Pre-pandemic, no one was prepared or fathomed the extreme change the entire globe would experience or that organizations and companies would quickly pivot to all virtual events.
Hybrid events became increasingly popular as specific countries and cities opened up sporadically and needed a transition into normalcy. Hybrid events became the solution to ease people into in-person meetings while catering to those still uncomfortable with social engagements.
In fact, hybrid events became so favored, “An astounding 97% of event marketers believe we will see more hybrid events in 2021” (Gavelint).
The unevenness of events is in part due to the distribution of the vaccine and has helped further peoples’ comfort levels about in-person events again. At the same time, some people still feel uncomfortable about themselves or are still at high health risk.
While we aren’t out of the woods yet, it can be expected that hybrid events will remain dominant for the next few years and will most likely shift our view of how to execute events and open up the possibilities for hybrid events.
Current In-Person Event Issues:
We Haven’t Reached the End
Sad to say, we are still navigating what we hope to be the tail-end of the pandemic. As surges rise amongst the U.S and various countries, there’s still a balance between in-person and virtual events.
Some people aren’t vaccinated and some areas around the world are experiencing high surges of COVID cases.
“What seems clear is that the pandemic will not be over in six months. Experts generally agree that the current outbreak will be tamed once most people — perhaps 90% to 95% of the global population” (bloomberg.com).
If this is the case, hybrid events are the optimal solution to keep attendee numbers high while accommodating the mid-pandemic period and as we transition back toward normalcy.
Capacity Restrictions and Changing Regulations
Many venues are still not able to have the total capacity, leaving endless cancellations or rescheduling events. The issue of capacity restrictions and changing regulations remains problematic for event coordinators.
“What seems clear is that the pandemic will not be over in six months. Experts generally agree that the current outbreak will be tamed once most people — perhaps 90% to 95% of the global population” (Bloomberg.com).
There’s constant regulation change frequently, and the need for multiple backup options are needed.
“Corporate travel bans (through July 2021), and a lack of clearly defined quarantine rules for traveling and returning from travel, are factors that impact decisions when planning events” (Glavlintl).
Unfortunately, this might not change soon, and organizations will have to find other means of balancing events to achieve optimal attendance numbers.
Even when we are entirely out of the pandemic era, it’s still believed the desire to reduce physical contact will remain limited for a while.
According to a survey, “55% of event organizers report that safety presents the biggest obstacle for resuming in-person events. (Event MB, 2020).”
Safety and regulations remain the most considerable challenge for event planners. Their timeframe to organize has decreased since rules change on a daily to monthly basis.
Having the option for hybrid events allows people to gauge their health and safety precautions.
It doesn’t force anyone outside of their safety comfort zone.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
Bad news, we are in the pandemic period for a while longer. Good news, hybrid events are an ideal way during this transitional time and beyond. If we cannot fully commit to entirely in-person events nor entirely virtual, hybrid events offer wonderful benefits.
Higher Potential Profits
Hybrid events opened up opportunities for anyone to attend. Whether they have the vaccine or don’t feel comfortable again, people can attend the live event or join online — no one is left out.
Best part? “86% of B2B organizations see a positive ROI of their hybrid events seven months after the event date” (Markeletic), proving hybrid events to be a lucrative choice for event options.
Reaching a more vast audience potential helps increase brand awareness, sales, and overall ROI.
“Around 34% of event planners view increased attendance as ‘the most positive result.’
of pivoting to virtual, followed by lower overhead costs (27%)” (EventMB).
As you can see, between savings and potential revenue increase, you can expect a higher bottom line.
You have the opportunity to capture copious amounts of content to repurpose media material and marketing — all with the click of a button.
“Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads” (DemandMetric).
Marketing expenses are expensive. Your business can save a significant amount of money by repurposing content from events to advertise your virtual events to promote future ones. It can be used for advertising or social media and help boost brand awareness.
Keeping all the content together within one app or platform that can record, save, and post content as a virtual event takes place is the perfect way to collect content for later.
Lastly, having high-quality user-generated content can be created which in itself can be repurposed in social media, future awareness and building out communities for year-long engagement.
Using hybrid events allows you to garnish more analytics about the event and implement changes for the future. Taking data from hybrid events can help tailor your event strategy to optimize expectations.
You can improve event experiences and drive post-event engagement with content metrics. Data collected provides future insights that can be beneficial to decisions.
Your business can create stronger relationships with virtual event sponsors and networking analytics to evaluate the data.
Data can show you registration sources and your ability to understand analytics to know marketing sources: paid ads, social media, email campaigns – you can easily track the registration metrics. All of this can benefit your marketing strategy.
One element often overlooked is the environmental benefits of hosting hybrid events. It helps reduce the environmental implications such as pollution, waste, and resources.
In fact, in an article by Forbes, they found hybrid events “produced 66 times less greenhouse gas emissions than an in-person gathering in San Francisco would have” (Forbes).
Endless discussion and innovation revolve around environmentally conscious decisions. Switching to hybrid events is an advantage for businesses to take an eco-friendly approach to their business model and adopt safer practices.
Not only will it help the environment but improve the values of the company.
Hybrid Platforms are the Solution
It’s hard not to see a world with hybrid events as the primary way we organize events.
Between the changing restrictions, the uncertainty, the vaccine implications, safety measures, etc., we might be experiencing the pandemic longer than we’d like.
Fortunately, hybrid events solve endless problems, not just within pandemic issues but improving business practices and enhancing potential.
You don’t have to worry about the hybrid model leaving anytime soon — based on the numbers, and they’re here to stay.
The best part about hybrids? You get the best of both worlds.
We are the hybrid event experts
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