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Trends · 3 July '20

3 Reasons Hybrid Events Are Here to Stay

As technology advances, so do its modern applications. With impressive innovations like the 5G network, live-streaming, and wearables, the line between the virtual and actual worlds gets more and more blurred.

Case in point: Hybrid events are becoming increasingly popular since they seamlessly fuse physical engagement with live remote participation. These are face-to-face conventions that simultaneously allow an online audience to participate through webcasting and live-streaming apps, but also avoid certain downfalls of purely virtual events.

In the world of event planning, hybrid makes absolute sense. Touting exclusivity by physically limiting your event shows that you’re not ready to reap the rewards of modern technology. In this post, we’ll make 3 strong cases as to why hybrid events are inevitably here to stay.

Hybrid has a wider and more diverse influence

There’s a different atmosphere of participation when virtual and physical events are melded together. Virtual events lack tangible reactions, and physical events fall short on digital engagement. When blended together as a hybrid event, these shortcomings are mitigated. Our post on the ‘5 Reasons to Live-Stream your Event’ highlights how engagement platforms like Glisser allow hybrid events to explore various forms of audience response. This includes interactive quizzes, live polls, graphic social feeds, and audience Q&A. Through this, hybrid events enable event marketers to bolster sponsorship requests that can lead to a higher ROI.

Besides that, a more diverse set of speakers and exhibitors may be able to share their presentations if an event is held in a virtual space. In fact, ad-tech industry event DMEXCO has acknowledged this by digitally opening up their annual event. Because networking is a valuable aspect of events like this, DMEXCO has revamped their app to allow different event-goers to connect and share information among themselves.

Hybrid provides reliable fallback for delays due to global crises

Events are getting cancelled left and right as the current global health predicament has pushed us into a world of uncertainty. WHO experts note that we’re lucky if we’re out of this situation in 6-8 months, but current data places normality to return at a much later time. This is bad enough for normal folks whose lives are on hold, but businesses might have an even harder time recovering. That said, the marketing and events industry needs to craft creative ways in order to survive ⁠— and the only way to do this is to digitize planned events instead of cancelling them.

Careful planning is needed to pull this off with as few bumps as possible. With this in mind, the importance of communicating with and managing your workforce to make sure that everyone is aware of what is expected of them and how you can move forward individually and collectively is essential, according to Verizon Connect’s marketing manager Simon Austin-Beckett. You can keep a well-oiled team by supplying them with the correct gear, so they could do their jobs with ease. Furthermore, it’s only responsible to keep communications strictly online, so as to mitigate outside exposure. If done well, hybrid events can lessen losses from delays and prevent cancellations.

Hybrid allows attendees to choose sustainability

Trade shows and conventions attract a lot of people. While this can be a good thing for businesses, the environment tends to suffer due to the carbon emissions that events bring forth. For one, the World Resources Institute points out that transportation accounts for 14% of the world’s emissions. Since people usually flock to events, even if it’s across the country, eco-consciousness usually goes down the drain.

But in the case of hybrid events, sustainability can be practiced as attendees now have the choice to engage virtually. This can help lessen an event’s carbon emissions by eliminating the need for attendees to travel just so they can participate in an event. And while there are some who doubt that hybrid events are appealing enough to the modern participant, a study by Digitell, inc. revealed that 68% of virtual attendees had attended or will attend the face-to-face event after participating in the virtual one. “The biggest myth in offering a virtual extension of your physical meeting is that it will cannibalize your attendance,” said Steve Parker, Digitell’s VP. With the right virtual engagement platforms and cautious planning, hybrid engagements can encourage additional participants to join digitally ⁠— increasing overall attendance and reach while also reducing unsustainable practices that tarnish live events.