Hybrid Events are Futuristic
Well, the world has now pretty much adjusted to the new normal. This new normal is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has set the world on a new tone. Trends of life and things have evolved in a unique manner. The course of event management has altered as well. In the year 2020, there was a 1000% increase in virtual events, according to Forbes. Although, we agree that the pandemic has turned the event industry upside down by this drastic change in course.
As of now, in 2021, the COVID-19 restrictions around the world are easing. The public is now being vaccinated. Events might return to their normal. However, the event industry is now adopting a Hybrid Model. Hybrid events are the future. The model will stick around even we get rid of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Around 62% of the planners that the future of events is hybrid. This statistic is from the Virtual Event Guide of 2021and speaks volumes. More companies are now including hybrid events in their portfolios as well. 71% of the companies with 5000+ employees now include having hybrid events in their portfolios.
Many parts of the world still stand much affected by the pandemic. Changing the entire event model is not a simple thing to do. However, the cost of waiting for things to get into place is much higher. That is why we need hybrid events.
A hybrid event model incorporates both virtual and in-person event elements in a strategic manner. Now, it is time to make this futuristic model a present reality. We are already witnessing this model being adopted around the world successfully. This model in event management will stay forever.
The Hybrid Event Model will persist.
As the world moves on with the emerging hybrid event model, let us have some talk. Every single event in the future is just going to have a virtual element in it. We can say this for sure. The discussion would also give us an outlook about what hybrid events would look like.
First, let us discuss why we say that the hybrid event model will persist.
Hybrid Event Model is Comprehensive
The event industry has changed forever. The industry’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic would impact the idea of an event in the future. It has changed the narrative. The change was drastic when the event industry shifted to the virtual trend. This drastic change had an undeniable impact on the event industry. However, this drastic change and our introduction to virtual events introduced us to some benefits as well. These benefits have made us take a smarter approach. Benefits include cost-effectiveness, reduced effort, innovation, accessibility across the globe, more sustainability and more impact. Well, we cannot leave such benefits.
On the other hand, we cannot deny the importance of in-person events. They create more impact that results in attendee satisfaction. Well, the hybrid model has the solution to such scenarios. This model is very comprehensive in this regard. It is a balanced approach towards event management.
Hybrid Event Model is Rational in Nature
The emerging hybrid event model takes a very rational and smart approach in event management. It makes us think clearly about our decisions as an event planner and as an attendee. We realized that certain events and meetings in person are unnecessary to have. Many people used to travel long distances and consume many resources to attend just an hour event. That was not rational. In addition, imagine the impact on the environment one might have in such scenarios. That costs a lot on our pockets and environment.
On the other hand, event planners realized such things as well. In fact, many companies would be saving the cost of luxury corporate tours in this regard. This is amazing. Surely, this is the future we all need. Again, the only hybrid model would help us do that.
Corporate Travel is not going to resume nearly.
Corporate travel makes the most of the event industry. Luxury corporate retreats were very much on the rise until 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is not the thing anymore. Weddings and festivals might return to normal in the coming years. Yet, there is still a long way to go when corporate travel fully resumes. There is another thing that is keeping back the corporate travel to resume. That is the hefty price tag attached to it, which the company pays. A hybrid model is very helpful in this regard. It allows companies to save costs. At the same time, it ensures the safety of employees. Companies can pay their employees incentives instead of giving them luxury tours that might cost their lives. This is much relevant and beneficial in times when the economy and people have suffered financially due to the pandemic.
The hybrid Model caters to most of the Audience.
As the world is slowly opening the local economies, it is first bringing younger people out. Younger people are relatively immune to the pandemic. On the other hand, older people still need to stay indoors or adhere to strict SOPs. However, that must not prevent them from attending events. The hybrid event model is the only answer to this thing. The virtual aspect of the hybrid model allows them to attend events, and the risk is minimized. Surely, this is more ethical and responsible as well.
Hybrid Event Model provides a Choice.
This is what strikes the most. The hybrid model provides ease. It gives us a choice whether to attend virtually or in person. It is totally on the attendees to decide on whatever suits them. This keeps convenience in check.
How Hybrid Events would Look Like: Expectations from the Hybrid Event Model
We have discussed how the hybrid event model is emerging successfully. Hybrid events took place around the world in the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, the online aspect of the hybrid model was deemed as frustrating, time-consuming and was overlooked.
However, now the virtual or online aspect would be prominent. As we continue, we might see different aspects or new things in the hybrid model. That would be the coming up hybrid event model. It would keep changing according to varying trends and situations around the world. Let us see how hybrid events would look like and what to expect from them.
More Tech Savvy Platforms or Venues
The venues or platforms for hybrid models would be innovative and different. Now, in the case of hybrid events, a high-tech venue would be required. Obviously, the venue would be spacious enough to ensure social distancing for the in-person aspect. On the other hand, the venues would be very tech-savvy as well. This would be for the virtual aspect. Technology needs would be more because of the larger online audience. The venues would be equipped with the latest technology in networking, cyber-security, online conferencing, audio components and cloud-based technology.
Different Engagement Modes
As the course of events has changed, the nature of engagement modes would change as well. It is a big challenge, though. More tools such as HD videos, audios, apps and gadgets would be used to enhance engagement. Mobile apps are great in assisting to gain engagement. Mobile apps help to channel the content in the right direction. The nature of the interaction between the audiences would take a new turn as well. The virtual and in-person audience would be able to interact with each other through multiple channels such as live speaking, chat rooms, peer group discussion and community sessions.
More Budget for AV Setup
This is very much obvious. As events take the course of virtual aspect in prominence, the planners would need to improve the AV technology. They would allocate more budget to improve the AV system. This would allow them to give their virtual attendees an improved online experience. Any lag in this regard would cost them a lot.
Specially Tailored Content
We would see a whole lot of different content in the hybrid model. The content strategy would take a tailored approach. The content for the virtual aspect would be differently structured for short-span online attendees. The sessions would be shorter but more impactful. On the other hand, the content for the in-person event would be a bit elaborate and might include different engagement strategies.
Although, some sessions would be joint. In that case, the content would be concise, impactful and engaging for both audiences.
Event Moderators would play a Crucial Role.
In any event, the moderator plays a key role. This person is the voice of the event, essentially. However, in the hybrid event model, a moderator is going to carry an added responsibility. The moderator would now be responsible for maintaining a balance between the virtual and in-person audience.
Traditionally, giving an apt voice to the online audience has been a challenge and limitation. The moderators would now have to take both sides together with no bias. The virtual audience is a substantial segment of the total audience in the hybrid event model. However, it is crucial to ensure a fair and balanced voice for your audience. This is a very complex thing to achieve. However, with the right strategy, participation channels and insights, the moderator can achieve this.
We have established that the future of events is hybrid. However, there is still uncertainty that how successfully this model would work. Only time can tell. Technology is the base of this model. It would be running two worlds together. It has to be up to the mark. Many other aspects such as audience feedback, engagement and moderation will decide the success of the hybrid model. However, there are two important factors for our consideration. Two factors are revenue and impact. These two factors would determine the success of the hybrid model overall. Currently, few hybrid events are taking place. It is a good time to examine and test the model with these factors. Remember, these two factors are, in fact, the key aims of the event industry as well.
Do you want to know how we can help you regardless if your event is physical, virtual or hybrid? Book a demo today.