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It is my pleasure to introduce Any Moonwall, the owner of Dubai Event, one of the most prominent shopping events in Second Life. This event covers a diverse range of items, including clothing, home decor, accessories, skin, and hair, among others. With her expertise in event management and passion for fashion, Any has successfully established Dubai Event as a go-to destination for Second Life shoppers. In this interview, we will learn more about her journey in the virtual world of Second Life, the challenges she faces as an event organizer, and her vision for the future of Dubai Event.
Oema: Any, how do you select the original mesh designers who participate in the monthly Second Life Dubai shopping event, and what criteria do you use for their selection?
Any: Dubai wants to bring the most variety of products for the customers (hair, skin, makeup, decor, etc.), and on the basis of that, we choose the number of designers for each category. Designers submit a monthly application, and then they are selected based on that. Of course, there are some brands that have been very loyal to us since the beginning, and they have a regular spot in our events.
Oema: Can you describe the process of selling and showcasing the designers’ creations during the event?
Any: On the 5th of each month, selected designers are contacted (the opening is on the 20th), and they have 15 days to prepare the products they want to sell in each round. The last day of set up is the 19th, but we are flexible, and if someone asks for it, we give them more time until two or three hours before the opening. Once they have sent us their advertising image, our team shares it on different social networks. In addition, we have the help of third parties like Seraphim, SL20, Essential Inventory, Sugar, etc. to whom we take the opportunity to thank for all the help they provide us.
Oema: How do you balance the need to provide visibility for participating designers with the need to attract attendees and promote the event as a whole?
Any: This balance is key and the most difficult to achieve because there are so many shopping events on the grid, and designers have to adjust their schedules at different timelines and periods. Sometimes, RL happens, and we contact designers from the reservation list to replace any empty spots, so it’s very exciting (and a little stressful too, lol).
Oema: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as an event organizer when it comes to promoting and marketing the event to potential attendees and shoppers?
Any: Precisely some of the challenges we were just talking about (finding balance, dealing with schedules and positions, etc.), but another important challenge is trying to improve or introduce something new and original for the customers like we did with the new building. Definitely attracting public attention is our main objective, and that’s becoming something harder and harder, but everything always goes well thanks to our very united team!
Oema: How do you ensure that the event continues to offer fresh and exciting experiences for both designers and attendees each month?
Any: Well, we don’t have a specific theme for each round like some other events, because we don’t want to limit the creativity of designers. Instead, we offer 49L$ and 99L$ sales, in addition to exclusive products. I think these offers are a good option for both customers and designers. In fact, we were the first event to introduce this sales system during one of our rounds. Initially, we had the 49L$ sale and this year we implemented the 99L$ sale. We don’t usually have huge giveaways because Dubai is a humble event and we are still growing. However, with the help of some big and established designers, we hope to bring that to the public in the future. For example, in this April round, we are offering 4 Lelutka heads, 4 LeLAPEAU Skins fatpacks, and 4 Ebody bodies, in addition to exclusive items from the majority of designers participating in the event.
Oema: Can you share any success stories of designers who have participated in the event in the past and gone on to achieve greater recognition or sales as a result?
Any: Dubai has always been a platform for beginner designers because we believe it’s important to give everyone a chance, just as we would like others to do for us. I think it’s fair to do so. It’s a pleasure for me to see many of them become successful brands and continue to participate in Dubai today.
Oema: How do you measure the success of the event from a commercial standpoint, and what metrics do you use to gauge its effectiveness?
Any: Well, from a commercial standpoint, success is based on sales. If the designer is satisfied, they are more motivated to offer a better quality product, which is very important. If they get more sales, the client is happy, and the designer is happy for their sales, so both parties will likely repeat in Dubai. This creates a circle of success. Additionally, traffic gives us an idea of how the round is going. Usually, like all events, the first few days are busy, then it decreases but remains steady.
Oema: How did you select the mesh builder who created the new structure for the event, and what inspired the design and style of the structure?
Any: Oh, that was easy. We chose Bersten, who is an excellent builder and a close friend. His work is awesome and very detailed, and the quality of his mesh is amazing. The way he handles lights and shadows is something he does exceptionally well, which was important for us given the context of Dubai. We had a clear vision of the design we were looking for, inspired by an oasis. From a functional standpoint, it was important to have clean and well-visualized stands/booths from all angles. We received a lot of compliments on the new aesthetic of the event, so we couldn’t be happier.
Oema: Can you describe any unique features or design elements of the new structure, and how they contribute to the overall experience of the event?
Any: Once we had established our visualization goal, we aimed to create something distinctive and never before seen in Second Life. As the event is named after Dubai, we wanted to pay homage to the city while maintaining a clean and tasteful aesthetic. It’s easy to fall into the trap of luxurious extravagance, but we wanted the products to be the main focus of the event. As a result, we opted for simple and minimalist lines and colors based on the Arabic architectural style, using materials like sand, water, and stone to evoke the sensation of being in a modern, ethereal shopping avenue in the middle of the desert. Only Second Life can offer that experience, so why settle for more of the same? Additionally, we have decorated some corners with our designers’ merchandise that the public can use.
Oema: Finally, Any, what are your plans for the future of the Second Life Dubai shopping event, and how do you plan to build on the success of the current event to continue providing opportunities for original mesh designers and shoppers alike?
Any: The future is now, and it’s uncertain. However, our aim is to continue doing our best, as it has always been a good plan.
Dubai opens today, April 20th at 1 PM SLT.
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