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Hybrid Events- The Way of the Future?

How We Got Here

Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has somehow found its way into virtually every aspect of our lives. And by no means do in-person events get any breaks. When the first outbreak occurred in the spring of 2020, the world was quarantined. As a result, companies have closed, events have been postponed or canceled, and social distancing measures have been implemented.

After the release of Covid-19 vaccines, live events were anticipated to slowly fill up our calendars again. Yet, unfortunately, along came the Delta variant. In an unexpected change of events, the hope for live events was once again questioned.

Despite the fact that vaccinations are becoming more widely available, virtual events have shown to be valuable. They’re not only safe, but they’re also cost-effective and convenient. Fully virtual events may not maintain their popularity in a post-pandemic future where social isolation and mask mandates are no longer the norm, but hybrid events will.

Hybrid Events: What Are They?

Many consider hybrid events to be the best of both worlds. They combine the rich, engaging experiences of a live event with the cost-saving, accessibility, and convenience of a virtual event. For obvious reasons, this is likely to become the new standard.

When compared to entirely virtual or in-person events, nearly half of those attending corporate events view hybrid to be the ideal event format in the future. These findings are confirmed by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). When asked how they plan to manage their meetings in the coming year, three out of five respondents said they anticipate holding at least one hybrid meeting this year. Firms are paying attention and making plans appropriately; in 2021, 58 percent of businesses expect to hold a combination of virtual and in-person events.

What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Events?

Hybrid events have numerous advantages. Many guests tend to have varying levels of comfort in being in a large group environment, especially in today’s rapidly changing health environment. Thankfully, hybrid events provide opportunities for those attending to decide if they are more comfortable in-person or online.

This also allows an event to be open to people from all over the world, rather than simply those who reside in the region close to the in-person event or those who can afford to pay for the necessary transportation and accommodations to attend. Providing this choice to guests makes the event more accessible and broadens its reach.

Of course, hybrid events are not without their own difficulties. For starters, having a hybrid event requires a planner’s knowledge of various platforms and technologies.

There’s also the issue of creating an event experience that is equally inclusive, engaging, and memorable whether attendees are present in person or virtually. You can accomplish this by utilizing hybrid event planning best practices. Again, working with a marketing agency like Elevate Media group that understands brand experience both in person and electronically will be beneficial.

Final Takeaways

Since both in-person and virtual events offer advantages, the future of event experience will most likely be hybrid. Though attendees are able to build a more concrete connection when they attend in person, but the flexibility of remote attendance makes an event more accessible.

Brands should focus on contact and engagement for all of their attendees, whether they’re there in person or virtually. This will ensure that your future immersive events are more successful than before.

There are some important considerations to address when planning your event. First and foremost, it serves a purpose. What is the event’s purpose, and who is the intended audience? Referring back to these answers while you plan the event can be beneficial.

It’s also important to think about which virtual platform would be appropriate for the virtual component. Each platform has its own quirks, strengths, and flaws. Choose a platform with capabilities that are appropriate for your event.

It’s critical to plan your event for success if you want it to be more than a basic virtual conference call for faraway attendees. This includes planning, creating deadlines, utilizing deliverables, and practicing to ensure that the entire event goes off without a hitch.

With a healthy dose of dedication and the help of an agency that knows how to build scalable, memorable hybrid events, you can host a successful, inclusive event. If your company wants to put on an engaging hybrid event, get in touch with us to learn more about our experience creating memorable brand experiences.

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