We fully recognize that live event production will be one of the last things to open up, as we once loved and remember it before the global pandemic rocked the industry.
So much has been talked about the pretty remarkable pivot the event planning industry has done to keep people and businesses connected in the best way possible. It was a sign of resilience and perseverance.
And it worked!
Virtual event online options have exploded, and the same state-of-the-art technology that wowed attendees in live events has successfully pivoted into successful online virtual events. Production companies have levelled up to create dynamic virtual events that quickly became far more than a way to manage events during a pandemic. Virtual events meet needs in an unexpected way that will not be going away, despite the exciting outlook for the return of live events.
But finally, the post-pandemic is hopefully approaching and no doubt, the anticipation for live events is ramping up.
Will the virtual events pivot be forgotten as quickly as it began?
Virtual events may have been a speedy response to address a global crisis, but there have been some innovative results and stand-out benefits that event planners and businesses will not want just to forget and move on from.
There is growing clarity about what the “new normal” will mean in the production world. We won’t be seeing the event world looking only to go back to live events. Instead we will see our highly anticipated live events accompanied by an online program.
That is Hybrid.
The event production world is likely to see an explosive merging of live and virtual events – and the results will be Hybrid Heaven.
And Hybrid events are here to stay. Here’s why.
Hybrid events are accessible to everyone at any time.
There is no FOMO with hybrid events – Fear of missing out. Participants who do not have the opportunity or access to the event in person allow them to connect from wherever they are and even later on. The digital world expands your audience. Many attendees enjoy having access to both live and virtual options. Event attendees have different preferences and hybrid presents the opportunity to meet those preferences authentically. Scheduling conflicts, health, distance and financial resources all can become barriers for some. Others want the high-energy engagement of in-person events to learn or be entertained.
Hybrid Events offer a Hefty ROI.
Beyond the potential revenue that can be made by incorporating events for more attendees, the benefits for meaningful engagement and dedicated loyalty for your attendees have room for good and purposeful benefits. Hybrid events can interconnect live and virtual, but also can be enhanced with content and features in place for both to suit the audience’s event journey in unique ways. More attendees mean more money made. It also offers cost-saving attributes of virtual events such as repeated, future use and less travel, food and venue facilities save money. You can sell virtual options for less money and offer more exposure for sponsors. All the extra money saved and made through a virtual option allows in-person technology to elevate the effects. Real-life spaces are easily created with digital models
Hybrid Events offers measurable results.
One thing we have learned from virtual events is the benefits of collecting data for evaluation, reflection and statistics. Tracking attendance, interaction and engagement is a valuable way to improve and change events for the future, as well as optimizing the experience for attendees. Orchestrating connections and collaboration for planning and evaluation allows teams to connect with immediate and personal resources, without the costs and inconvenience of planning meetings. Planners need to think about how to present to a live venue as well as to a camera.
People are ready for the meaningful interactions of live events. However, we have become comfortable and familiar with virtual connections. We predict event planners will be wise to consider delivering both as a means for all-inclusive interconnectedness.
Hybrid events do require dynamic and different planning teams. The elements of offering hybrid events may feel like a bit more work at the onset but the value for long-term is definitely worth the efforts. Trust an experienced event production team that understands both is a great step to successful hybrid event planning.