What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of NFTs?
Best-case scenario, people will associate NFTs with digital collectibles. Worst-case scenario, they’ll see NFTs as an overblown speculative bubble. Neither of these two scenarios is wrong. However, they’re far from providing an accurate overview of the new digital world built based on NFTs and blockchain technology.
Moreover, these two perspectives are far from describing the true potential NFTs have for developing and innovating the events industry. But first things first.
What’s a non-fungible token or NFT?
To understand non-fungibility, we need to discuss fungibility first. What’s that?
Fungibility is a property attributed to:
- Commodities (gold, grains, natural gas)
- And more
Fungibility indicates that singular units, such as a $10 bill or 10 grams of pure gold, are similar and interchangeable regardless of their origin. In other words, someone from Seattle can exchange a $10 bill with someone from Amsterdam. And that happens regardless of the unique serial number each bill carries.
On the other hand, non-fungibility refers to a unique unit that can’t be replaced with something else. For example, you can’t exchange Klimt’s painting for a painting by Modigliani. Or you can’t exchange diamonds because they have different cuts and sizes. You can’t copy or substitute non-fungible goods.
How does non-fungibility apply to tokens? And, most importantly, what does a token stand for? According to Shermin Voshmgir, the director of the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at the Vienna University of Economics, a token is nothing more than a symbolic representation of value.
However, as Voshmgir suggests, an NFT token doesn’t represent a digital file sent from one device to another. Instead, it acts as an entry in the ledger that belongs to a blockchain address. Think about it this way: You can find countless representations, postcards, and prints reproducing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. However, purchasing these postcards or prints doesn’t mean you’re the owner of Van Gogh’s painting.
The same is true for digital assets. The fact that you have a folder with multiple photos made by an artist doesn’t mean you own them. You can easily copy or send these photos to other people. You’re only the sole owner of these photos if they come as a digital token that you store in your digital wallet. Owning this digital asset allows you to trade and generate value from it. The same as if you’d trade a physical work of art, such as a painting.
Next, let’s see how these NFTs can and will change the events industry.
Three Main Attributes of NFTs for Events
You’ll see people talking about NFTs in the context of event tickets and proof of attendance. Nothing wrong with it. Blockchain technology allows us to create extra-secure and programmable tickets or certificates to streamline the interaction between the event organizer and the attendee.
Compared to the traditional ones, NFT-based tickets and certificates can be:
- Scarce: For example, the Spartan Race generated 15,000 NFT passes, providing its owners with three-year access to more than 450 races in 45 countries. Compared to a regular ticket, these passes allow its owners to attend the exclusive Unbreakable Event held by Joe DeSena, the Spartan Race founder, at a mystery location.
- Programmable: When it comes to NFT tickets, you can program them to act as smart contracts for future transactions. For example, when running a workshop, you can program an expiration date time for your certificate. Once this time passes, the certificate won’t be valid. As a result, people will have to retake the workshop to requalify.
- Collectible: Project Iceman is a documentary about Andres Hofman, who defines all expectations and completes the first long-distance triathlon in Antarctica. Before the documentary screening, people could purchase “The World’s Coldest Movie Ticket” for $50. The NFT-based ticket included access to the film’s exclusive virtual premiere, three-day exclusive access to knowing the whereabouts of the physical red carpet premieres with a 50% discount on tickets, and voting for an additional city for the film to be premiered in. Apart from that, the Project Iceman ticket became a collectible, proving that its owners believed in the project itself.
However, we don’t need these NFT-based tickets or certificates to deploy new technology. The innovation itself doesn’t occur by simply using new technologies. Instead, it’s about finding new ways of generating value for event organizers and attendees.
NFTs for Events: Envisioning New Possibilities
You may pursue multiple goals when running events. Some of these goals are as follows:
- Position your brand as an industry leader
- Attract more attendees and increase revenue
- Transform attendees into paying customers (when promoting services/products)
- Build or strengthen your community
- Ensure brand advocacy and customer loyalty
- And more
In other words, the goals you might be pursuing revolve around marketing, sales, and community. And NFTs for events can help you achieve these goals by:
→ Creating new emotions: Partner with an artist who can design unique collectibles, which you can sell as NFT tickets. Subsequently, your attendees will be able to collect and trade these assets. Moreover, you can get perpetual royalties from each collectible transaction.
→ Incentivising engagement: You can use the NFT-based technology to ensure attendee interaction through gamification. For example, attendees may exchange tokens with those they’ve interacted with during the networking session. This token exchange may be reflected on a leadership dashboard. Subsequently, the most active networkers will receive gifts and event-related perks, such as access to the VIP area.
→ Ensuring the surprise element: Let’s say you’ve sold 300 NFT tickets, from which 10 are golden tickets programmed with special event-related perks. During the event, you can reveal the golden ticket owners and announce the exclusive benefits the lucky attendees can access.
→ Generating lasting value: You may program your NFT tickets to gain royalties from future transactions. For example, you can get a small percentage each time your attendees resell their tickets.
And these aren’t the only benefits you can derive by deploying NFTs at your events. Event technologies companies, such as Eventtia, and organizers alike, are still discovering and creating new use cases for NFTs at events, generating new ways attendees can enjoy their experiences.
Finally, you can become part of the web3 revolution and help educate people on using these new technologies. You can do that by informing yourself about NFTs, adopting these new tools for your events, and getting your attendees to use them.