Imagine you organised a party and no one came. It’s every host’s nightmare, perhaps even more so when you’ve spent nearly €400,000 on the venue.
Earlier this week, the European Commission’s Foreign Aid Department hosted a party in the metaverse to try and raise awareness among younger audiences about the work that they do.
According to reports, just six people made a digital appearance at the event.
The department works to support countries around the world, whether that’s by giving grants to developing countries, making investments to reduce poverty or with contributions to climate finance.
It has spent €387,000 on its metaverse platform, designed to promote the EU’s Global Gateway initiative, which hopes to see a €300 billion investment in building new infrastructure across a variety of countries.
One attendee who did show up at what was billed as a “gala event” was journalist Vince Chadwick.
“After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone. I am alone,” he tweeted.
’24-hour beach party’ in the metaverse
The concept behind the event was simple enough: to educate young people about the bloc and draw them into a space where they could learn more about what the EU does.
A spokesperson for the Commission told global media platform Devex that the goal was to “increase awareness of what the EU does on the world stage” among 18-to-35-year-olds found “primarily on TikTok and Instagram” who are “neutral about the EU” and “not typically exposed to such information”.
Advertised as a “24-hour beach party” with a tropical island backdrop, Chadwick reported that upon arrival, just five other guests were present.
Not long into the party, after a few words were exchanged, guests started to peel off, leaving Chadwick as the last avatar standing.
It’s believed that the Global Gateway’s metaverse dark launched in mid-October and is now officially live.
The EU’s International Partnerships account described it as a place where people can meet and “reflect on global issues to make a difference to our shared future”.