As nearly every industry attempts to shift its processes in response to COVID-19, event planning has been particularly shaken by the pandemic. While there’s no telling what will happen in the long-term future, it’s clear that hybrid events are an immediate solution to the question of how to return to a “new normal.”
The Importance of Hybrid Events
Hybrid events are those which are held both in-person and virtually to increase the attendance and reach. At this moment where the capacity of events is severely limited due to various restrictions and guidelines, hybrid events give planners the ability to appeal to much wider audiences without jeopardizing anyone’s health or safety.
The largest benefits of hybrid events right now include:
- The ability to allow for proper social distancing
- Reaching large audiences regardless of geography
- Providing users with an optimized experience that yields valuable data
All of this means that hybrid events are not just a momentary blip on the event planning radar, but a permanent fixture in the industry.
Why Hybrid Events Are Our Future
Hybrid events are likely to continue to grow in popularity for the immediate future because they allow audiences the option of viewing an event virtually or physically attending at the venue. This level of freedom is something that many guests appreciate, and it’s an accommodating feature that can be adjusted as needed in these times where guidelines are continually updating.
Another attractive aspect of hybrid events is that the content has been optimized so that the same social and learning experience is offered both in-person and virtually with the help of the right platform. That is to say, if an audience member opts to attend a hybrid event virtually, they will not simply be prompted to passively watch livestreams. Instead, virtual attendees of hybrid events have the opportunity to interact much in the same way that they would if they were physically at the event, scheduling events and participating in conversations unfolding in real time.
Despite the interactive virtual elements of hybrid events, the in-person audience is still an integral factor that won’t be eliminated. This allows speakers and presenters to still speak directly to an audience, making the entire event feel more authentic to all. Hybrid events prioritize the comfort of attendees, giving them a high degree of control over their experience.
What Can We Expect from Hybrid Events?
As the country slowly but surely reopens, large in-person events will not resume for some time; this means that hybrid events are likely to become standard for the immediate future. We’ll likely see an increasing number of hybrid events featuring relatively small in-person audiences coupled with much larger groups of virtual attendees; it’s possible that the hybrid event trend will continue long after COVID-19 has run its course.
Along with more hybrid events will come more data; these insights will be instrumental in shaping businesses’ digital strategies. More analytics mean more focused, specialized marketing plans, so it’s likely that businesses will find they gain immense value from holding hybrid events.
Adopting the right hybrid event tools, such as MeetingPlay, c
an help push high engagement from their hybrid events. When virtual attendees have the opportunity to network, chat, and participate as fluidly as if they were physically at an event, they’ll gain far more value from the content and the experience.
Hybrid events may not have been on some event planners’ radars as recently as a year ago, but there’s no question that this type of event will dominate the industry’s immediate future.