Nova SBE Press preview 2023 - Metaverse edition

The EUPRIO Awards 2023 third prize
Euprio awards 2023 - 3 prize

On February 2nd, 2023 Nova SBE made a groundbreaking move by holding its annual press conference - the Press Preview - in the Metaverse. This meeting between researchers and journalists aimed to present the major research projects of the year in a unique and immersive digital environment. This event marked a significant milestone for Nova SBE as it became the first Portuguese school to have a presence in the Metaverse and host a press event within this innovative environment.

By embracing virtual reality technology, Nova SBE broke away from traditional event formats, ushering in a new era of immersive and interactive experiences. The decision to adopt avatars and virtual reality glasses for all attendees shows a bold willingness to challenge the boundaries of physical limitations and fully embrace the potential of the digital realm. Nova SBE's pioneering move not only showcases a forward-thinking approach to hosting events but also redefines the way academia engages with stakeholders, propelling digital events to a whole new level of creativity and engagement. This innovative thinking not only sets Nova SBE apart but also paves the way for other institutions to embrace the transformative power of the Metaverse.

euprio awards3 prize 2023


By utilizing the Metaverse as the event environment, Nova SBE took a bold step into uncharted territory. The event space was designed using a digital architect to replicate an existing room at Nova SBE's Carcavelos Campus, the Nova SBE Digital Experience Lab. Participants experienced a faithful digital replica, complete with the same furniture and even the view of the Fort of S. Julião da Barra towering over the Atlantic Ocean. The use of virtual reality glasses and avatars enabled participants to fully immerse, breaking away from traditional virtual event platforms, allowing them to interact and move freely, demonstrating a novel way to host large-scale events and inspiring others to embrace transformative approaches.

The nature of the Metaverse attracted a more diverse and international audience, breaking geographical barriers and expanding the reach of the conference. The event saw a significant increase in participation, receiving over 20 Press Mentions with an AAV of over 60.000€. Researchers reported a heightened level of interest from journalists, leading to increased media coverage and visibility.

The Metaverse's immersive environment fostered more dynamic interactions, leading to deeper discussions and new collaborative opportunities. As the first Portuguese school to host an event in the Metaverse, Nova SBE inspired others to explore similar digital formats, leading to a broader shift in how academic conferences are conducted.

During the event, Nova SBE researchers presented their main research projects for 2023 to a group of journalists, making history by transforming digital events forever. To facilitate such an event involved 75 people and included 22 hours of training in the Metaverse. However, for a low cost of less than 4500€.

The transformative impact of the project cannot be understated. By pioneering the use of the Metaverse for academic events, Nova SBE demonstrated leadership and forward-thinking. The potential cost savings and increased accessibility of virtual events can have far-reaching implications for the academic community, making knowledge-sharing and collaboration more feasible and inclusive.

Ana Ferreira

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