Nothing compares to in-person meetings, but when it’s off the table, how can the event organizers create something that can leave an impact on their audience? The answer is a virtual and hybrid event. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, many event organizers had to act quickly to adapt their plans to protect the health and safety of the customers, attendees, sponsors, and staff. Many organizers postponed their events, some cancelled their events, and others virtualized their events.
Hybrid events bring virtual and in-person events together that allow audiences to join and participate worldwide. Those interested in attending in person can do so, while remote attendees can take part virtually through channels like virtual event booths and video conferencing. Such flexibility is perhaps the most important advantage of adopting hybrid events for the future.
The primary goal of any hybrid event is to provide attendees with an immersive experience, no matter how they wish to join the event. Hybrid events work well because all attendees have access to the same event content and have equal opportunities to engage with presenters and other attendees. Highlighting below are some of the good reasons and benefits to plan and host a hybrid event:
Create interactive content:
Since the events have gone virtual, organizers have learned that content is the king. The power of accessible, good content has proven promising in attracting attendees. Hybrid events help diversify event content with different perspectives, unlocking a broader route for conversation between attendees and presenters. Providing content equally to virtual and in-person attendees in a hybrid event can boost networking and foster meaningful business relationships.
- Market to both groups:
It is essential to focus and treat both groups equally, leading to an outstanding experience for the attendees no matter where they attend it. Marketing your event to your target audience provides a solid platform to attract more in-person and virtual attendees for a hybrid event. Marketing the content, events, and promotions in advance, during, and post the show will ensure attendees are better engaged.
- Integrate Virtual Tools To Your Event Platform:
As you bridge the gap between in-person and virtual event attendees, connecting your virtual tools like social media, breakout rooms, live Q&As, and polls to your event platform is equally important. All these tools allow better continuity when planning a hybrid event hence increase your hosting efficiency and keep all your data in one place.
- Highly scalable and flexible:
The most common thing that people assume about hybrid events is that the audience must either attend virtually or join in person, but not both. In reality, mixed events provide a scale to reach even more attendees. For example, if an attendee cannot join in person due to travel constraints, they can join virtually, which is the best possible thing for a hybrid event. Plus, there’s no restriction to add virtual attendees to an event, whereas in-person venues can only accommodate a finite number.
- Analytics at the fingertips:
When an onsite event happens, it isn’t easy to get a hold of everything that unfolds. Things are more straightforward in virtual events. Virtual event platforms can accumulate real-time user activity data, showing when a person joined a live session, their locations, how many attendees used the live chat and networking options, who got in touch with a particular sponsor, etc. With more data, it becomes easier to gauge the success of the event. Almond VIRTEX is a hybrid event platform that measures virtual and in-person event data that proves highly valuable during and post the event.
Virtual events and presentations helped reduce carbon footprint drastically and enabled more people to attend with minimal cost to the environment. Hybrid events, similar to virtual events, are much more sustainable than in-person events. For example, instead of having 25000 attendees joining for an in-person event, have 5000 on-site and 20000 joining remotely. Without sacrificing reach, hybrid events encourage less travel, minimum space and require few resources to host an event.
- Effective networking:
A hybrid event is a unique way to bring more people together and increase engagement. Creating online communities using social channels like LinkedIn or Facebook or an event networking app will lead to audience interaction even before the event begins. Promoting exchange at your event before, during, and post your event can be leveraged to increase attendance and audience interaction. Lasting impressions help generate more business, brand loyalty and affinity, ideas from the audience, and much more.
Statistical data suggests that the Event Manager Blog on future events reveals that over 70% of event organizers will organize hybrid events in the future. In case if Covid-19 flares up again, companies can protect themselves by using the hybrid model. Hybrid events unlock the ability to do more and think more. It helps reach and engage a larger audience with the same or fewer resources compared to in-person events. As the event planners chart the future of events, hybrid events will be central to everything they do.