The remote:af team and our community recently had a play with an emerging platform called party.space that helps companies to ‘host stunning virtual parties or full-fledged corporate events in the metaverse’.
The team at Party Space set us up with an event space that included a speaker stage, four tables for break-out conversations, and a central space where people can gather and chat. The platform has some really cool features. The team crafts an experience based on your requirements which includes configuration as well as branding. While the configured spaces currently resemble the physical buildings in which people gather (reducing the cognitive load for participants) there’s endless possibilities in a virtual world.
As you ‘walk’ around the room using similar controls to a first person game, your proximity to other people dictates the volume of their speech. This allows you to talk to smaller groups of people without the whole room drowning you out.
John felt that the experience was really different to traditional virtual collaboration: "I can feel a lot of the same benefits I get from organic conversations as if everyone was in the same room. It's also refreshing to interact with people in a format with reduced brain-drain, party.space also removes a lot of the accessibility issues that come with VR. It's just brilliant."
When you sit down at a table, the rest of the room becomes silent and you are only interacting with the people on your table, which is a nice immersive group experience. At the table you can play virtual games like Guess Who? and Pictionary as ice breakers and you can share content on a virtual screen. There’s also a stage where a single speaker can present. Whilst on stage the whole audience can hear the speaker.
You can express your thoughts with emojis, and you can also fling emojis around the room at people’s avatars which makes for a fun experience. John and I had a first person shooter game in the foyer with the 💩 emoji - a virtual shit fight.
The platform still has some quirks to iron out and can be a bit clunky at times but we love where it’s going. We can see this being used for hosting conferences, strategic or all hands planning and other events. You could also conceivably set it up as an always on virtual office with a reception space.
It currently requires some backend administration which means that you need to have a member of the party.space team present and facilitating but over time we’d expect to see improved stability and a self service model. Overall we’re excited about what the team has built to date and we’re looking forward to watching where they take it.