B.PHL/Independence Blue Cross

About B. PHL Innovation Fest

B. PHL Innovation Fest is a Philadelphia-based innovation festival, supported by Independence Blue Cross. The three-day festival spotlights Philadelphia innovations and companies in a variety of industries including health care, tech, and the arts, with the goal of changing popular opinion to view the city as a hub for entrepreneurship.

Independence Blue Cross is southeastern Pennsylvania’s largest health insurance company.

Philadelphia’s preeminent innovation festival, in virtual Philadelphia

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new problem for B. PHL’s organizers: how do they enable people to connect with each other during a virtual event? Agora World allowed them not only to offer a space for attendees to meet each other but to do it in a place familiar to all visitors: a virtual city of Philadelphia.

World Design and Results

Agora World built the B.PHL world using 3D models of many staple Philadelphia locations, including Independence Hall, restaurants such as Pats and Geno’s Steaks, baseball stadium Citizens Bank Park, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (famous for the Rocky Steps). The space also contained a customizable Tech Center for presentations and many open areas for conversations. In addition, the world was built with a day and night cycle aligned with Philadelphia’s time zone to closely resemble conditions in the outside world.

The Agora space created a central place for eventgoers to meet up and connect directly, without the backdrop of a virtual event. For example, notable B.PHL leader Wendell Holland hosted a meet-and-greet for an hour within the experience.

Most important, however, was giving the Philadelphia crowd an authentic experience. “It was so important that we represent our city the right way through its own, lively virtual space,” Agora World founder and CEO Ethan Berg said. “We know that work-from-home has made many people feel isolated, and people are longing for a fun experience to try with others virtually. For a few days, at least, we wanted to give people a place to feel as though everything was back to normal, and we were exploring the city of Philadelphia together again.”

You can explore the B.PHL event space with others at the room code: philly.

Next Steps
  • Check out our teaser video for the B.PHL event: HERE
  • Watch our video of the first food order placed in the metaverse, during the B.PHL event: HERE
  • Start building your own immersive virtual event for free in the app today.

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