Hybridisation of events post the COVID-19 pandemic

Published on : Tuesday, October 26, 2021

events

Hybrid Events can be defined as any conference, meetings, conventions, seminars, workshops, tradeshows, and similar other corporate events that is organised involving a combination of both a live or in-person events alongside a virtual or online event, both of which takes place at the same time. The concept of hybrid events have been around for a long time but it ultimately gained prominence in the wake of the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the live events industry, hybrid events paved the way for participants from all around the globe to be a part of any particular event even when they fail to attend the venue physically due to travel restrictions. This became even more useful following the gradual recovery and reopening of the events industry enabling organisers to invite guests from the hosting region and also involving participants from different corners of the world.

A hybrid involves the online representation of the live event with the help of several components like live video and audio streaming, webcasts, online chat and discussion forums, as well as live blogs and integrated social media activities.


Advantages of Hybrid Events

Large Attendance

The biggest advantage of hybrid events is that it allows participation of a large number of people from anywhere in the world. At present, it is considered that hybrid events draw more participants than traditional events. As hybrid events allow people to be a part of an event from the comfort of their own homes, it automatically draws in more registrants.

Moreover, it makes the audience reach wider as majority of online attendees have the tendency of sharing the event (unless confidential) with other people.

Cost-effective

Hybrid events are much more cost-effective for both the organisers and attendees that in-person events. Organisers only have to accommodate a smaller group of audience in-person that ultimately cuts down the total cost involved as compared to hosting a larger group of global attendees. On the other hand, online participants would not have to invest in travel cost or any live registration fee as a part of hybrid events. Limited physical tickets and unlimited virtual attendance also allows hosting a huge event for a small cost.

Global Reach

Hybrid events allow organisers to connect to a global audience and have a global reach. It does not only confine events to local or regional boundaries and enables connection with people from all over the world without the hassle of flying them from one destination to another. It not only brings together the world at one place but also provides a global representation of the events as well as the people present in the live venue. It also allows interaction of the physical attendees with the larger global attendees and vice versa along with a communication with the host as well inter-communication within the online participants.

Re-watching and Sharing

Another big advantage of hybrid events is that it allows re-watching and sharing of any particular event. Event content can be recorded with the help of the online tools and made available online. Further discussions can be encouraged after re-watching content post the event involving all interested participants. As a result, a knowledge portal can be created for event participants that can even help market the event of following year by sharing highlights from the current year. The sharable quality of hybrid events can bring in more engagement as well as boost visibility.

Increased Sponsorship

It is often believed that hybrid events increase the chance of bringing more sponsorship as it has a much wider and global reach. The visibility in itself can create brand awareness for many organisations, services, products or companies. Hybrid events also give sponsors the chance of reaching out to both the live and online attendees, enhancing their scope and drawing their interest. The wider audience reach is the biggest key to attract sponsors. Moreover, the increased social media buzz of a hybrid event also provides leverage towards increased sponsorship.


Key Elements of Hybrid Events

Engaging Content: It is highly essential to present engaging and interactive content for your hybrid event in order to keep attendees involved and excited throughout the process of the event irrespective of whether they are experiencing the event live or in-person. It is also important to allow interaction between online and live participants, live participants as well as online participants alongside the hosts for better communication and engagement.

Time Limit: It is necessary to maintain a proper time limit when organising hybrid events as it involves attendees who are participating from numerous time zones. Organisers need to hold the attention span of every attendee and make sure that the event is crisp and clear for better focus.

Proper Technical Assistance: As technology plays a key role in events, it is extremely necessary to have proper technical support and right technological equipments without any glitches as those tools are the main source of connecting the online and live event. Besides online tools and a steady internet connection, organisers should also make sure to create dynamic images with a multi-camera set up while broadcasting as online participants should feel as closer to the live event as possible.


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