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10 Reasons Why Hybrid Events Should be Part of your Event Strategy

Hybrid events are the ideal bridge between the virtual and the online worlds. Continue reading to uncover 10 fantastic benefits of hybrid events, ranging from enhanced sponsorship packages to increased ROI.

There is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to hybrid events.

They are also easier to host than you would assume.

Contrary to popular belief, they do not necessitate the use of cutting-edge technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms, or anything of the kind.

You may create a high-quality hybrid event using readily available technology that does not need years of training and knowledge.

What exactly are hybrid events?

Hybrid events are simply a combination of live and virtual events.

You take your live event, replete with an audience, material, and more, and add a virtual component to it so that your audience may join and connect with your event regardless of their location.

Consider the following sentence: "... so your audience may attend and connect with your event, no matter where they are."

In hybrid events, participation is key.

It's the difference between your event and a TEDx video on YouTube. Indeed, it is inspiring. Educational. But entertaining? No.

Engagement also separates a hybrid event from a live event with technological features.

A hybrid event is not…

  • Streaming your sessions from your phone

  • A sharable video on demand (VOD) after the event

  • Putting your live audience before your online audience

What a hybrid event is…

  • A seamless integration of technology to facilitate participation between a live and virtual audience

  • An experience that caters to all audiences in a viewer-friendly way

  • Putting your online and live audience on the same level

You worked hard to arrange the attendance journey for your live participants.

You must take the same care with your virtual audience to guarantee they get the most out of your hybrid event.

What are hybrid events like?

Hybrid events can take on various forms, depending on your event structure and audience.

The finest hybrid events, on the other hand, have one thing in common: they prioritise the audience trip for both audiences.

This includes treating your live and online audiences equally and making sure they get the most out of your event.

Austrian Wine, for example, conducted a hybrid wine tasting by gathering wine tasters and offering a platform for the tasters to engage with the wineries for further information or to place orders.

Both user experiences were weighted equally, allowing both parties to communicate and, more crucially, transact business.

Consider a hybrid hackathon, such as the one held by Junction. They used their global partner network to produce local hub events that interacted with the broader virtual audience.

They realised that a hackathon lived on collaboration among programmers, but they also knew that collecting a large number of individuals under one roof would not work. They insured that those who wanted to attend could do so by leveraging local hubs, but they also had a platform to host their virtual attendees.

These are only two instances of hybrid events, but as you can see, they both began with the participant journey.

A hybrid event platform is another crucial component of a hybrid event. Consider this your virtual venue, but without the 3D characters and booths.

While selecting a virtual event platform, keep in mind that your guests do not want to recreate the physical experience of strolling around your event.

What your attendees want to do is:

  • Engage with your event content intuitively, and

  • Grow their network with professional contacts.

3D representations of your event are not required to attain these objectives.

They frequently slow down your audience by introducing an extra layer of complexity that may turn off less tech-savvy attendees.

Stay with hybrid event platforms that prioritise simplicity and an amazing user experience to guarantee that your hybrid event is a breeze to enjoy.

Advantages of hybrid events

So, why should you organise a hybrid event? Are they worth the additional setup and effort required?

Did you know that hybrid events have been taking place since 2012? When the CDC couldn't afford to bring their participants together owing to funding limitations, they contemplated a virtual event.

Yet, just because their participants were unable to communicate did not indicate that their hunger for information diminished.

As a result, they staged a hybrid event to guarantee that their audience received the vital information they required while staying within their budget.

One of the numerous advantages was the ability to keep their event running.

As you will discover, hybrid events are well worth the additional investment, setup, and (minor) learning curve.

1. increased exposure and attendance

There is a common fallacy that your audience may only participate electronically or in person - there is no in-between. You could believe that presenting a hybrid event halves your overall attendance.

Yet, the inverse is true. Hybrid events allow you to expand your reach and attract more people rather than fewer.

According to one survey, nearly 98% of hybrid event participants were not planning to attend live, implying that your event can reach a new audience that is either disinterested in attending your live event or is unaware of the benefits.

This increases future event attendance by allowing potential attendees to "taste" your event.

23% of hybrid event organisers reported that more people attended subsequent events, while 65% reported no change in live attendance.

And there will always be attendees who would like to come but are unable to do so for various reasons.

With a hybrid event, you decrease the barrier to entry for both populations - those who want to attend but are unable to, and those who are unclear whether your event is worthwhile.

This greatly expands your reach since you may broadcast your event to a far bigger audience than would be feasible in person.

2. Increased audience engagement

Including a virtual component in your live event allows for far more interaction chances than a solely live event, both during and after the event.

This is because your virtual audience is actively interacting from their mobile devices or desktop computers, which means they may discuss, share, like, remark, and do a variety of other things.

You can, for example, hold polls during sessions that include both live and online audiences.

Instead, you might do a live Q&A session with a speaker, then invite them to a Q&A with your online audience, often at a studio that transmits the live event online.

You may also assist live and virtual participants in networking with one another. You can designate one area for in-person meetings and another for virtual meetings that are scheduled using event matchmaking software.

How do you keep track of all these interaction opportunities? The simplest approach is, to begin with, your attendees. What will their path be, whether online or offline?

By designing your event with the audience in mind, you can ensure that you include the necessary engagement opportunities that make the most sense to them.

3. Enhanced sponsor opportunities

As long as they can effectively reach both audiences, 72% of corporate sponsors are interested in participating in a hybrid event.

That's because hybrid events are extremely desirable to sponsors for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is the expanded reach. The primary reason for sponsorship is that more attendees at your event mean a larger lead pool for them.

They can engage with interested person one-on-one while simultaneously communicating with virtual attendees online. Certain populations, notably Millennials, prefer virtual communication, which might result in more engagement at their virtual booth.

The second reason is that there are more chances for sponsorship. Instead of just live collateral, they can also sponsor live streams, event apps, and other things.

This also gives you additional options for your sponsorship prospectus: you may have live sponsors, virtual sponsors, or both.

A third cause is an increase in measurements that can be reported. During the COVID crisis, 72% of sponsors are changing their budgets rather than slashing them, indicating that they are seeking new options. Moreover, as budgets migrate to more digital areas, companies need data to support their investments.

A hybrid event may report on a variety of important indicators, ensuring that your sponsors understand that their money was effectively spent.

4. Costs and environmental effects are reduced.

We've already seen the environmental consequence of less travel. Formerly congested streets are now deserted, and emissions have fallen.

According to some predictions, worldwide energy consumption will fall by 6%, which may not sound like much, but it is the equivalent of India going dark.

While in-person meetings are still crucial, adopting a hybrid is a terrific approach to accommodate guests who may be concerned about their carbon impact.

This way, customers can still participate in and enjoy your event while also helping to reduce carbon emissions.

It may also minimise your in-person headcount, requiring less need for catering or throwaway accessories.

5. Travel expenses are reduced.

Keeping on the same theme, hybrid events can drastically reduce travel expenses for everyone participating.

While the benefits to attendees are evident, hybrid events may also reduce travel expenses for your sponsors and staff.

Working from home has become the new normal for businesses and people all around the world.

For example, Facebook and Google both stated that employees can work from home for the remainder of the year, while Twitter made work-from-home a permanent option for staff.

Even when live events become increasingly feasible, remote management remains an option. For example, many AV crews are proficient in virtual broadcasting, which means you and they both save money.

In addition, by sending fewer people to your event, your sponsors may save money on travel expenses. Furthermore, if you include virtual sponsorships in your prospectus, people may engage entirely online while still providing value.

When finances are limited, hybrid events are ideal for bridging the cost-benefit gap for both participants and sponsors.

6. Fill your marketing funnel for the coming year.

Rather than keeping your event exclusive, you can easily reuse and reshare digital content to maintain a continual stream of information coming to your audience.

You may, for example, broadcast the full webcast (or portions of it) to advertise a future event. Sharing your lives team also guarantees that sponsors who are a part of the event have continual visibility.

Streaming your event also ensures that you don't neglect to record anything important. With a strong emphasis on broadcasting, you can rest certain that all of your content is being recorded for future use!

You may also use prior content to plan future marketing initiatives. Was there a particularly well-attended session? Perhaps you can broaden your scope.

If you utilise an event networking service, review the matchmaking data after the event. You may get great content ideas by researching the interests of your audience.

Instead, you might examine the questions submitted at several sessions to see whether a recurring theme emerges. This might assist you in providing material to address your audience's enquiries.

7. Enhanced return on investment (ROI)

Because of all the moving parts, calculating ROI at events is difficult.

Yet, hybrid events provide a higher return on investment, owing to their enhanced reach and scalability.

Because your hybrid events are attracting more attendees, this may convert into more views for sponsors and more sign-ups following the event.

You also acquire a lot of data, which allows you to deliver more accurate reports on your performance (more on that in the next section).

In terms of scalability, the technology normally has to be set up only once, after which it is simple to reproduce that procedure at all of your events. A virtual event platform does not necessitate the use of staff for setup and teardown.

Furthermore, there is the possibility of cutting down your live event while increasing your online exposure. This helps you to save location expenditures while still reaching a broad audience and increasing your profit margin.

8. Data that is useful

The data and insights provided by hybrid events are enormously beneficial.

At a live event, for example, you may conduct a head count to estimate how many viewers attended a session.

Yet, with hybrid events, you know the attendance figures as well as how they interacted and when they left the session.

Using matching data and session participation, you may also learn about your guests' interests, which can help you better your future content.

Sponsors, on the other hand, obtain vital information on booth traffic and guest engagement, allowing them to demonstrate a strong return on investment.

When hybrid events are held online, you have access to a plethora of trackable analytics that will help you learn more about your event and improve it in the future, metrics that you simply cannot monitor offline.

A hybrid event platform is required to provide these types of insights.

9. increased adaptability

If you're still unsure about hybrid occurrences, ponder what might happen if transport were disrupted again.

It might be a worldwide epidemic, similar to COVID-19.

It might also be a natural calamity. Consider the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland, which affected roughly ten million tourists.

Your event would simply not happen if you did not have a hybrid event platform to fall back on, and your guests would find something else to do to pass the time. This might indicate a competing event.

Conducting a live event with no digital backup is, simply put, a risky undertaking.

Especially now that technology is so readily available and pervasive.

Hybrid events provide essential insurance since you now have a method to host your event in some manner even if attendance is low.

Furthermore, the infrastructure and investment in hybrid events guarantee that you are well-prepared for virtual events, which means you won't be scrambling when external circumstances conspire to threaten or cancel your event.

Instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, adding hybrid events to the mix diversifies your portfolio and assures a successful event regardless of the circumstances.

10. Meet your audience's shifting wants.

It is hard to predict how the COVID-19 situation will affect the globe in the long run.

One thing is certain: the crisis has altered how we utilise technology in our daily lives.

According to some estimates, roughly half of the American workforce currently works remotely. While there are advantages and disadvantages to remote work, no one can deny that it is possible.

Sponsors are also adjusting their expenditures to reflect the changing environment, and will support your virtual or hybrid event provided you can assure your guests will connect and interact with them.

Your audience's demands have changed, and your event must adapt to continue meeting them.

Having solely live events in your portfolio is no longer a safe bet; it's a risk.

You may appeal to both populations with hybrid events: those who want to participate live and those who want to engage in their way.

How to Organise Your Hybrid Event

Even if you've never organised a hybrid event before, don't be afraid to give it a shot. The timing is ideal, and technology is more accessible than ever before.

In actuality, they aren't difficult to host. Not if you have the proper tools and expertise.

Vision Enhancement is a leading provider of innovative event solutions that cater to the ever-evolving needs of modern businesses. With a focus on Hybrid Events and Audio Visual Technology, Vision Enhancement offers a wide range of services that enable businesses to deliver engaging and impactful events that drive results. The company's team of experts is well-versed in the latest trends and technologies, ensuring that clients always receive the best possible service. From designing and planning to execution and post-event analysis, Vision Enhancement provides end-to-end event solutions that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Whether it's a virtual conference, a hybrid event, or an in-person gathering, Vision Enhancement has the experience and expertise to make it a success.

With a commitment to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, Vision Enhancement is the go-to choice for businesses looking to elevate their events to the next level.

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