Morningstar Balances Business Trips With Meetings On The Metaverse

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Analysts and consultants Morning Star As an increasing number of financial services companies enter the metaverse, they may soon be wearing virtual reality headsets instead of traveling to meetings in the future.

Another company, Accenture, ordered 60,000 Oculus Quest 2 headsets in October last year for trainees who cannot meet face to face. He also created a Virtual office environment called Nth Floor. Meanwhile, Fidelity Investments has been researching the effectiveness of education in virtual reality for some time now. Pilot program involving 140 employees.

After two years of digital experimentation, a clear pandemic legacy is emerging.

And banking in general remains the most cautious sector when reopening offices. American Express Global Business Travel stressed that two unnamed clients in the industry have yet to fully reopen their premises – their travels rose only 24 percent and 33 percent in total transaction volume for the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2019, it announced on investor day Tuesday. Another banking customer that reopened offices accounted for 66 percent of pre-pandemic travel spending.

A Generation That Doesn’t Need Travel?

Hotels and airlines, as well as corporate travel agencies, should watch for Chicago-based Morningstar’s next moves. It encourages its trainees to use virtual reality, allowing them to spend the technology if they sign up to test it and provide feedback, and it takes into account VIP metaverse experiences in its hybrid. 2022 investor conference May 16-18 at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago.

The momentum in new technologies won’t stop once the mask mandate ends, and Morningstar, which has 8,500 employees, is working closely with the VR specialist. enchant Founded by veteran journalist Andrew Hawken, the company has also hosted virtual conferences for companies such as Allianz and Wells Fargo.

“We tried so hard to plan something for 2020, we had a (virtual reality) game called sustainable city which is all about environmental social and governance investments. We also did a fun ‘bee game’ connected to sustainability, where you have to save as many bees as possible,” said Leslie Marshall, head of experiential marketing.

In 2021, Mesmerise asked Morningstar if it wanted to run its investment conference entirely on the metadatabase. If Accenture were able to purchase 60,000 headphones, it didn’t seem like the price would be a barrier. Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 headset currently costs around $400, and Morningstar has sold 250 investor conference tickets, including one for $649. Tickets for the desktop-only version of the conference were $399.

By contrast, Morningstar’s virtual reality efforts in 2019 included high-spec gaming laptops, censors, and headsets that totaled between $3,000 and $4,000.

“With Mesmerise, we completed this project in six weeks, they were really quick at this pivot,” added Marshall, who was Morningstar’s director of events, magazines and social media from 2013 to 2017.

Morningstar is also experimenting with virtual reality for individual meetings, which could hinder future corporate travel bookings. “People don’t realize this is an opportunity. But working with Mesmerise we’re trying to show them the possibilities of where to meet, how to use this meeting space,” he said. Morningstar is running experiments in Australia and Chicago, although it focuses more on events than meetings.

Filtering by Customers

A growing trend is that VR early adopters seem willing to use this method to interact with their customers.

“It’s really beneficial for us by bringing in new technology and new ways of working,” said Brian Smyth, Accenture’s innovation leader in the communications and media industry. He told Silicon Republic last month. “And more importantly, how are we bringing this to our customers in new ways.”

Morningstar is no different, with the Australian team recently hosting an invite-only event featuring presentations, product demos, and Q&A for consultant clients in virtual reality. “They really liked being on the edge of being able to see and try this, they had never done it before,” Marshall said. “One of the tasks I have to think about is what we can do for our customers here in Chicago, but also how we can take these experiences and apply them to our other offices… everyone on my team has a headset, we had a meeting. virtual reality.”

His partner, Mesmerise, is sometimes in demand for executive training to help ego-sensitive CEOs feel comfortable wearing a headset.

“They wanted to know the proper way to say hello to people in the metaverse, what the etiquette was. Like everyone else, we’re exploring what this tool means,” Marshall continued. “The thing to think about is not where the market is right now, but where we are going and how we will continue to experiment and innovate with this technology.”

With headphones getting more affordable and Apple’s launch its own virtual reality hardware It’s a market that could go mainstream later this year, sooner than expected.

side notes

In the coming months, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Meta, formerly known as Facebook, as business travel conferences resurface. There’s some irony in the face-to-face events that focus so much on virtual reality, but there’s a lot to discuss.

Meta, of course, owns headphone maker Oculus and will probe questions from an industry trying to wrap its head around metadata. The real question will be: friend or foe?

Later this month, the UK Travel Management Institute will hold a special session at its annual conference “Advances around artificial intelligence and the metaverse are moving rapidly towards us.”

in France, The Future of Business Travel Meta’s “partner travel” listed Julien Lechat as a speaker. Next month Flight Center’s corporate travel division is also recruiting a Meta representative for the “Metaverse 101: What This New Online Phenomenon Means for Corporate Travel” session. He wants to explore whether this new online community can replace travel. FCM activity Hybrid forum called Th!nk It is run in conjunction with the Global Business Travel Association.

Hospitality companies are also tackling the metaverse. The topic will likely come up with a speech by Jennifer Hsieh of Marriott International during Skift’s Future of Hospitality Forum May 11-12 – Marriott’s loyalty brand Bonvoy create an entity in the metadatabase to interact with consumers.

CitizenM is currently testing its marketing potential. AscottPart of CapitaLand Investment Limited, this week launched the lyf Innovation Lab to coincide with the opening of a new co-living property in Singapore. The lab created with Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Informatics and IT could finally provide a new way for guests at lyf properties to connect to metadata.

More music coming from collaborative brand Accor Wojo takes a dive into the metaverse’s collaboration potentialAs part of Travelport Modern Retailing video seriesexplains why now is the time to travel to explore opportunities in virtual reality.

Every year has a fashion promise, and the 2022s will be the metaverse. You have been warned.

10 Second Corporate Travel Capture

Who and what Skift covered last week: Air France-KLM, American Express Global Business Travel, Certares, Delta Air Lines, easy jetFrontier Airlines, IHG, Marriott, Selina, SNCF, Travalyst, Uber.

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