Metaverse: Conference Engagement

There’s no place like the AGN-Verse at AGN World Congress, Greece

Despite billions being wiped from Meta's share price and recent trading losses, Mark Zuckerberg has reaffirmed his commitment to the development of the Metaverse, which he predicts as having "historic importance ". And so, at its recent World Congress in Athens (Greece), AGN International explored what the Metaverse might mean for its members. 

While it's the case that the Metaverse is still a number of years away - AGN member firm's leaders are keen to do something to ready themselves for its, apparently, game-changing impact. From a client perspective, retail, technology, manufacturing and entertainment sectors are the early adopters, but within the professional services sector, we know that new Metaverse-associated technologies, such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology, are already beginning to impact the way members operate.

As younger generations are looking for flexible working models, many firms are adjusting their operational structures to remote working to accommodate their needs and attract and retain talent. In this context, a virtual reality work environment is likely to be an important element to develop in the near future, providing staff with an enhanced and unique experience at work when interacting with other team members or clients. The technology is available right now for everyone and their avatars to work together in a customised and branded virtual environment.

With this in mind, AGN launched the AGN-Verse at the AGN World Congress. The launch of AGN's virtual reality work environment allowed members to get a sense of VR and see the power and potential of this technology.

Connecting with the Virtual Reality headsets wowed members, fully immersing them in the AGN digital world to interact and engage with the environment. In the AGN-Verse, members can create their own avatars, organise and facilitate group meetings in a designated area, join a webinar or even chill out at the beach while listening to music. No matter where members are in the world or what environment they are in, they can transport themselves to a fun, fresh and inviting virtual working environment at the click of a button - like Dorothy clicking her heels in the Wizard of Oz. There's no place like the AGN-Verse.

During the World Congress, there was also a technical workshop which explored the concept of the Metaverse in more detail to learn what it is, its potential and its impact on AGN member firms. The workshop was led by Chris White (AGN) and Dimitris Dimitriadis – A futurist and adviser to the Greek government.

Futurist Dimitri Dimitriadis said: "The accounting industry is rapidly evolving and, as with any evolution, whether Darwinian or technological, those who aren't willing to adapt are being left behind. The Metaverse has the potential to create entirely new revenue streams for accounting professionals – perhaps a new income 'world'. This virtual universe is still in the early development stages, and while the reality of what will evolve remains to be seen, many businesses are striving to understand this economy's potential, build engaging products and offer services in virtual worlds."

Chris White said: "While it's likely to be 5 to 10 years before the Metaverse is a seamless commercial reality, members are advised to pay attention to developments in its component parts, e.g., blockchain and distributed ledger technology, virtual and augmented reality, and the emergence of Web 3.0. We should all at least experiment a little, become familiar with the tech and the jargon."

Welcome to the AGN-Verse. Credit (all images): AGN

Quotes from members

"The AGN-Verse with the headsets was for me: surprising, unexpected and exciting. The Metaverse for our firm will be important for data Security, data Regulation and Blockchain technology."
Emilio Prevedini - CT&P, Milan, Italy

"I think my experience in the AGN-Verse with the headsets can be best described as fun. Although it took some time to get used to it, after adjusting, it was fun to explore and see the possibilities of this technology that everyone talks about. I feel that a lot of internal and external meetings could potentially be held in the AGN-Verse in the future."

"The experience in the AGN-Verse at the AGN World Congress in Athens in November was broadening the horizon, both with or without headsets. Although broadband internet access is still necessary, the range of meeting possibilities and exchange of information, documents, videos etc., is vast. Once you have become familiar with the avatar appearances and the secure surroundings (by wallets) are established, it is a perfect medium to meet clients and colleagues while operating and using the same shared resources and software. Some future-oriented clients show already interest in a trial use."
Peter Gassen- WSR Cintinus Audit GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Germany

Guest speaker (and Futurist) Dimitri Dimitriadis delivering his session titled "Future is Human Intervention - Future mindset and how to be future-proof"

Featured image: NextGen Member - Malgorzata Miziolek, JRD, Poland immersed in the 3D AGN-Verse experience using the VR headset during session intervals.