European Union hosts ‘gala’ in $400,000 metaverse, draws only 300 visitors

The European Commission’s foreign aid department is defending a virtual party that it hosted last month, telling Devex that it drew a crowd of around 300 visitors.

Early reports suggested that very few people turned up.

One attendee, Vince Chadwick, said of the event: “I’m here at the ‘gala’ concert in the EU foreign aid dept’s €387k metaverse (designed to attract nonpolitically engaged 18-35 year olds — see story below). After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone.”

The commission rebuffed such claims of low attendance, and told Devex that the event gained an audience of approximately 300 between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time.

Devex reported that the commission’s website said that the event would begin at 9 p.m., but the commission told them that the event actually started at 8 p.m. The commission clarified, telling Devex that “the webpage should have been clearer and said 8 p.m.”

According to Devex, the metaverse allows users to explore a “surrealist tropical island as a paperclip-esque avatar.” The platform cost the EU an estimated €387,000 ($408,102).

When asked how much the commission spent to promote the recent gala, they said that “there is no dedicated paid media budget for this platform.”

Devex reported that there have been over 128,000 visits to the metaverse between Oct. 10 and Nov. 30, with the daily average being 2,510. In contrast, over 93.8 million people saw content promoting the platform during the same period.

The commission said those figures were achieved “primarily on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram through content sent directly, in the appropriate languages, to the feeds of individuals whose profiles correspond to the target demographic.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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