The Covid-19 pandemic has got in the way of many businesses.
Companies have had to adapt to social distancing, create forms of remote work, and accelerate digital transformation.
While some of these changes are already over us, others will be around for some time. This is the case with hybrid events.
As we learn how to fight Covid-19, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic are, in some locations, receding. Therefore, many events are being held in person again, while some people are still wary of returning to “normal life”.
For this reason, many events are planned in a hybrid format, that is, with the characteristics of online and face-to-face events. But will this be the reality from now on? How do we prepare for this type of event?
These are the questions we will analyze in this article. We will address the following points:
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event combines the characteristics of personal and virtual events.
They can have different arrangements, but in practice, The main hybrid event model is held in person with simultaneous broadcasting and online interaction.
These events can be concerts, theatrical performances, and sports, but in this article, we are mostly referring to business events, such as lectures, courses, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, and conferences.
Traditionally, this type of event has always been face-to-face. In them, it is possible to attend speeches of specialists, carry out communication, meet with partners and suppliers, get acquainted with the latest developments in the market.
Thanks to technology, a few years ago, they were converted into online events, with courses and webinars, for example.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have migrated to the online domain to enable the holding of business events and maintain their schedule in the context of the social distance imposed by the Corona virus.
When face-to-face activities resumed, companies began to adopt a hybrid model of events, which relies on face-to-face activities and virtual participation of the audience.
Again, thanks to technology, it is possible to adopt different models to adapt to other realities.
However, it is also necessary to understand other characteristics of these events. Some people may think that it is enough to make the recorded content available after lectures or live broadcasts. But this is not entirely true.
It must be a hybrid event well planned Rely on technology and equipment.
The online submission and the remote trial must have the same quality as the live experience so that all participants can participate in the event.
You’ll see tips on creating a memorable hybrid event later in this article.
Why hold hybrid events? Understand 6 main advantages
Even outside the context of a pandemic, hybrid events have advantages, demonstrating that they can continue to be adopted in the coming years.
Here are the benefits to your company when holding hybrid events:
1. Wider access
Hybrid events have the potential to attract a larger number of attendees. After all, they have no limits when it comes to reaching out to people.
You can serve those who like to attend events in person and those who are not in the same cityOr you can’t navigate, feel insecure about crowds, or simply prefer remote participation.
2. Attractive Sponsors
The wider range of attendees makes the event more attractive to partners, supporters and sponsors.
For them, it is also important to display their brand to more people and connect with more potential customers.
In addition, hybrid events can offer more innovative and attractive forms of Care and the relationship between the public and sponsors.
This goes beyond mere branding and incorporates online interactions into their actions.
3. Better use of content
Mixed events can make better use of content than face-to-face events.
Suppose you are going to record all your lectures and presentations, for example. In this case, you can offer an access package to the registration after the event and monetize this on-demand content.
In addition, this content can turn into social media posts and materials to share with your audience on digital channels.
In other words, it becomes high quality content To take care of leads in your sales funnel.
So, while personal events have a day and time to end, hybrid production can still expand long after that.
4. Public safety
Hybrid events also provide additional security for those who do not feel comfortable sharing enclosed spaces with other attendees.
In face-to-face events, these people simply will not participate.
Hybrid events allow them to enjoy all the content without being exposed to the dangers of coronavirus and other diseases.
5. Better return on investment
Hybrid events offer a better return on investment (ROI), mainly due to their greater reach and scalability.
You can reach more people and earn more sponsors without investing more.
In addition, you can reduce the costs of a face-to-face event By working with smaller venues because you don’t need to host all attendees in person.
6. Security in the face of odds
No one expected a pandemic in 2019. But this was just one of the many possibilities that could occur and threaten your schedule.
Public transportation problems, storms, or even another virus on a global scale can make it difficult for your audience to attend again.
Therefore, planning a face-to-face event without online streaming infrastructure can be risky.
On the other hand, when you are planning a mixed event, You have a guarantee that it can happen online if any of these issues occur.
Why will hybrid events be a reality in 2022?
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as face-to-face activities begin to occur again, hybrid events have become the solution to engaging the public.
Since many people feel insecure about sharing enclosed spaces with other participants, the idea is to give them the option to follow the action without leaving home.
But, as we’ve seen, this type of event is likely to be used in the future even if the pandemic is over for good. Therefore, 2022 is expected to be the year of hybrid events.
According to the Future of Events in 2020, 3 out of 4 participants (74%) said they had a hybrid event planned within the next 12 months – a higher percentage than only face-to-face events (70%).
Furthermore, 95% agreed that the hybrid approach will be widely used in the coming years.
Therefore, the event industry and companies planning to move to the digital world should prepare in this field.
If this market really has to reinvent itself during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that hybrid events will mobilize new strategies to provide the best attendee experience.
How are hybrid events held?
People are looking for valuable experiences both in physical environments and online.
With life getting increasingly faster and faster, they want to make sure they focus their time on something worthwhile.
The hybrid approach must meet these expectations and requirements.
Despite this, few companies have experience with hybrid events. Therefore, there are still many challenges to be overcome in order to satisfy the attendees and achieve good results.
In the next section, you will find tips on dealing with this type of event. Check them out!
1. Plan a mixed event from the start
Some companies fall into the trap of planning a face-to-face event and only include last minute live broadcasts.
In general, this causes problems because a hybrid event requires planning actions beyond live transmissions and a series of precautions to run smoothly.
Without this, the experience of remote participants tends to be compromised.
Therefore, consider the hybrid approach from the beginning of event planning.
This way, you can design an event that focuses entirely on Person And consider every detail to impress the participants.
2. Provide valuable experience
One of the major problems with mixed event planning is the neglect of the telepresence experience.
Companies often still focus on the face-to-face event, while the online event boils down to a live broadcast, often with audio and connectivity issues.
The Future of Events report showed that creating an equally good physical and digital experience for attendees is the biggest challenge for mixed events.
While this is a huge drawback, it will make your event different and fun.
Therefore, think of attending the same way no matter how they attend the event. They should feel well taken care of, interested in the content, and engaged in the possibilities of interaction.
This way, everyone feels connected and appreciated.
3. Create online interaction experiences
Remote attendees should also feel immersed in the event, not just an isolated audience. Therefore, think about ways in which the online audience interacts with the event.
But don’t leave the audience in person. They also want differentiated experiences that go beyond the passive audience.
So online interactions can also integrate those who live in the action.
You can offer, for example, an event platform or app that promotes questions, polls, quizzes, chats, gimmicks, and other interactive content.
Also, since communication is such a key component of events, think about how in-person attendees and remote attendees can be combined so they can interact.
4. Introducing new forms of care
Next to the audience, consider the experience of the sponsors.
They can also take advantage of new sponsorship possibilities that lead to brand visibility and audience engagement.
For example, if you’re using an event app, you can offer brand spaces on these platforms.
In addition, mixed events allow sponsors to enhance interactions with attendees and build a relationship with them after the event.
5. Good transportation infrastructure
The technology used to transmit the event online must be efficient. Don’t just rely on your cell phone to broadcast your corporate event.
Cameras, microphones, sound and lighting mixer, and a stable internet connection are necessary to ensure picture, sound, and transmission quality.
You will also need a file broadcast live a program. In some cases, this is integrated with an event platform, or you can broadcast via YouTube or social networks if they are relevant to your strategy.
Also, do not think that one person can do all this. It is usually necessary to have a professional video production team with experience in this type of event and equipment.
6. Test all equipment and tools
Before holding the event, make sure everything is working properly. Test the audio and video equipment, check if the connection is solid and if the platforms are integrated.
Of course, unexpected events can happen. But a good review of all equipment and tools reduces the chances of problems.
In any case, always try to have a backup plan to overcome these unexpected challenges And not to jeopardize the experience of the participants in the event.
Adapting to mixed events is a necessity for today’s business.
Event technology and the live broadcast industry already allow you to create valuable experiences with this type of event and meet the growing expectations of attendees.
But to do so, new approaches in presenting business events have to be adopted.
If the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many companies to accelerate digital transformation, it is time to seize the opportunities that this new reality presents.
Now that you know all about hybrid events, how about discovering them How to Use Live Events in Your ABM Strategy? Check out our article on the topic!