Why Economic Developers Should Make Their Community Metaverse-Ready
6 Sep 2023
Economic developers should make their community metaverse-ready to get the attention of entrepreneurs, workers, and next-generation business owners.
We’re going to bring you all the way back to 1991 when Geoffrey A. Moore wrote the book Crossing the Chasm which was about mainstream consumers adopting new technologies. One of the key takeaways from this book was understanding the process of early consumers embracing technology entrepreneurship (sci-fi stuff) into their lives. Moore’s book identified the lifecycle of technology and the marketing that accompanies the adoption.
Today, we have a number of products that have been around for years, even decades, that are beginning to move into mainstream adoption: self-driving cars, voice-activated devices, virtual reality, and the Metaverse. It is not an exaggeration to say that all of us will interact with these technologies frequently in the coming months and certainly over the next year.
What Is the Metaverse?
While the metaverse doesn’t actually exist yet, as there is no virtual place you can visit or take up residence, it is promising to be the next major computing platform. And, at present, no one company owns the space or the platform. Metaverse offers an experience as opposed to a place. People in the physical world can use virtual reality, for example, as a means to communicate and interact with others.
For example, Peloton wants to sell you high-end, exercise bikes and they are using the virtual reality experience to enhance the experience of exercising. Facebook and Microsoft sell virtual reality devices to enhance the experience of gaming and interacting with other people. These are examples of the metaverse experience and the idea of interacting with people inside the virtual world is moving mainstream. After two years of COVID, remote meetings, and Zoom, the majority of consumers are accepting a virtual way of life.
How Does the Metaverse Apply to Economic Development?
Economic developers planning for the new year understand the importance of workforce and business attraction. Many communities have sites available and companies that need to expand their workforce. Both of these problems require effective communication with future entrepreneurs and new workers.
Successful economic developers are already interacting on social media, Facebook, through responsive websites, and with targeted digital marketing. But the people economic developers need to attract are already looking to communicate through the metaverse experience, and savvy economic developers are advised to build an economic development strategy that makes their community metaverse-ready.
What Constitutes Interaction in the Metaverse
Making your community metaverse-ready for the new year and communicating with entrepreneurs and workers isn’t a difficult task. Most economic developers are already utilizing familiarization (FAM) tours. Under the traditional model, a community economic developer creates a FAM tour and invites a group of influential site selectors and business owners to tour the available sites and to hear about the business incentives available. The same concept applies, but now the experience is created in a virtual environment. Instead of bringing the people to the community, the community goes to the people.
How To Get Started
Explore Golden Shovel's PlaceVR gallery and see what other communities are already doing - don’t reinvent the wheel. Here you can experience Little Falls, MN, Duncan, OK, Montgomery County, OH, or York County, NE. These communities, and many more, have already made themselves metaverse-ready and are communicating with entrepreneurs and business owners globally - all without an expensive travel budget.
Watch the advertisements during your favorite holiday movie or during one of the many sporting events between now and January. Oculus Quest will be making the case over and over to appear underneath Christmas trees.
We suspect many economic developers will have the opportunity to put on a pair of virtual reality goggles this holiday season. So don’t just watch, participate in the experience. Ask to try the goggles on and see how real and exciting the metaverse world can be. And then start planning to make your community metaverse-ready. Contact us to learn more.
Economic Developers Should Make Their Community Metaverse-Ready, and Golden Shovel Can Help
Set up a call with our team where you can ask detailed questions about how to connect with site consultants, executives, and workers virtually.