What is an NFT? And what is an NFT event? It might not be immediately transparent how NFTs are relevant to the traditional live event industry. The question of whether to consider NFT events for your own brand is an individual one, and it’s important to research the subject thoroughly before making a decision, but if you’re wondering what the future of NFT events might look like, we have ideas.
What Is an NFT?
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have been big in the news ever since the sale of digital artist Beeple’s NFT collection for a massive $69 million. But NFTs have actually been around for a lot longer. And while most people think of them in terms of digital pictures such as CryptoPunks and Bored Apes, there’s a bit more to them than that.
The term “non-fungible” describes items that are unique and have their own independent and intrinsic value. In contrast, traditional money is a prime example of a fungible item: The one-dollar bill in your wallet is the same as any other. If you exchange one for another, you still have the same item and the same value. You can’t do the same with non-fungible items or non-fungible tokens.
Another term that’s necessary to understand is “blockchain.” A blockchain is a decentralized, dynamic ledger that documents cryptocurrency transactions. This tech lets people make financial transactions using cryptocurrency without having to refer to any central financial authority. It’s also an essential part of what makes NFTs and NFT art possible.
Each NFT is a unique section of blockchain code that represents unique digital files. An NFT is a way of representing ownership of a digital asset. For instance, when coupled to a unique piece of digital art, each NFT is a way of proving ownership of that art.
The concept of NFTs is a very abstract one because, in terms of art, the purchase of an NFT doesn’t necessarily transfer copyright ownership to the buyer. And other people can easily look at—and even save to their own hard drives—NFT images. However, the owner of an NFT work of art does have something that nobody else has: authenticated ownership of the original digital asset.
As a result, NFTs have real-world value, as demonstrated by the vast amounts of money that have been exchanged between buyers and sellers of NFT art. Of course, digital art ownership isn’t the only potential application for NFTs. It just happens to be the one that most people are familiar with right now.
How Do NFTs Apply to the World of Events?
Most of the buzz around NFTs has been related to digital art and the volatility of the resale market for that art. That means it might not be obvious how NFTs are relevant to the world of events. But there are some interesting use-cases where NFTs are not just relevant but also genuinely useful to corporate events.
What Is an NFT Event?
There are two ways to consider NFTs for events: NFTs are either the point of the event, or they are used to enhance the event in some way.
NFTS are the point of the event: At these types of NFT events and blockchain conferences, NFTs and related subjects are the focal point. Think top NFT events like:
- The World Blockchain Summit series
- The North American Bitcoin Conference
- NFT NYC
These NFT events are about concepts like the blockchain and cryptocurrency, as well as NFTs.
NFTs enhance the event: NFTs can add interest to an event that isn’t in a related field like cryptocurrency or the blockchain. These NFT events can be in any industry, including both tech and non-tech fields. In these cases, the corporate meetings or events aren’t about or related to NFTs, but NFTs are used in some way. Often, this means using NFTs as a marketing tactic or an organizational element.
4 Ideas to Enhance Your Event with NFTs
1. Event Marketing
NFTs as a concept are still new and exciting. Offering them at your event may not directly sell tickets, but it can definitely make your audience take notice.
Incentivize attendance by marketing your event using NFTs as a unique digital souvenir or “sign-up bonus.” Make sure what you create has relevance to the event, so your marketing hits the right spot. Some options include:
- Exclusive perks
- Exclusive experiences
- VIP benefits
2. NFT Ticketing
NFTs for event ticketing can add security to an event. More importantly, they have the potential to reduce or even eliminate issues such as scalping and fraudulent ticket sales. When every event attendee has their own NFT ticket, they also have a unique identifier that can’t be duplicated or made into a fake ticket. And it can’t be stolen, sold, or exchanged without that transaction being recorded.
When an NFT ticket is purchased, the record of the sale, the seller, and the buyer are all recorded on the blockchain. Any time the event ticket changes ownership, it’s recorded on the blockchain. This means NFT ticket holders are easily authenticated. The ownership of any given ticket can be established just by checking its blockchain record.
Non-transferable tickets: If your special event is invite-only with a restricted guest list, you can just as easily make your NFT tickets non-transferable. No resales allowed, and your event’s guest list is secure.
VIP perks:VIP and other benefits are also a natural pairing with NFT tickets. Like any other event ticket, you can offer different ticketing tiers, with prizes and perks for higher tiers. That increased level of security makes it easy to ensure everyone gets what they paid for.
3. Event Swag and Merchandise
If your company has its own line of branded merchandise, creating digital versions to sell or gift as NFTs can be a smart pivot. This is a highly versatile way to use NFTs because it lets you create swag and merchandise that’s suitable for all kinds of events. That includes live and hybrid events, as well as virtual ones. With a combination of physical goods and digital assets, you can mix-and-match items to create unique swag bags for each category of event attendee. Or offer both digital and physical swag options, and let attendees curate their own selections.
Swag Bag Items People Want
4. NFT Photo Booth
Sometimes there’s a learning curve involved in using NFTs for ticketing and other organizational elements. If you prefer to try them in a less complicated way, you have options.
One is an NFT photo booth, like the one offered by Outsnapped. Along with their more traditional photo booth options, Outsnapped now has an NFT version that combines their hardware with an NFT platform. Attendees who use the photo booth get a freshly minted, one-of-a-kind NFT that’s documented on the blockchain at the same time as the photo is taken. Even better, there are multiple modes to choose from, and users can take not just photos, but gifs and videos as well.
NFTs for Virtual Events
NFTs and virtual events seem like the perfect match, and there are some exciting ways to use NFTs for virtual events, including as merchandise or swag, along with practical applications such as ticketing.
- Ticketing and swag: Just like live and hybrid events, you can use NFTs for ticketing and merchandise. NFT tickets offer the same benefits for virtual events, including security and authenticity.
- Gamification: At a virtual event, NFTs can make suitable prizes and incentives to encourage audience participation.
- Personal avatar customization: Inject a fun note into your event by letting attendees customize their own personal avatars. NFTs can power the system that lets people purchase custom outfits and accessories to make their avatars look exactly how they want.
What Are the Potential Downsides to NFT Events?
With any new event tech, there are potential drawbacks, and of course the same is true of NFTs. Most significant is that it can be expensive to mint and manage NFTs. This may put the NFT option out of the running for some event organizers. Over time these costs will come down, NFT markets will be less volatile, and NFTs will become more cost-effective.
Another issue to be aware of is that minting and managing NFTs has a significant carbon footprint. The true impact is unknown, and some forms of minting NFTs are more carbon-heavy than others. However, it remains a controversial issue, and an association with NFTs might potentially impact an organization that values sustainability.
It’s also important to avoid making heavy use of NFTs just because they’re there. An NFT photo booth, for instance, is a great, low-risk option for an NFT event. But if you want to rely heavily on NFT tech for ticketing, merchandising, and other event elements, make sure you have a thorough understanding of NFTs, how they work, and how to mint and manage them.
NFTs Have Potential, and that Potential Will Only Grow Over Time
There’s no doubt that there are interesting potential uses for NFTs in the events industry. As the industry gets more familiar with NFT technology, it will likely play an increasingly important role, especially in practical matters such as event ticketing. Ready to become part of the global NFT community? Interested in planning an NFT event or incorporating the technology into an upcoming corporate event? We can help you navigate the field.