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Chris Pfaff delivers keynote at TV Technology’s tvtech summit – ‘Why You Should Care About the Metaverse’

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Tom Butts (left) and Chris Pfaff (right) at the virtual tvtech Summit – March 29, 2023

Chris Pfaff was the keynote speaker at TV Technology’s tvtech Summit, a virtual half-day event on March 29, 2023 that featured leaders in the production technology industry, in a conversation with TV Technology editor-in-chief Tom Butts. Titled ‘Why You Should Care About the Metaverse,’ the March 29th conversation dove into topics regarding persistent computing, VR and AR, and some definitional discussion over the course of 30 minutes.

You can watch the entire discussion at:

Tom Butts wrote this preview (see below) in TV Technology, which was published on March 23, 2023.


Summit Preview: Explore the Metaverse with Chris Pfaff


On Wednesday, March 29, TV Tech will be holding its Spring TV Tech Summit, a series of keynote conversations, panel discussions and case studies covering the latest advances in Media and Entertainment tech.

Opening the summit, TV Tech Editor in Chief Tom Butts will talk with Chris Pfaff, founder of Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC, and a leading new media and technology producer and strategist on “Why You Should Care about the Metaverse.”

Chris’s 30+ year background in the industry makes him uniquely qualified to speak about this technology which (some would characterize) as “emerging” for more than a decade.

For those of us who think the metaverse is just another name for virtual reality, Chris is ready to debunk that trope.

“The metaverse is a shared decentralized digital space where you can meet, create and share a personalized experience,” he said. “But you can do that in  virtual reality and in other technologies as well. And I think that someday soon, perhaps not that many years from now we will have more projectable holograms that will reflect how people currently view the future of the metaverse.

“What makes the metaverse different from virtual reality is that it has to be immersive and it has to be persistent,” Chris added. “It has to have some community which may have some connections to what you experience in the physical world. It doesn’t have to be a simulacrum of what you do in the physical world where you are just ‘layering on.’”

Making the metaverse more immersive is key, not just to entertain us but to educate us as well, Chris says

“For example, if you were studying meteorology or cosmology and somebody was teaching you about the stratosphere and the ionosphere, using the metaverse to provide a more fully immersive kind of experience could really revolutionize the way we communicate and teach,” he added.


Master Class on Hybrid and Virtual Event Production with Chris Pfaff, Alex Lindsay, Daniel Houze, and John Porterfield

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The virtual and hybrid event production industry has benefitted from learnings forced upon it by the pandemic. Mostly, this involved the assurance that video delivery had reliability and Quality of Service (QoS). Interactivity, virtual backgrounds and immersive extensions delivered greater capabilities for audiences and producers alike. This was the background for the February 14, 2023 Streaming Media Connect session. ‘How to Do Virtual and Hybrid Events Right,’ moderated by Chris Pfaff and featuring John Porterfield, webcast producer from Social180 Group; Alex Lindsay, head of operations with 090 Media, and Dan Houze, VP, encoding & digital strategy with BCLive.

You can watch the entire session at:

Tyler Nesler, writer for, wrote such an excellent encapsulation of the session, that I am including it here for your reading:

Hybrid events have become much more common since the pandemic, but they have not proven to be as effective or engaging as in-person events. What are some of the issues that prevent the best QoE for hybrid participants, and how can they be remedied? Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech MediaVR AR Association (VRARA), discusses these issues with Alex Lindsay, Head of Operations, 090 Media, and Dan Houze, VP, Encoding & Digital Strategy, BC Live in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

Chris Pfaff begins by pointing out that it was not too long ago that streamed live events were audio-only, and that it was only just before the pandemic that video began to be widely incorporated into the experience for virtual audiences. The pandemic accelerated the process of developing higher-quality streaming video at scale. However, even with the leap of improvements for QoE, much remains left to be desired. “I think for any event that you’re talking about, whether it’s a corporate event [or] a concert, that’s a huge issue,” he says. “So I really want to start with that as a topic because when we’re all involved in these events, I think we’re very forgiving. But you know, scale is such a huge part of this.” He asks Alex Lindsay of 090 Media, “What’s your take on how far we’ve come in terms of really getting that quality experience and that scale?”

“I think we’re starting to get there,” Lindsay says. “[But] I think we’re sliding backward a little bit. You know, now people want to come back into the room, and I think that the ways we’re coming back into the room have been sliding us back into the 2015, 2016 range.” He laughs and says, “You know, I’ve been doing this a bit longer than ma ny people…”

“We can tell by the gear behind you!” Pfaff says.

“2008, 2009 is when we really started streaming video,” Lindsay says. “And the main thing is that we aren’t doing it that much better now in some cases when we go back to physical events.” He refers to webinars such as Streaming Media Connect, “A lot of these events are starting to work. The problem is that there’s data that we have from 10 years ago that told us that the hybrid events weren’t working, and they’re still not working.”

Pfaff says, “So as an adjunct, that you’re a second-class citizen if you’re not in the room, you should be happy that there’s a camera with a terrible angle of five people on a stage. Is that what we’re talking about?”

“Yeah,” Lindsay says. “When we started, it made sense. You know, we’re streaming Dreamforce, and there’s 15,000 people in the room and 300 people watching, you are second class…”

“For those who don’t know, Dreamforce is Salesforce,” Pfaff says. “It’s Salesforce’s mondo over-the-top annual event.”

Lindsay emphasizes that the core issue is a virtual audience’s sense of not being fully connected to a live event, which ultimately colors their perception of the event’s significance. In that situation, he says, “They don’t feel like the event’s important. They don’t feel like the product is important. They don’t feel like a lot of these things are important, and we don’t talk enough [about that].”

“So you’re saying that in some respect, there’s a brand disconnect?” Pfaff says. That you’re damaging your brand to some extent?”

Lindsay notes that not only does this sense of disconnect damage the brand, but it hampers enthusiasm for virtual participants to return to the event. “It’s the most devastating way to do this because they don’t complain,” he says. “People who complain care about the event, they want it to be better. People who don’t complain oftentimes are just disappearing. We’ve called them and said, ‘Hey, why didn’t you come?’ ‘Well, I was just busy.’ You know, it wasn’t like ‘I’m mad that I felt like I was in the back of the room…’”

Pfaff points out that accessibility is also a critical issue that does not get enough attention. He asks Dan Houze of BC Live about his insights into audience accessibility, not just for digital-first events like webinars but particularly for hybrid events.

Houze narrows the accessibility issue down to consumer versus internal audiences. “I think that a lot of times the virtual shows we’re doing, or the hybrid shows or digital-first shows that we’re doing are sort of just corporate-driven and they’re sort of internal meetings,” he says. “It’s not necessarily launching a keynote for a new product or something like that.”

Lindsay agrees but contends that engagement matters no matter what the type of hybrid event, even corporate ones. “You still have to keep all the employees going in the same direction,” he says. “When you create an event where they don’t feel important, you’re not getting quite the same charge out of your corporate event.”


Chris Pfaff produces/moderates the ‘Building Infrastructure for a Better Metaverse: How to Ensure Seamless VR and AR Experiences’ panel – at the VR AR Association Metaverse event – December 17, 2021

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated the ‘Building Infrastructure for a Better Metaverse: How to Ensure Seamless VR and AR Experiences’ panel at the VR AR Association’s Metaverse Platforms & Avatars event, on December 17, 2021, with panelists including:

  • Cindy Mallory, emerging tech strategist, American Tech Services/chairman, New York Chapter, VR AR Association
  • Aaron Pulkka, producer, Pulkka Creative/co-chairman, Location-Based Entertainment Committee, VR AR Association
  • Marcin Klimek, CEO/co-founder, ExplodedView/chapter president, Poland, VR AR Association
  • Luis Bravo Martins, CMO, Kit-AR/former co-chapter president, Portugal, VR AR Association
  • Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC/co-chairman, Storytelling Committee, VR AR Association (moderator)

This session discussed the tools and methodologies necessary for more adaptive and readily integrated VR and AR experiences, across the enterprise, consumer, and industrial domains. Breakthrough design, including UX/UI and UE, as well as accessible WebXR and AR, were also discussed, as pathways to a more inclusive and seamless immersive future.

Cindy Mallory (upper row, left); Aaron Pulkka (upper row, right); Luis Bravo Martins (middle row, left); Chris Pfaff (middle row, right), and Marcin Klimek (bottom row)

Aaron Pulkka shows off recent work, Cryptostream

Aaron Pulkka discusses his work with Amber Labs

Marcin Klimek shows off a cat avatar

Luis Martins shows off some AR for industrial use



Chris Pfaff produces/moderates ‘Producing in XR: How to Navigate Challenges’ at VR AR Global Summit Online North America – June 4, 2021

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated the ‘Producing in XR: How to Navigate Challenges’ panel at the VR AR Association‘s VR AR Global Summit Online North America, on Friday, June 4, 2021, with three of the leading producers in the VR/AR space, including: Voyelle Acker, from Small CreativeTupac Martir, from SATORE STUDIO, and Michael Owen, from MediaCombo.

You can watch the full panel at:

The group discussed how VR/AR producers are having to overcome challenges regarding on-set production, approval in VR app stores, and navigation of evolving mobile AR technologies to deliver compelling stories for audiences that are more distanced than ever.

Voyelle Acker, from Small Creative

Voyelle shows off recent work

Michael Owen, from MediaCombo

Michael Owen shows off the Morgan Library AR tour

Tupac Martir, from Satore Studio

Tupac Martir shows off recent work

Chris Pfaff moderates ‘The Multi-Device, Multi-Platform Challenge’ at Streaming Media West Connect – November 4, 2021

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Chris Pfaff moderated ‘The Multi-Device, Multi-Platform Challenge’ at Streaming Media West Connect on November 4, 2021, with panelists including:

  • Rema Morgan-Aluko from Fandango
  • Aaron Rosenthal from Conviva
  • Byron Saltysiak from WarnerMedia
  • Nick Colsey from Sony Electronics

You can watch the entire session at:


Byron Saltysiak (upper left); Chris Pfaff (upper row, 2nd from left); Aaron Rosenthal (upper row, 2nd from right); Rema Morgan-Aluko (upper row, right); Nick Colsey (lower row, left), and Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (lower row, right)


Chris Pfaff moderates ‘Subscription Fatigue: Are There Too Many OTT Services?’ at Streaming Media West 2021 – November 1, 2021

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Chris Pfaff moderated the ‘Subscription Fatigue: Are There Too Many OTT Services?’ panel at Streaming Media West 2021 on November 1, 2021. An incredibly diverse panel that featured Jeff Allen, from ShortsTVJeanne Sachs, from PentheraRivka Golomb, from WarnerMedia, and Paul Pastor, from STRUUM.

You can view the entire session at:

Chris Pfaff (upper row, 2nd from left); Jeff Allen (upper row, 2nd from right); Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (upper row, far right); Jeanne Sachs (lower row, right); Rivka Golomb (lower row, middle), and Paul Pastor (lower row, right).


Chris Pfaff produces and moderates ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ panel at VR AR Global Summit Online, Europe – October 1, 2021

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated the ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ panel at the VR AR Global Summit Online, Europe, on Friday, October 1, 2021, with some of the leading producers of virtual theatre and dance:

 Lorne Svarc, CEO/artistic director, Technodramatists

– Kiira Benzing, director/producer, Double Eye Studios

– Brandon Powers, creative director/choreographer, Brandon Powers Projects

– Blair Russell, theatre producer, Blair Russell Productions/producer, Crux

This panel discussed the emergence of XR theatre production, including VR and AR integration with narrative original and adaptive works, as well as how to blend XR technologies with live and virtual audiences. The theatre world has developed communities for live, virtual productions that will continue to evolve as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

The full panel can be viewed at:

Kiira Benzing (upper left); Brandon Powers (upper middle); Blair Russell (upper right); Lorne Svarc (lower left), Chris Pfaff (lower right)

Brandon Powers shows off virtual choreography

Kiira Benzing discusses her Virtual Repertory Theatre

Blair Russell shows off recent work

Lorne Svarc discusses Technodramatists’ work

Lorne Svarc shows off some of Technodramatists’ landmark ‘AliBi’ production

Chris Pfaff produces and moderates ‘Producing in XR: How to Navigate Challenges’ panel at VR AR Global Summit Online, Europe – September 29, 2021

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated the ‘Producing in XR: How to Navigate Challenges’ panel at the VR AR Global Summit Online, Europe, on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, with some of the leading global producers of VR and AR content:

– Tupac Martir, founder, Satore Studio

– Michael Owen, co-founder/principal, MediaCombo

– Rafael Pavon, creative director, The Mill

The group discussed their experiences in overcoming production and distribution challenges in various VR and AR projects, including a recent NFT project by Tupac Martir.

You can view the entire panel at:

Michael Owen shows some of his 360-degree documentary production of Lake Baikal

Rafael Pavon shows some of his amazing work on ‘Memoria,’ inside the La Garma cave in Spain

Tupac Martir shows off a VR NFT sculpture

Tupac Martir in action

Tupac Martir shows off ‘Dr. Crumb and the School of Disobedient Pets’

Michael Owen shows off recent work

Chris Pfaff appears on Production Finance panel at Catalyst Story Festival – October 1, 2021

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Chris Pfaff appeared on the production finance panel at the Catalyst Story Institute Festival (at the Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth, Minnesota) on Friday, October 1, 2021 with (left to right):

Seitu Jemel Hart, CEO, Careers in Entertainment, Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC, Michelle MillerViviana Zarragoitia, VP at Three Point CapitalSonja O’Hara, from Bohème Film, and Matthew Valentinas, Esq., Of Counsel at Sennott, Williams and Rogers, LLP. Many thanks to Philip Gilpin, Jr., Nikki Coble, and Jennifer Plotzke, and the entire Catalyst Story Institute team for producing an exceptional four days of exuberant creativity.

Chris Pfaff and Viviana Zarragoitia before the panel

Viviana Zarragoitia discusses film financing as Michelle Miller (near left), Sonja O’Hara, and Matthew Valentinas (right) listen

Sonja O’Hara discusses financing of her projects

Chris Pfaff moderates ‘Live Events in the New Normal’ panel at Streaming Media Connect 2021 – August 26, 2021

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Chris Pfaff moderated the ‘Live Events in the ‘New Normal’ panel at the Streaming Media Magazine Connect event, on Thursday, August 26, 2021, with Bonnie Comley, CEO/founder of BroadwayHD; Fabrice Sergent, managing partner of Bandsintown Group, and Jordan Gremli, VP, artist development at DICE.

The panel discussed the return of live events to venues across the globe, yet the virtual live market – music, theater, dance – has been alive and well since the start of the pandemic, and will likely evolve into a hybrid model for venue owners, artists, promoters, and audiences.

You can watch the full panel at:

Bonnie Comley (upper left), Chris Pfaff (upper middle), Jordan Gremli (upper right), Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (bottom left), Fabrice Sergent (bottom right)