This article was initially published by CONINVR, we've been working in partnership with CONINVR to facilitate their bookings
As Virtual Reality accelerates its rise as a technology in education, business, and medicine; it also illuminates a new universe of possibility for live events. By integrating sensory experience with digital communication, Virtual Reality challenges the notion that community and connection require physical proximity to achieve. Thanks to platforms such as Altspace, VR experiences will soon become available to the masses, hatching a new generation of immersive events.
This phenomenon may appear sooner than we think. According to Roberto DaCosta, founder of CONINVR Virtual Reality presentes imminent and inestimable opportunities for public speakers, educators, and performers. In fact, he has already created those opportunities within his networking group, and eagerly invites fellow entrepreneurs to take advantage of this pivotal moment.
“All of these innovative, inspiring people are just showing up and asking me to be a part of this,” DaCosta says, “Speakers, educators, philanthropists, and business owners are reaching out and offering to collaborate. It’s amazing. They recognize that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to walk into a brand new platform and pioneer the future of public speaking.”
And that future is literally now, as DaCosta cultivates the community VR Networking and builds the virtual venue CONINVR. In fact, he is actively seeking speakers and educators who want to broaden their reach, sharpen their skills, and provide quality content to his growing business networking community. In building this community, he takes a revolutionary step toward democratizing business and reclaiming authenticity in the digital space.
Virtual reality is as revolutionary a concept as film was in the early nineteenth century – a virgin medium which would alter our lives in unforeseeable ways. In the twenty-first century, we stand on a similar precipice, acknowledging the unknowable potential that awaits in Virtual Reality. What DaCosta does know, however, is that VR promises immediate advantages to speakers, business people, and entertainers. “Now is the time to step up to the virtual podium,” he says, “VR is a networking tool with limitless potential, and I have already experienced the benefits.”
The pandemic of 2020 struck an especially devastating blow to the world of live entertainment. Public speakers and performers who normally depend on live events have had to either stop working or offer temporary alternatives like video conferences or livestreams on social media platforms to make ends meet. And while these options may provide a sense of convenience and comfort, transplanting live experiences into a two dimensional, digital, space can feel forced. In VR, participants can feel connected in a more physical way while staying safe at home.
Virtual Reality venues can accommodate an unlimited audience size, and don’t currently have time limits. By contrast, free Zoom rooms are capped at 100 participants per meeting and limited forty minutes in length. Why not just host a live event on instagram or facebook? While these platforms are undeniably useful, they don’t allow participants to physically interact. In Virtual Reality events, attendees can mingle and chat as they would in RL and choose whether or not to have personal interactions. An important distinction between VR and 2d platforms is that the opportunity for making connections is there for those who want it. Those who don’t can still enjoy the convenience and safety inherent to virtual events.
In VR, speakers can interact on a personal level with their audience before and after events. Again, the physical energy of being in the same place at the same time creates a sense of camaraderie that is hard to replicate online. In VR, the natural rhythms of conversation and social etiquette are expected, which facilitates organic interactions between speakers and audience members.
VR allows speakers to broadcast their message as often as they want. Instead of having to rent an event space, wait for an opening, or hope to be included in someone else’s line up, public speakers can step up to the virtual podium as often as they want without accruing any expenses. This benefit is particularly enticing to those who want to perfect their content or practice for future events.
Events can feel as formal or relaxed as the host desires- from casual meetings to ticketed events, or even just rehearsals for performances down the line.
This could inspire more specialized content that better serves their communities. Because VR requires a certain level of commitment, attendees may also be more engaged than an Instagram live audience, for example. It takes a millisecond to quickly tap the like button and continue to scroll on. But it takes more of a premeditated effort to attend a speaking event in VR, and by “walking” into a virtual auditorium, audiences demonstrate a genuine interest beyond anonymous views and cursory “likes”.
In VR, speakers can choose optimal times that cater to their audience without having to worry about physical scheduling conflicts such as commute times or booked venues. Conversely, audiences can afford to make time for events they’d otherwise miss due to physical constraints.
VR can be integrated with social media in 2D. This way, audiences who don’t have headsets can still access Virtual Reality content. Content creators can take advantage of this by recording their events in VR and broadcasting them to their existing channels on youtube, facebook, linkedin, instagram, etc – an ideal strategy for those who want to remain inclusive as they expand their influence on a new platform. To experience VR in 2D, click here.
There is, however, monetary possibility. The basic platform of Altspace is free and open to all, so speakers with smaller audiences won’t feel pressured to monetize their events before they feel ready. The opposite is also true, and monetized events can yield a greater net profit because physical expenses are eliminated.
For aspiring public speakers, access to Virtual Reality also means free access to the spotlight. For those who have never had the opportunity to share their message with a live audience, virtual reality is an accessible entry point for practice and performance.