5 MINUTES WITH
Mohammed Tayem, Founder & CEO, eve
DS. What made you launch eve?
The outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 forced global lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus. Even after the lockdowns were lifted, strict social distancing rules were imposed across the world to slowdown the contagion and control the number of cases. With people staying at home and remote work becoming the new norm, online platforms thrived as they provided a sense of continuity and facilitated businesses to go on.
Responding to the pandemic, we created a 3D virtual platform, eve, that has the ability to simulate live events on a 3D virtual platform, allowing event organisers and users to experience the entire event journey, virtually. That was the original innovation idea. After we created the engine, we started building on the features of the platform and integrated more services such as, ecommerce, live studio, live chat, audio and video calling
We had the best opportunity to introduce the world to eve virtual by implementing, for the first time ever – a hybrid event as a solution for the G20 International Conferences held in KSA in the last quarter of 2020. We built an on-ground studio set up in Riyadh and mimicked this studio set up on eve, so people who attended the events virtually, lived the same experience as the people who attended the events live.
DS: What kind of opportunities hybrid culture has opened up for UAE’s active event and entertainment industry?
The hybrid format amplifies an event’s reach exponentially. It has been very interesting to see how big and small events are using the format to engage with audiences across borders. Interaction across platforms, reduced travel costs, increased networking and branding opportunities and efficient data collection is being facilitated by the format. Entertainment or corporate, every event is now open to new avenues to reaching people without them having to be physically present. Event attendees are not limited by geographies and that itself is a massive feat for the industry.
DS: Do you think UAE has rapidly adapted to hybrid models, or are traditional models still more preferred?
As always, the UAE is a frontrunner in adopting and adapting new technology. Dubai has positioned itself, as the most advanced tech city in the region, its not only adapting to hybrid events, but also to the fast-upcoming technologies like blockchain management, crypto currency and digital banking etc.
DS: How can EVE help evolve ecommerce experiences?
When we entered the virtual world and created the engine, we realised that that 3D model of the virtual platform can be implemented on so many different industries. So, the next industry we thought about was education, meeting the need for virtual schools. The same could be applied on the retail industry, especially as the ecommerce sector saw its glory in 2020 and 2021. Imagine, a shopping experience in a 3D environment, whereby the shopper can create his own avatar and go through the full retail shop with all the touch points of physical retail. It will help evolve the online shopping experience from just choosing products and ordering them online, to actually going to through collections, seeing demos of products or trying them on, getting assistance from a sales attendant and so much more.
DS: What can EVE do for live studio integration, back stage management and high- quality streaming?
The biggest challenge event organisers always face when it comes to running an online event is stage control. Basically, the moment the speaker goes live on the stage, the organiser doesn’t have any control, neither on the speaker or the content being displayed on the stage. The speaker can speak about anything and can share any content, without the organisers having control or access of taking him off stage, if things go sideways. Understanding this uncertainty faced by organisers, on eve, we have complete back stage control of the speaker and the content, even when the speaker is on stage. We can interject the speaker if there is a problem with the connection, the content or for any other reason.
As for streaming services, we are using the same servers as the biggest streaming companies in the world like Netflix to provide highest quality streaming, without any time lag and smooth display. Additionally, eve understands the importance of having the speaker live on the stage to give the physical event experience. That’s why, from day one, we took into consideration, the live studio integration, whereby the speaker will have the opportunity to present live on the stage like in the physical world.