As Spikes Asia x Campaign opens its virtual doors tomorrow, festival-goers, who can attend for free, will be in for a completely new experience, thanks to a new online event space developed by creative consultancy agency Happiness Saigon. The space is like a virtual lounge, a perfect place to hang out in-between talks, which compliments the official Spikes programme. The space will be open during the entirety of the event.
What can Spikes attendees expect? A whole lot. Watch the above video to guide you through the sign-up process and see the fun features. Once you've signed in, chosen your avatar and taken the quick tutorial, you're ready to meet up, get inspired by industry professionals and explore.
The gamified experience is built around an arcade theme, so it will feel to participants as if they are playing an arcade game, but with interactivity and social features built-in.
On entering, event-goers will pass by Asian street-food vendors to enter the welcome hall, with greetings in many APAC languages to underscore the regional nature of the event.
The space has two main halls, A and B. Hall A is will host speaker sessions where participants can meet the speakers and then follow up on what they've heard with private conversations. Both halls will have breakout rooms for private conversations, arcades to play games and cafes to gather.
Hall B will be a bit more social with a wellness room to relax in and even can do some yoga with yoga videos. There are also hidden rooms and various 'Easter eggs' hidden throughout for users to discover, as well as planned scavenger hunts for prizes.
Built on the Gather platform, the space will allow users to have full conversations with others using their cameras and audio or through chat. Users can also interact with shared media like linked videos, images, music playlists and notes. Explorers can also click to interact with games and objects in the space, and the Spikes Asia shortlists will be available to view in the Winners Gallery. More help and information on what to do is available at the information kiosk.
Lien Sterkens, head of content at Happiness Saigon, says building in the extras and crafting the finishing touches are the real challenge to differentiate the space, but it was important to do so to separate the experience from simply an offline event going online.
"Our biggest challenge and goal was to make this space worthwhile and not just be another metaverse for the sake of having the metaverse. That's something we really feel strongly about," she says.
"We wanted to make it an experience where you can deep dive a bit further and do things that add onto an offline event. We wanted to elevate it a bit more, and really use the platform to its limits to what it can can give us."
While brands are still in the process of testing out the metaverse, Happiness Saigon account director Alexandrew Lorgeron says participating in virtual experimentation collectively will help brands think about what else they can do. "It's very important to share this new creative approach to inspire and push people to think about it," he says.
About Spikes Asia x Campaign
The virtual festival is Asia Pacific's leading event for the creative community, setting out to make creative work effective and inspire the next generation of cutting-edge ideas in creativity, effectiveness and technology.
This year's speakers are some of the industry's most recognised stalwarts. Speakers taking to the virtual stage this year include P&G's Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard, Francis Flores, Jollibee's global CMO, Valerie Madon, chief creative officer APAC at VMLY&R, Mainak Dhar, vice president and managing director for India and South Asia at Kimberly-Clark, and BBDO Guerrero's chairman and CCO, David Guerrero.
A full list of sessions and speakers can be found here.
Tickets to attend are free. Interested attendees can register here.