Non-fungible tokens are trending. Everyone’s talking about buying them, creating them, and how much money they’re worth. As technology becomes more prevalent at events, organizations, brands, and planners can benefit from incorporating NFTs into their strategies.
NFTs offer something unique and “ownable.” By definition, NFTs are individual cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated. NFTs’ unique nature and ability to create emotional connections to a community are the reasons why this technology has grown in popularity across industries.
Crafting Experiences Using NFTs
How do event planners catch audiences’ attention with NFTs? To start, these tokens can be tied to physical components. For instance, event planners can create NFTs to be redeemed for physical objects such as T-shirts, artwork, food or drinks, or tickets to events
NFT-based tickets also offer experiences and games that can be integrated into in-person or hybrid events. Coinbase, for example, integrated NFT merchandise into the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York. Users received a unique NFT that also granted access to the VIP lounge. And because NFTs can’t be counterfeited, many companies consider them safer than tickets.
As NFTs get more expensive, creators will produce NFT fragments, or more affordable digital sections of a token. For instance, musicians could fractionalize song NFTs and sell part ownership to fans and investors while maintaining their majority stake. The song streaming royalties would then be distributed among the owners. Event planners should consider how fractionalized digital assets can foster communities and promote exclusive experiences at larger events.
3 NFT Best Practices:
Ready to incorporate NFTs into events? Follow these tips to create a unique experience that is authentic and eye-catching:
1. Make sure audiences will find NFTs valuable.
Event planners must determine whether their audiences are interested in NFTs. Not everyone is interested in blockchain technology, so it’s important to ensure NFT tactics are rooted in strategy (i.e., aligned with audiences’ interests) and not just randomly incorporated.
That said, NFTs might be perfect for some target markets, especially if they provide clear, guaranteed value. The band Kings of Leon created an NFT that unlocks lifetime concert tickets. Similarly, Disney’s new collectible NFTs are paired with subscriptions to Disney+. Event planners should ask, “What does my audience care about?” and “How can I merge their interests with NFT-related experiences?”
2. Build smart contracts to identify audiences.
NFTs can typically be traded, gifted, or sold — unless event planners specify in smart contracts that the NFTs can’t. Contracts with clauses such as these can help planners identify attendees, which is necessary to inform future event strategies and ensure digital and physical safety.
Consider the NFT associated with Andy Murray’s Wimbledon 2013 win. This NFT included two VIP tour experiences, Centre Court tickets to the 2022 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final, and a 30-minute game of tennis with Murray. Although the NFT was auctioned, there’s a chance it could have been resold — hence the note at the bottom of the auction site explaining the experiences were “redeemable through WENEW by the collector who owns the NFT” by a certain date.
3. Watch out for environmental claims.
NFTs are generated through a process that requires a computer terminal to do incredibly complex math problems that burn large amounts of energy. As a result, there are significant carbon costs associated with mining NFTs, which is why related fees are often referred to as “gas fees.” That said, some NFT creators have found ways to make the process more eco-friendly.
Event planners should be sure to frame the uses of NFTs appropriately and be prepared to answer any questions and concerns from audience members about their sustainability.
In the events industry, NFTs are a fun and interesting way to engage attendees and strengthen existing audience loyalty. By following these best practices, event planners can incorporate NFTs into their experiences in a way that’s authentic, actionable, and engaging.
The author, Jeff Snyder is the founder and chief inspiration officer at Inspira Marketing Group, a brand experience agency headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., and New York City.