The goal of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau is to bring people to the area in person.
So why is the organization embarking on a project to create an interactive virtual version of the city?
“The metaverse is a destination and destination marketing organizations should be early adopters,” said William Butt, chief executive of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. He says the motivation behind the project is to whet the appetites of potential travelers.
“If we can at least put them in the metaverse and have them be able to walk around the city and get a flavor of what the city is all about, then hopefully they can travel here more quickly and we can go ahead and book that,” Pat said.
Businesses large and small in Atlanta are beginning to experiment in the metaverse.
From building digital twins of city landmarks to creating virtual outfits, the possibilities seem limitless.
The first environment built in conventions and visitors bureau Atlanta Meta World One of the city’s most distinctive landmarks is the Centennial Olympic Park.
Dave Wallens heads up the Atlanta-based company digital explorationwho created the experience.
“From a technological point of view, it was clear that we had to make sure we had all the right dimensions and details for the park,” Wallens said.
He says that gives users a real sense of space.
“We’ve also replicated as much realism as possible in the barn; so from every tree, every pier, and every water foundation it’s been reproduced to a tee.”
Atlanta Meta World can also be interactive. A sales representative, for example, can host a virtual meeting with clients from all over the world.
“They can meet in the metaverse on the pavilion and have a full presentation, full interaction, immersion, and what we like to call ‘mixed reality’ where you’re in a virtual space but you really forget that you’re in it,” Wallins said.
A reflection of their brand
The metaverse is still relatively new as companies try to figure out the best way to use it.
Tina Chadwick works with the Miller-Zell Agency. The company is working with retailers to enhance their personalized experience, and now they’re starting to look to the future as well.
“Some of our clients have already started talking to us about it, so we thought it would be a good idea to get everyone together because it’s a learning phase during which we can vaccinate and even collaborate on how to do that,” Chadwick said.
And so they did. During the summer, employees from a few dozen companies gathered together Show It’s called “Multiplication in the Metaverse”.
It included a presentation by a Georgia State University professor Elizabeth Strickler.
After her presentation, Strickler told me she understands why the phrase “digital twin” is used when discussing the metaverse.
“But what I love about it is kind of a reflection of their brand or their building or themselves or something about their essence,” Strickler said.
She says the metaverse can be huge in the retail world and that apparel companies like Gucci and Nike have already started making things you can wear, roughly.
“I think people really care about their avatars and their self-reflection just as much as they really care about themselves,” she said.
And while it can be fun to improve your virtual style or experience a 360 view of a new city, Strickler says there are more practical applications for metaverse as well, such as data modeling.
“Maybe you could fill a house or a building with 10,000 avatars and see ‘Oh my God, there isn’t enough space’ you know, what if we cut it down by 20%?” Strickler said. “So you can start visualizing what it might look or feel.”
It can really make the boring numbers on the page come to life, she says.
“Pulling the data from the databases and making it visible,” she said.
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