Virtual events are the future. We are convinced of it, but we also believe that the possibility of gathering together again will be welcome when it presents itself. However, the last few months have taught us to appreciate aspects of event technology that we just don’t want to give up. That’s why we are focusing on hybrid events: because we know that the solutions that integrate the best of both worlds are the ones that create the most interesting experiences. How do hybrid events work? In a nutshell, it’s about combining elements of in-person events with technological features that enable virtual experiences and remote connections. And we believe they will change the events industry forever.
Which events work best in this format?
Not all event types, of course, lend themselves to this format. While an e-sports championship, for instance, may work best in virtual-only mode, a cooking class or sommelier course may be less effective if not held in person. However, there are many types of events that work best in a hybrid format, as they offer all the interactivity of in-person events, extending access to those who cannot attend. Trade shows, conferences, seminars, product presentations, and corporate meetings are some of the most popular types of hybrid events.
When should you organise a hybrid event?
A hybrid event can make a difference when potential participants are in locations or under conditions that do not allow them to attend an in-person event. This is a fairly common occurrence during a pandemic, when restrictions vary from region to region and country to country, making travel and gathering more or less possible and limiting the capacity of physical locations. But it could also happen in the case of international events that want to open up to small and medium-sized companies that cannot afford to have representatives travel to attend a trade show or conference in another country or to people with reduced mobility or special needs in terms of visual or audio content consumption, who find it more comfortable to attend events remotely.
How do hybrid events work?
To create successful hybrid events it is necessary to combine all the characteristics of a good in-person event with the best technology has to offer, with a special focus on content. If part of the audience or even some of the speakers attend the event online, you’ll need to bear in mind that their level of attention will be different from those who are physically present at the venue. To ensure the same level of participation and interaction, you need to create interesting and engaging content that is visually appealing, but also give those who are not present a chance to be heard and have an impact on the event itself.
How do you promote hybrid events?
Promoting a hybrid event means targeting those who will be attending in person and those who will be connecting from home in a different way. This implies more articulated and less homogeneous campaigns, using different platforms and with messages calibrated differently according to the audience. This is one of the few cases in which you don’t have one USP, you have several because the targeted groups are different and the advantages of participating in the event in the two available formats also vary. The important thing, therefore, is to profile the audience carefully and build a bespoke strategy for each group.