2023 is the year PR will really dive into the metaverse: Research

Yet a report from D S Simon recommends brands and agencies keep it simple — and inexpensive — with metaverse activations.

Simon recommends avatar-based metaverse activations to broaden participation. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

NEW YORK: This is the year PR pros will dive into the metaverse, according to a survey of senior communications executives conducted by D S Simon Media. 

The survey found that while only 11% of those surveyed ran a metaverse project in 2022, that number will jump nearly four-fold this year, to 45%. 

The data shows that brands, not agencies, are increasingly taking charge of planning metaverse projects. Sixty-one percent of agencies surveyed were involved in metaverse planning last year, with that number increasing slightly to 71% for this year. Meanwhile, 47% of brands were driving metaverse discussions forward in 2022. That number has jumped to 69% this year, a starker increase.

The most popular type of initiative planned for this year, according to the survey, is the creation of metaverse environments, with 71% of respondents replying affirmatively. This was followed by metaverse B2B events (67%), metaverse B2C events (43%) and live broadcasts in the metaverse (43%).

“While multimillion-dollar video-game and movie-quality experiences are part of the metaverse for brands, the majority of metaverse events for communicators will be focused on creating connections and engagement at a much lower price point,” said Douglas Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media.

To succeed, Simon recommended moving past multimillion-dollar immersive experiences that require expensive equipment like Oculus headsets. Instead, events that allow participation as an avatar over a computer or phone connection will maximize participation. 

“Metaverse conferences transform virtual events from experts spewing information to the audience to panelist participants actively engaging with audience participants and each other,” Simon added.

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