All eyes are on hybrid events. Here’s why yours should be too.
MPI hails hybrid as the “breakout events star of 2021.” Forbes predicts “the future of events is hybrid.” Pre-pandemic, 71% of event managers surveyed by PCMA had no hybrid event plans, but when asked the same question today 65% of event managers say they will hold hybrid events in the future.
The pandemic drove seismic change in the events industry as in-person corporate events transformed into virtual facsimiles overnight. These transformations spawned rapid evolution and investment in event technologies that can now deliver robust experiences to virtual attendees.
With its ability to reach larger audiences than ever and take communities from online content to in-person activations and back again, hybrid redefines how events are designed and experienced. The question is not if you will be planning hybrid events in your future but when. Here’s just ten of the compelling reasons to make your next event a hybrid.
1. Increase your event’s reach
Give your existing community members without the time or money to travel a way to participate.
2. Get more mileage out of your event marketing investment
Make your content available to new audiences who are interested in learning more about your brand, but would never attend in person.
3. Harvest more and better event data
The digital engagement at a hybrid event generates better data and analytics than any other style of event. This translates to increased conversions on leads for sales and makes it easier to quantify event ROI.
4. Reduce your event’s carbon footprint
With reduced travel and waste, hybrid events are a gift to the planet.
5. Boost the value to sponsors
Hybrid events give you a broad array of options to create maximum value for sponsors with customizable offerings for both in-person and online brand exposure. Including sponsor selections such as virtual booths, one-to-one meeting booking, hosted live sessions, and on-demand content adds event value for both sponsors and attendees. A well-crafted hybrid sponsorship will deliver better data and drive more leads to sponsors resulting in higher ROI on their participation.
6. Make your event more inclusive
Hybrid events can remove the many barriers to participation that disabled attendees often face, especially if you offer closed captions and include a livestream camera for your ASL interpreters. They also make it much easier for people who are caregivers or who are living with health problems that limit travel to participate.
7. Navigate changing attendee numbers
Hybrid events can easily scale up or down as needed to accommodate shifts in attendee counts.
8. Offer a greater variety of speakers
Since speakers can participate virtually, and even pre-record their talk, you’ll have a larger speaker pool to draw from. You can include those hard-to-get celebrity speakers and thought leaders who would otherwise be unavailable to travel and speak on your event dates.
9. Give attendees more opportunities to engage with event content
Digital content makes it easier for more attendees to comment, discuss online in a broader context, and share with others. Offering an on-demand element also lets attendees consume content in their own time for greater reach and marketing ROI.
10. Rest secure with the ultimate contingency plan for uncertain times
If there is an emergency that makes the in-person component of your event out of the question, the show can still go on virtually. In today’s climate of rising and falling Covid rates, event managers face the challenge of balancing when to gather communities face-to-face and when its safer to go all virtual. Hybrid events allow you to straddle both the in-person and virtual world, flexing either way as gathering opens up or dials back.