We talked to Mohammed Tayem, CEO & Founder at eve, a fully interactive, immersive 3D virtual platform and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mohammed Tayem: Thank you for asking. COVID 19 definitely put a lot of things into perspective for me. It has not been easy; I am grateful to have my family and friends around me and grateful for their safety.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded eve.
Mohammed Tayem: I have been an entrepreneur for the past decade, with 20+ years of experience in the field of communications, economy, real estate and lately technology. With everything coming to a halt with the pandemic, we found an opportunity to get people to communicate with each other in a more interactive way than just a video conferencing tool; hence, the idea of eve virtual came to life.
How does eve innovate?
Mohammed Tayem: 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 organizers 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.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Mohammed Tayem: COVID-19 was a game-changer for us. We turned the challenge the pandemic brought to an opportunity. Eve was born during the pandemic as a response to keep people connected and help people execute their events while they are sitting at home. From the moment we launched eve back in July 2020, we saw an immediate positive response from the industry for the virtual platform and an acceptance of the fact that the events industry is changing forever. The Middle East region has a big focus on the events industry as it plays a major role in GDP of GCC countries as these big events attract millions of visitors every year and generate millions of dollars in return and international publicity that comes with the events. So, accepting the fact that our audiences on the international and local level are willing to accept the new direction was astounding.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Mohammed Tayem: Stepping into the telecommunication industry, a. it wasn’t easy, b. it is exceptionally competitive. Big companies that are operating on VOIP and VOC, they were already established with all the tech knowhow, and all the infrastructure required. When the crisis hit, these companies were ready to cater to the market needs. So, stepping into this domain, we needed to have an edge in order to be accepted and competitive. So, the decision to enter this domain was definitely was the biggest challenge for us.
· The world is more ready for technology than we expected.
· If you are not online, survival will be a challenge
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Mohammed Tayem: I usually turn to exercise to deal with stress and good food, time with friends and family helps me relax.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mohammed Tayem: We are competing against each and every virtual and online hosting platform, as well I can claim that we are not competing with anyone because the services we are offering are way more than available in the market on a single platform. eve virtual can make each and every individual/event attendee live the full physical event experience, but virtually. Not just joining another video conferencing event.
Your final thoughts?
Mohammed Tayem: At the turn of this decade, when digital advertising slightly started taking budgets from offline advertising, no one expected such a massive shift in digital advertising vs offline advertising behaviour. I think we will be experiencing another paradigm shift, but this time in the events industry. This is just the beginning; by 2022, we will see more of hybrid events. But I believe the virtual events industry will grow rapidly, especially as there is a lot more that can be done virtually than physically, as it is more cost-effective with a much bigger reach. But that doesn’t mean that people will change their behavior completely and stop organizing big events because this industry in specific is built based on human interaction as one of the most powerful marketing tools.