Beta was not scheduled to start soon.
We are not in beta phase we are in Pre-Alpha available only to devs friends and family.
While there isn't currently anything to play publicly available to backers there are still many things that are encouraging involvement of the community including things such as community building, events/promotions, contests, Surname reservation, discord communities as well as their events pertaining to CoE, and more.
More events that should be available soon getting more people involved would be things like promotions, contests, events such as: Domain and settlement selection, personas, my Akashic records, and various other events. Currently players are able to lock in their server selection!
There are also coming soon future things to get backers even more involved and hands on in game including but not limited to: Alphas, Betas, Prelyria, Kingdoms of Elyria, Prologue, stress tests, and Exposition.
If you'd like more information on these events or anything here please feel free to ask