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Web3 Roundtable Overview

So last Thursday, we assembled a fantastic group of Industry experts from media agencies and media owners to discuss all things Web 3, NFTs, Gaming and Metaverse over dinner and fine wine at 10 Cases in Covent Garden at Ultimate Asset’s RoundTable. The purpose of the event was networking, information sharing, learning about new trends and also to discuss and debate what matters in the space.

Some of the cool thing we discussed and things we learnt include:

Web 3.0 isn’t here to replace Web 2.0 or Web 1.0. The right way to think about Web 3 is that it’s an extra layer of functionality that will enhance and compliment Web 2.0. widening the scope of the web, it’s the next iteration of functionality, set of tools that will also widen user behaviours that will give content creators and web users more control over their digital assets and IP – allowing a potential shift away from big-tech monetising your data and assets.

Despite the hype, Web 3 is still fairly niche and mainly the preserve of the marketing and tech community on Linkedin remaining somewhat underground. Mass consumer adoption is still a while off as technology is still the limiter as is the fact the space is steeped in jargon and the average man in the street probably not thinking about the space in the same way those in the media industry do.

Web 3 primary development has so far been led by the uber niche savant tech-geeks hence the sheer complexity around terminology and functionality in terms of understanding blockchain, crypto, NFTs, etc. There is huge job to be done by those of us immersed in the Web 2.0 space to bridge the knowledge gap and simplify things to help drive mass adoption

We’re at what can be described as the iPhone 1 iteration of the Web 3 / Metaverse space, it’s fair to say some of the future applications of this tech and therefore roles and jobs have yet to be dreamt up yet as it’s a fast moving ever evolving space and some of the biggest tech companies in the space might not even currently exist!

Gaming and eSports is huge business around the world, with marketers in the US, Spain and Turkey getting the space and willing to invest large sums of marketing ad spend to target this hard-to-reach audience as they recognise the value of these consumers yet the UK marketing community still regards the audience as niche and odd with some stigma attached towards targeting them

eSports super stars are athlete’s that are athletes like in any other sports, nutrition, a high-degree of fitness, stamina and sleep are all key factors in success with some athlete’s taking nootropics to drive performance as hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions are at stake in prize money!

The concept of one seamless super-rich interconnected Ready Player One style Metaverse doesn’t exist! The 2022 version of the Metaverse is siloed! Meta from Facebook faces mass adoption problems from its own staff; Roblox, and Fortnite whilst they have huge numbers are gaming platforms; Decentraland and Sandbox’s user numbers firmly position the Metaverse as a niche concepts and mass consumer adoption has yet to happen but the journey has just begun

The NFT space is starting to mature but utility and purpose are king and NFTs should be thought of as digital tokens or keys allowing access to the previous inaccessible. Projects of badly drawn images like Bored Ape Yacht are passe and the plummeting prices are showing the market is correcting itself – NTF projects for the likes of Lacoste where owning one of their NFTs gives the holder real decision making and say in the direction of the brand’s products company’s journey is a fantastic case study example of what good looks like.

Creating emotionally engaged communities and offering them money can’t buy experiences and creating enriching entertaining experience such as AR and VR gamified experiences blending the real world and placing the Metaverse as a digital layer over it is recommended to brands as a way to connect with consumers in a meaningful way

Purpose and application is what’s going to drive adoption of the Metaverse and also good meaningful executions. The Metaverse isn’t for every brand. Should Banks and Financial brands be setting up in the likes of Decentraland if they add no value in these spaces? No one is looking to recreate a bricks and mortar experience in the Virtual World. Brands should consider very carefully if this is the correct marketing channel for them before wasting significant sums of money to produce lacklustre experiences

Thanks to Lauren Baines, Billy Walsh, Rich Staplehurst, Alice Roughton, Rory Stewart-Richardson, Dominic Di Talamo, Chris Blight, Lily Tran and Alex Swain for the fun and lively debate!