An AMEinfo exclusive
When the hybrid Saudi G20 international conferences started last September, high profile leaders from across the globe were able to connect to Riyadh virtually, thanks to eve, the first 3D virtual platform in the region, and perhaps the globe.
Seamlessly moving through sessions that were being live-streamed and attending various other sessions from the comfort of their homes, was made easy for the global leaders through eve.
Eve launched in July 2020 with a proof of concept showing an utterly customizable platform with an encapsulating environment, superior graphics, integrated features like video conferencing, live chat and e-commerce, one-on-one meeting rooms, backstage management, high-quality streaming, and more.
Eve, has since, successfully hosted the international conference of WETEX for DEWA Dubai, the All Levels of Trauma Care of AOS USA, the famous music & creator’s experience Payne Play City, UK, and a major Arab concert attended by over 200,000 people.
Based on an exclusive interview with Mohammed Tayem, Founder and CEO of eve, this article uncovers the real story behind this highly creative project.
Demand for 3D events
Eve was launched as a response to the pandemic, providing a way for event organizers and brands to continue hosting events despite the situation. “We’ve aggregated over 15 years of live event experience, and adapted the know-how to immersive 3D virtual events,” started Tayem.
Eve can offer ready-made templates that will take a few days to go live with, the time needed to set up the 3D environment, stage management, and customization.
“Virtual events can accommodate to all types of businesses from SMEs to large corporates and government entities. The budget starts from $2000 and depending on the requirements, it will increase.”
“A project like WETEX, which was done for the past 20 years physically, we needed to recreate the same experience in the virtual world. So, from design to the customer journey, dealing with 385 exhibitors, 4 main stages, 6 live workshops, 5 live language translations to creating the exhibitor portal, and so on, it took us more than 3 months of customization.”
Eve, as a virtual hosting platform, can be customized to cater to any requirement. The platform recently received an inquiry to replicate an office environment of an international pharmaceutical company.
“The pharma giant reached out to us to build their offices in 3D where employees can attend work virtually but with an identical setup. The virtual environment would allow each employee to create his/her own avatar with which they could attend meetings, return to their workstations, chat, share and conduct business as usual, virtually,” described Tayem.
Are we jumping too quickly into the future?
“It’s the million-dollar question. Technology has led us to think differently and it is impossible to not adapt. COVID-19 accelerated 10 years of technology development into 6 months. So, we have seen a lot of companies grow 200 times within this short span. We’ve witnessed a complete change in customer behavior and lifestyle within the last 6 months. During this period, new technologies were introduced which quickly became popular and generated revenues worth billions of dollars,” revealed Tayem.
“So are we jumping too quickly? The answer is absolutely Yes! We are not only jumping, we are adapting and accepting the new era that even includes the daily life of students,” added Tayem.
Eve, for instance, is in discussion with a number of schools to create 3D virtual education platforms.
“We are building entire virtual schools including all facilities from scratch, allowing kids to create their own avatars, interact with teachers who could be live from school or on a screen uploading or downloading their school content,” explained Tayem.
“If teachers feel the students are bored, they can engage them with a game for a few minutes, in a quiz form, allowing kids to earn bonus points, or send them for a short virtual walk to the theatre for a fun movie, to the lab for experiments, or to play games in the yard, all via avatars.”
Tayem said there is a great need for 3D virtual concepts, such as with malls and retail outlets, travel and tourism, and more.
Balqees Fathi, a class A GCC Emirati singer with over 10.8 million followers on Instagram, launched her new album on eve, paving the way for future concerts.
More than 200,000 people, mostly millennials, were in attendance.
“We can actually go deep into the 3D environment and create almost real experiences, which is a big step up from a static 2D one,” said Tayem.
So how does it work?
Taking UAE’s DEWA and its WETEX event as an example, eve began by using the architectural blueprints of Al Shera’a building, DEWA Headquarters, and built the full event inside it.
Using DEWA’s guidelines and project needs, “We designed the environment within which people created their avatars and went into the event by a simulated 3D version of Dubai metro as RTA was the main sponsor.”
After creating their avatars, attendees at WETEX were met with a virtual hostess that would answer any questions they had, and soon after, the visitors could stroll around and attend a seminar, a presentation, training, workshop or live session or visit exhibition stands.
“On the platform, there is a list of exhibitors who you can visit and download their marketing materials such as a brochure, watch video content or chat with the exhibitor himself. The exhibitor can open a video call with the audience, chat, exchange info, download docs, sign agreements or MOUs, similar to a live environment,” described Tayem.
And what makes eve more unique is its comprehensive control over backstage management.
Eve controls all the content that goes live and there is no chance for unplanned content to be displayed on the screen. From the media server, the platform has complete control over the speakers, as well as on the presentations, videos, etc.
“Backstage management is the second most important feature for us and no competitor has accomplished this so far,” continued Tayem.
Eve is hiring
Eve, the Middle East’s first 3D virtual platform has hit 1 million users over a few months of operation.
“We invested heavily in our development team and we’re currently adding more people to the team to work on the development, deployment, quality assurance, cybersecurity, data privacy, and other areas of the business,” said Tayem.
“We expect to increase our team to around 200 people by end of this year, ahead of a new investment round to grow the company and enable it to accommodate any request from markets worldwide,” concluded Tayem.