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Virtual Venue

The Virtual Venue is one of the core concepts at the heart of GEVME Virtual.

What is a Virtual Venue?

A simple way to look at it is like this: If in the case of physical events an event happens in a physical venue, then for a virtual event the event happens in a virtual venue.

An instinctive but over-simplistic way to look at things.
An instinctive but over-simplistic way to look at things.

This comparison seems pretty intuitive and straightforward, but things might not be as simple as they look. That one-to-one mapping of the physical venue to a virtual venue does not really help because it's too vague and does not help in defining what the virtual venue is. For example, in the image above, is the virtual venue the laptop, or the "website" through which the live streaming is happening? Or is it the app through which you are experiencing the event or the maybe even the browser? And what is "virtual" anyway? Is anything which is online considered "virtual"?

This is why it's useful to agree on what we mean by "virtual".

Defining "Virtual"

"Virtual" is one of those terms that you think know the meaning of intuitively, but when you try to define them, you face a real challenge in doing so. One way that we found helps in explaining the meaning of "virtual" is by looking at the various layers of technology, starting with the most fundamental one at the bottom and making our way up, with each layer adding a level of complexity on the layer below it.

Layers of Technology Making Virtual Possible

Layers of technology that makes virtual spaces possible.
Layers of technology that makes virtual spaces possible.

Electrical

Starting from the bottom we have the electrical layer. This is the whole system of electrical cables and wires together with the electrical devices that connect to them. Electrical devices are practically every device that runs on electricity (think your kettle for a simple example). We hardly realise it, but today, almost every device runs on electricity, from the kettle in your kitchen to the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Remove this layer of electrical power and everything else collapses. So that’s the foundation of everything.

Electronic

Next we have the electronic layer with electronic devices. These are electrical devices which contain electronic circuits and simple logic capabilities. Examples of purely electronic devices are rather rare nowadays, most devices being "digital" as well, but you can think of old TV's or radios as the first electronic devices.

Digital

The electronic layer of technology then opened the way to digital devices which, in simple terms are devices that run on bits and bytes, can store and process data and in an exponentially increasingly capacity. The easiest examples would be your computers and smartphones.

Virtual

And this is where we finally reach the virtual layer. Virtual is a layer of added complexity on top of the digital layer, but it’s of a totally different nature from the rest of the layers below it in the sense that it’s not a device nor a system, and is instead abstract and conceptual. It’s an idea and a notion, which emerges as a result of a (usually) digital model like a software or an application. Digital devices with their ability to process increasingly complex information made virtual worlds and spaces possible. They allowed us to construct complex systems and build digital models and use these for specific purposes. E.g. A 3D environment built using digital models creates a “virtual space” where gamers can play with or against each other; Allowing multiple persons to interact in real-time in a video conference session also creates a virtual space (be it temporary) where the attendees of the session communicate and share ideas.

Side Note: What about the Internet and what's after Virtual?

What about the Internet?

We haven't included the Internet as part of the layers here because a virtual space can still exist independently, without the Internet. However, it goes without saying that the Internet with the ability to connect with others remotely and in real time, has brought virtual spaces to yet another level of experience. It's one thing to have a virtual experience by yourself, and something totally different to have a virtual experience in real-time with other people!

What's the next layer after Virtual?

According to many, society interacts daily with and within virtual worlds. Today virtual worlds are still in their infancy and are also independent from each other, but in the future they could be linked and could become interoperable, culminating in what futurists have been calling "The Metaverse". The Metaverse is that persistent space where all virtual worlds are connected and where daily interactions and transactions can be performed.

Examples of Virtual Venues

Armed with this knowledge, the following can thus be seen as virtual venues:

image

Any app or software that allows for the creation of a virtual space where people can gather, share ideas and share a common experience in real-time are all potential venues for virtual events. Examples consists of common apps like meetings apps such as Zoom and live streaming platforms such as YouTube, but also less common and less obvious "apps" like multiplayer online games such as Fortnite, which has hosted concerts attracting millions.

This brings us to our definition of a virtual venue as defined below.

Definition of a Virtual Venue

We define a Virtual Venue as follows:

A Virtual Venue is a virtual space, typically emerging from an application or software, and possessing features and services that allow for an event to happen and be experienced.

GEVME Virtual Venues

In the context of our product, every event that happens on our platform, therefore takes place in a GEVME Virtual Venue.

GEVME Virtual Venues are virtual spaces with out-of-the-box specialised features and services for events.

Why Use Virtual Venues?

GEVME Virtual Venues are different to other virtual venues for the following reasons:

  • Get started quickly: Usable out-of-the-box Our virtual venues are usable out of the box. Think of them as "packages" or "starter kits" to help you quickly get started with your virtual event. This is similar to the concept of themes or templates in the context of website builders. You choose a venue from our Venue Store, choose an experience, and straightaway you have a foundation for your virtual event to start with. All you have to do next is to add in your content and customise your venue through the Venue Editor.
  • Pre-configured look and feel Each virtual venue has a particular style and look and feel, so you don't need to start by designing your venue from scratch.
  • Range of experiences Each venue comes with a range of experiences that you can choose from based on your event type and format.
  • Reusable You can use the same venue for multiple editions of the same event, or even for totally different events, by simply changing the visual assets of a venue.
  • No-code DIY customisation through our Venue Editor For non-technical users, GEVME Virtual Venues are editable through our WYSIWYG Venue Editor. Through the venue editor you can easily create new pages, add blocks and content, customise your images, etc.
  • CSS and JavaScript customisation For more advanced look and feel customisation and functionalities of our venues, Web Developers/Designers can easily leverage CSS and JavaScript.
  • Build your own venue: Low-code full customisation through our Rebar template language Full customisation of an existing venue, or even building your own personal custom venue, can be achieved by leveraging Rebar, our low-code templating language.
  • Design-agnostic In a sense, GEVME Virtual Venues are design-agnostic or frontend-agnostic, i.e. our platform abstracts all virtual-event-related logics, functionalities and content from the frontend experience, which can thus be totally customised.

Types of GEVME Virtual Venues

GEVME Virtual Venues can be of many types and look and feel. For example, below are shown some virtual venues on GEVME, used in the context of different events.

Show:

  1. A 2D event
  2. WiT Travel Roadshow on Red Rock
  3. HerbaLife Extravaganza homepage

GEVME Virtual currently supports 4 types of venues:

2D

2D venues might look like traditional websites, but they are more than just that, because they are built on top of the GEVME Virtual foundation, and thus have support for live and interactive functionalities through the usage of blocks and engagement components like the LiveBar (just like any other GEVME Venue has).

Example of an event built on the Genesis venue, one of our 2D venues.
Example of an event built on the Genesis venue, one of our 2D venues.

3D Flat

3D Flat venues give the impression of 3D but are not actually rendered in 3D. They are flat images of 3D scenes exported from a 3D software and on top of which hotspots and interactive areas have been defined. They are static and you cannot "move around" in a 3D Perspective venue.

Here is an example of a 3D Perspective venue:

Venue designed by
Venue designed by Chab Events for APACMED 2020

3D Panorama

3D Panorama venues use the panorama method to create a 3D environment by stitching together a series of panoramic images. 3D Panorama venues are not static and can be navigated through. 3D Panorama venues for GEVME can be built using a software like 3D Vista.

Here is an example of a 3D Panorama venue:

Our show
Our show Next Generation Virtual Events is an example of an event that takes place in a 3D Panorama venue

3D Immersive

3D Immersive venues are venues which are rendered in realtime in 3D in the browser without the need for any plugins using the webGL technology. As their name implies, 3D Immersive venues are totally immersive and interactive and can look just like a first-person or third-person game. 3D Immersive venues for GEVME can be built using a software like ShapeSpark.

Here is an example of a 3D Immersive venue:

Example of a 3D Immersive venue, built for
Example of a 3D Immersive venue, built for Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

This is another example of a 3D Immersive venue, with avatar:

image

What Does a Virtual Venue Consist Of?

From a technical point of view, a GEVME virtual venue comes pre-configured with:

  1. A style, and look and feel
  2. A set of default LivePage templates
  3. A set of experiences to choose from

Building and Owning Your Own Venue

With just some basic coding knowledge (HTML, CSS and JavaScript), it's even possible to build and own your own custom venue. There are two ways in which you can have your own venue:

  1. Duplicating a venue from our venue store and customising it within your venue collection
  2. Building your own venue from scratch

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Read the Venue Developer Documentation to learn how to build your own venue →