3D Virtual Networking: Build Your Business Wherever You Are

By Claire Hubbert
on 14 February 2017

Claire Hubbert is the owner of Simply Systems and Business in Heels Branch Director – Global Online. From her home on Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, she tells us about her career and business.

My company Simply Systems helps micro businesses owners connect, learn and share by providing business networking events and training using 3D virtual world technology which I have been involved with since 2008.

In particular I have a passion for helping ladies who are starting off in their first business. I love their enthusiasm for their new venture and don’t want them to give up when they feel overwhelmed. I help take the fear out of setting up a business and give them an avenue to meet others who are feeling the same, or more experienced ladies who can show them the way so that they can go on to achieve their dreams.

I know it is often very difficult for business and professional ladies to get the chance to network. They often have personal commitments at home or they live in an area that has little or no networking opportunities. This is why I have started virtual networking events in collaboration with Business in Heels, a women’s international networking organisation that connects business and professional ladies globally.

By using 3D virtual technology it allows the ladies to have fun while learning from dynamic speakers and getting the opportunity to meet and make new connections. Like other collaborative digital platforms, we can chat in small groups, but this might be in a bistro or at the beach. We can even meet in our pyjamas as our avatars (3D representation of ourselves) always look fabulous without a hair out of place. It is an immersive environment so we can move around the virtual space, interact with objects such as sitting and eating at cafes, even walking over musical notes to create sounds.

It’s an ideal platform to provide a combination of visual, audio and kinaesthetic elements which adds to the enjoyment of engaging with other ladies online from all over Australia and overseas.

In the past Simply Systems have had attendees at Business English training from as far away as China, Middle East and Russia. The hardest thing is to get them to log off at the end of an event!

Using 3D virtual world technology involves using free software provided by Linden Holdings best known as Second Life®. As in Facebook you have public places which are the ones that have had the most publicity in the past, however, the platform is also used by many universities and companies around the world for meetings and training. All this takes place in private locations, a little like Facebook Groups. You have to be invited to the 3D island (we partner with Learn it Town) and when there you know the other avatars you meet and chat to are known to the owners of the island. It’s therefore a much safer environment to make new connections. This means if something should go wrong you know you are among friends. In the early days of the platform one participant arrived at an event but unfortunately her clothes didn’t. Although she thought her avatar was wearing jeans and a T-Shirt the rest of the participants only saw her underwear. Thank goodness these days the tech has been enhanced to protect our modesty. So if you want to change your appearance from Cinders to Cinderella and Midnight strikes you no longer lose your clothes!

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