defined series of goals,” he continued. “For example, if attendees meet a certain threshold for engagement or join four of your events in a year, sponsors can reward them as a power user and give them a tangible reward in form of NFTs, such as a free ticket to next event.“
The result is a true digital transformation of the attendee experience that will empower sponsors and organizers cultivate a more engaging, gamified attendee experience.
Address blockchain concerns
The evolution of blockchain technology has also been met with natural scrutiny. The security, costs and scalability of blockchain and Bitcoin have come into question.
“The cost of blockchain and transactions is quite cost-prohibitive, which is why NFTs are largely used for rewards with high ticket value, like art. Transaction costs are a real problem when dealing with smaller rewards or tracking less valuable pieces of content, like video,” said Byrne.
He explained that his team plans to overcome these restrictions by leveraging BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision) technology. “BSV became a powerful solution for us with its lower transaction cost—a fraction of Ethereum’s—and larger block sizes. This means data-rich content like videos can be translated, for a reasonable cost, into NFTs.”
Byrne further explained how ensuring scalability also requires strategic planning—and that NFTs may not be the most feasible option for every use case: “It’s important to understand that NFT costs should be matched in relation to the size of the reward in a way that is not cost-prohibitive. This may entail providing video access through on-demand recordings and issuing only the rewards via NFT. BSV is key for us in achieving this reality.”
What’s next for NFTs and events?
Byrne predicts that the marriage of NFTs and events will evolve further, creating new opportunities to enhance the attendee experience and keep people connected.
“Events are essentially a collection of interconnected content with a layer of interaction on top. We see opportunities to take powerful pieces of content, such as highlights of the most-viewed content of an event, and turn them into digital assets with a longer lifecycle. These assets can live on post-event, keeping host, sponsors and attendees connected via those objects.”
He added, “Blockchain and NFT technology adds an entirely new way for contributors, consumers and sponsors to create or receive value for their involvement in these events.”
BuzzCast has a broad vision for NFTs and blockchain technology. The events provider plans to leverage both to keep people connected and take virtual experiences to new heights.