How And Why To Host An Hybrid Event
What Are They?
Whilst we are all hankering after a bit of normality, there are some changes that have occurred that are set to continue. Virtual events were already starting to flourish due to environmental, economic and time considerations and these will continue to boom. But, there will also undoubtedly be a desire for live events to start again. This has led to the emergence of a new format -The hybrid event. Hybrid events boast the best bits of both live and virtual formats. They are a mix of the two, combining live audiences, content and interactivity from the audience wherever they are. All attendees are on the same level and have the same access. It allows interaction between live and remote audiences. Here we will explore how to make your hybrid event a success.
The benefits of holding a hybrid conference or show are manifold.
1. Greater attendance rates
The greater flexibility that hybrid events allow in terms of how to attend can greatly increase its reach. They overcome the physical barriers that many delegates face when deciding whether to attend an event whilst also enabling the face to face opportunities that live offers.
2. Increased data collection.
The interactive nature of hybrid events improves engagement and means that information and metrics can be accrued and used with immediate effect. The virtual aspect of the hybrid means that you can gather real time thoughts and insights through polls. This data gold can be used however you or your sponsors desire, whether it’s to thank attendees specifically for their interaction and contribution or to feed into and influence marketing strategies.
3. Reduced impact on the environment.
With fewer delegates driving or flying to reach physical events, conferences or meetings the benefit to the environment is clear to see.
4. Reduced cost.
This applies both for event organisers and invitees. Organisers will require less venue space and associated costly equipment. Whilst companies wishing their employees to attend can choose virtual options to keep costs and downtime to a minimum.
5. Increased sponsorship opportunities.
Within the hybrid event, organisers have the opportunity to invite a greater range of sponsors and offer different sponsorship channels and media.
Whether to Choose Live, Virtual or Hybrid
Clearly there are some occasions where completely live or completely virtual are most appropriate or desirable. Events such as team building and awards ceremonies would benefit from being physical events when possible. Whilst study or customer focus groups or casual team meetings can easily be organised in a virtual manner. However, the hybrid style can lend itself to a multitude of events; from conferences and trade shows to product launches and demos and whole company meetings.
There will be those who will not feel comfortable travelling or gathering in large numbers for a while. Additionally, given how much enforced downtime there has been and the economic impact of the last year on many businesses, committing time and money travelling to and from events may seem wasteful. If we can still engage these people by creating a new type of event, then that must be the right and best thing to do. Hybrid allows us to take into account the changing needs of the world around us and enables a broader reach within our target audience.
Running A Successful Hybrid Event
Overall we want our connections at all events to be meaningful and not just tantamount to lip service. To make your hybrid event a success, the key will be to consider the different experiences of both your live and virtual audience. The expectation of virtual events has increased significantly and the digital aspect needs to be as spot on as the live event. To aid this unified approach consider the needs of all your delegates throughout their journey with you.
One way to do this is to make careful selections with regard to the most relevant and suitable promotional products with which to furnish your attendees. Hybrid event packs can be available on the day for those attending the physical event and sent in advance to those engaging remotely. Stylish, branded swag boxes that are useful, functional and worth holding on to will set your event apart and help it live long in delegate’s minds. After all, according to the BPMA, ‘83% of people who receive promotional merchandise can remember the brand advertised for an average of 12 months’. Irrespective of how they attend, delegates will remember the swag that you generously bestow on them!
Hybrid Events And The Environment
I mentioned earlier the positive effect on the environment as fewer delegates wing their way around the world. Well, the good news doesn’t stop there. The wonderful marketing opportunities offered by branded merchandise can still be enjoyed whilst satisfying and promoting your corporate social responsibility policies. We offer an enormous range of eco friendly and sustainable merchandise and print. So your hybrid event is as green as can be.