Covid-19 restrictions have hit the entertainment and events industry particularly hard with lockdown and if there is anything event planners today know to be true is that making connections in-person is an influential thing and requires a lot of effort. But for several reasons, it seems quite impossible to have many people under the same roof. When the pandemic hit, it came with the pressure to host virtual events with the same production quality and opportunities for interaction as an in-person event. And that’s when virtual events became the new normal.
What did Hybrid Events look like before COVID-19?
For years, large-scale events with thousands of attendees often took live streaming onto an existing physical event to reach millions of more people than they normally would.
What is a hybrid event?
Now, it’s time to make way for a different type of event that is a hybrid event. There would be various situations, same as this global pandemic where conducting a virtual event would be the only option left. Hybrid events have the power to connect across borders and boundaries. So firstly it’s important to understand what these events are and how they work effectively. Hybrid events bring together two fundamental elements of face-to-face and virtual events together. It basically features a group of people who physically attend the event whereas other groups of people connect or join virtually into it. So that’s how this type of event combines both in-person and virtual experiences. Whether you are planning to host a virtual concert, conference, webinar, or tradeshow, an interactive hybrid event platform serves all purposes. For example, delivering a message top-down to a global audience –a hybrid event platform lets you do this very easily, in real-time and helps you bring together an appropriately sized regional, national or global audience under one roof virtually and then creating a desirable impact
Around the nation workspaces and offices that have capacity restrictions, hybrid meeting paves the way for many attendees to be at work making the experience more realistic for everyone.
Some real-life examples of Hybrid events-
1) A famous event that went hybrid in 2020 was the Yellow Conference. Since 2014, this annual event has brought women together who are passionate about doing meaningful work, growing their businesses, and pursuing personal development. Each year, this event features exciting:
- Breakout sessions
- Interactive activities
While COVID-19 took some of these activities off the table, the Yellow Conference decided to try something new. Rather than canceling or postponing the event, they opted for a virtual event.
2) If there’s one company that’s known for its innovative spirit, it’s Apple. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Apple has been doing hybrid events for years. From Apple’s perspective, sharing this event virtually is a powerful marketing strategy.
3) DigiMarCon is two-day digital marketing, media, and advertising conference. As the largest conference and exhibition, it attracts many marketers from across the world.
Why opt hybrid?
Although online events have brought a seachange in the industry, it has also proved to be a remedy to several event-based issues, not only for the organizers but for the attendees as well. Ultimately, the transition has been a big learning curve for delegates and organizers, something all the companies should be able to address and adapt over time because of the vast scope and benefits.
1) Reduces Cost – Hybrid events help in reducing the cost for every party involved.
Now people do not have to travel for long hours to attend any event; with the help of technology, they can simply join in from any corner of the world.
2) Increased Reach – Hybrid Meeting Platform increases the reach and gains maximum possible attendees. It allows sharing the event content or some part of it on digital platforms that helps it in tapping a huge spectrum of audiences residing in remote areas.
3) Enhanced convenience for attendees – These events also give an astonishing opportunity to the virtual audience to interact actively via polls or Q&A sessions meaning they can conveniently interact with the guest as well as other attendees in the event.
4) Opportunity for Smaller Companies to Make Huge Impact – Companies with smaller marketing budgets can produce quality and engaging events and reach a larger audience with a limited budget when they host virtual events.
5) Increased ROI – Optimizing an event’s return on investment (ROI) is a goal for many event planners. By choosing a hybrid event style, this task becomes a lot easier as analytics and metrics can be gained and analyzed once the event is done.
What Can We Expect from Hybrid Events ?
All those who had been following the old-school ways of hosting events have accepted this revolutionary change. Event professionals say that the future of events is hybrid. They have already started to pitch for hybrid events. Hybrid events cannot replace face-to-face meetings but can definitely add an additional component with probably more acceptance in the near future. A Hybrid event’s format, setup, and features not only make it an easy and user-friendly alternative to physical shows, but also the one that holds valuable prospects for future generations. Being forced into utilizing hybrid events much more frequently has given us the opportunity to create new ways for us to run conferences and events, and it won’t be temporary. It has introduced a new and exciting fundamental change in how events will work in the future. So virtual events offer a terrific alternative when meeting in person isn’t possible.