Skip to main content
Daily travel & tourism news portal for the Asia-Pacific market since 2012

MICE

Tourism students build Expo in the Metaverse

Author: Andrew J Wood / Date: Thu, 01/27/2022 - 09:29
14289

The metaverse (also known to many as “web 3.0”) is an evolution of the current internet. Web 1.0, was about connecting information and getting on the net.

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Tourism students from Assumption University put their iStaging sponsorship to good use, designing and building a three-in-one tourism HTM EXPO EXTRAVANGANZA featuring a tourism education fair, career expo and travel expo in the metaverse. The metaverse has received a lot of hype recently. But, what is the metaverse?

Essentially, the metaverse (also known to many as “web 3.0”) is an evolution of the current internet. Web 1.0, was about connecting information and getting on the net. Web 2.0 is about connecting people, web 3.0, is starting now, is more immersive and involves decentralization away from “The Big Five”; Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft.

To help you get a sense of how unclear and complicated a term “the metaverse” can be, here's an exercise experts suggest: Mentally replace the phrase “the metaverse” in a sentence with “cyberspace.” Most of the time, the meaning won't significantly change. That's because the term doesn't really refer to any one specific type of technology, but rather a broad shift in how we interact with technology. Whether in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or simply on a screen, the potential of the metaverse is to allow a better connection of our digital and physical lives.

Broadly speaking, the technologies that make up the metaverse can include virtual reality—characterized by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you're not online—as well as augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds. However, it doesn't require that those spaces be exclusively accessed via VR or AR. A virtual world, like aspects of Fortnite, an online video game released in 2017, that can be accessed through PCs, game consoles, and even phones could be considered “metaversal”.

iStaging has worked closely with many international brands of the fashion retail and consumer retail industry such as LVMH, Samsung and Giant to include a virtual experience for visitors. Now, iStaging is working with prestigious Universities in Asia. “With iStaging’s generous sponsorship of twenty business accounts, Assumption university tourism students created their alternate universe with iStaging's VR Maker platform using a user-friendly drag and drop editor. iStaging’s intuitive platform empowers university students to transform a simple student presentation into a real experiential and engaging learning experience in the virtual world.” said Dr Scott Smith, adding, “The students did such a wonderful job creating an engaging experience at a recent competition that I was inspired to incorporate the iStaging platform into the lesson plans of my classes this semester. The student feedback was very positive for this midterm project.

For the 2022 HTM Career Expo, students from different subjects built an immersive, engaging and educational experience online. HTM4302 Event Management students created exhibition booths for major brands such as Marriott-Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt focusing on career opportunities, as the majority of these students will be entering the job market this year. HTM 4402 Tourism Destination Management students created booths to showcase tourism destinations and present their ideas for new attractions at these destinations. The HTM4406 MICE Management students created booths for various cities, marketing their destination for the meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) market. “The students did a fantastic job, considering they had a very short time to work on this midterm project. The students were quick to embrace the assignment and they learned how to navigate the platform in a fraction of the time that it took their instructor.”, Dr Scott said cheerfully.

The students worked on this project in incremental steps, starting with research and content collection. Students then worked together in the real world to design their exhibition booths for the virtual world. The drag and drop style of iStaging’s user-friendly program allows students to quickly present marketing plans, presentations and projects through the use of virtual showrooms, virtual exhibitions, virtual tradeshows and virtual tours. Students also used plugins such as Kahoot! a game-based learning platform to engage visitors to their booth and share information.

The online virtual exhibition opens on February 1, 2022. For those that are interested in tourism education, career development or travel the 2022 HTM EXPO EXTRAVAGANZA is a great addition to the metaverse.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew J Wood

English born Andrew J Wood, is a freelance travel writer and for most of his career a professional hotelier. Andrew has over 40 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a Skal member and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew is also a former Director of Skal International (SI), Past President SI THAILAND, 2 times Club President of SI BANGKOK and is currently President SKAL ASIA. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand and overseas.