In the past few years, event planning has changed in so many ways. In-person events are still largely on hold and their staying power remains unclear. Many people are looking forward to the resurrection of face-to-face events and less time spent in front of the screen. On the other hand, there are plenty of others who prefer to participate remotely for a variety of reasons.
While the future is uncertain, the shift to a digital mindset is quite blatant. Whatever the new normal will be, it won’t be anything like our pre-2020 expectations. In this transformation process, companies face a dilemma regarding event format: should it remain virtual or should they slowly switch to face-to-face?
While virtual events are part of the plan for nearly every event marketer, hybrid events are taking centre stage. Virtual event trends for 2022 include blending these models into more hybrid events. 73% of event marketers say they expect hybrid events to be more prevalent than ever.
Hybrid Events are the perfect bridge between virtual and online. They are a convergence of virtual and in-person events that allow audiences to tune in and participate no matter where they are. In other words, Hybrid Events let you have the best of both worlds: those who want to attend in person can do so, while remote attendees can participate digitally through channels like virtual event booths and video conferencing.
Engagement is possible the most important aspect of Hybrid events. It is what set them apart from the TED talk video on YouTube for example. The essential ingredient to hosting the hybrid event is to give your live and online audience equal importance and to have a seamless integration of technology to facilitate participation between them. To deliver a high-quality experience, event planners need to make sure they have a robust virtual venue platform.
So why should you host a hybrid event? Are they worth the extra resources needed? Here are 5 benefits to consider:
Hosting a Hybrid event lets you find potential business partners from anywhere. Hosting Hybrid events actually entails saving 50% event costs compared to one-event-at-one-time in the past. The hybrid event is a chance to get more attendees and convert more leads compared to in-person.
Instead of finding a large enough event space for everyone, you only need to do so for a fraction of the attendee list. For Example, Meetingbox’s Event Solutions lets you host from 10 to 20,000 attendees anywhere. What you need is only a place for a physical venue for another fraction of attendees.
Hybrid events are a great way to extend your potential audience reach. Unlike traditional in-person gatherings, which have limitations due to the physical location of their event venue and time restrictions on when registration opens for entry into that specific conference/meeting etc...Hybrid events can bolster attendance: extending potential audience reach to the globe, without the limitation of time and geography, people are more likely to register for your event.
Boosting event engagement is no longer rocket science. You may think that webinars are just one-way communication, however, some webinar tools are now tackling the engagement issues in creative ways. For example, Meetingbox has functions to chat on a one-to-one level, group level, and moderated level. Of course, stream polls and creating interactive Q&As with every webinar are also standard features allowing you to create more experience during talks. On a more complex engagement level, Meetingbox incorporates applications that allow for interaction with a series of pre-recorded content, as well as video calling and 1:1 meetings.
With engagement boosting functions like this, your hybrid event isn’t passive listening and just sitting there anymore.
The beauty of hybrid events is that you can create demand generation simply by pushing the event content on social media. With the social media algorithms, attendees' friends and followers will hear about your business too. It means that you can promote to them with fewer sales intent, more entertaining recorded event content for demand generation.
When hosting in-person events it is very challenging to determine if you’ve successfully hit your goals and targets, however, when you add a virtual element to your event you can see valuable insights with your hybrid event registration. Did the attendance rate meet your expectations? Where did they come from? When they attended, for how long, what they watched and so much more. You can use this data to review your promotional tactics, Justify your event ROI, and maybe acquire new sponsors.