Experienced Hybrid Event Planner
In the last 16 months or so we’ve had to pivot to new ways of working and engaging with each other, using up-to-date and progressive technology in the face of COVID-19.
In a very short span of time all live events, some booked years ahead, were cancelled, virtual events came to the fore and we all learnt to navigate this new way of working.
What is very apparent is that live events still have a very important part to play but for the moment it’s time to think about a different type of event – hybrid events.
There will be situations, where holding a virtual event is the only option. There will also be situations where an in-person event will be the most effective way of communicating to engage your clients or staff.
What we do know is that Hybrid events will be an essential part of the new normal in the events industry.
Firstly let us explain what is a hybrid event
A hybrid event refers to a physical event in which an online audience can also participate remotely. The purpose of this is to deliver the same content and message just in a different way to ensure the safety of all delegates attending. By incorporating both in-person and virtual live-streaming elements, it will allow event organisers to maintain a larger attendance even if the live audience is small.
In certain situations people have not been able to access live events, therefore a virtual component makes an event inclusive to everyone, regardless of their circumstances.
A hybrid event should aim to offer each delegate a similar experience to a live event, giving them an option to participate in Q&As, interact with speakers and network online with other attendees.
Why a delegate may choose to attend virtually rather than in person
- The delegate is unable or does not want to travel due to health or safety concerns.
- The delegates’ company has limited travel spend and, therefore, cannot travel to the event or is restricting overseas or countrywide travel.
- The venue you have chosen for the live event may not be able to accommodate all the attendees that wish to attend due to capacity restrictions.
Our recommendation, if you are unsure, is to send out a pre-event survey to gauge the current situations of your prospective delegates (both internal and external). From this you will get an idea if attendees would prefer to attend virtually or if it is mixed then hybrid is the way to move forward!
Why should you consider a hybrid event?
Hybrid events can boost your audience attendance & reduce overall costs per delegate. They can be recorded and then viewed after the event has taken place to provide the opportunity to engage with more people, also allowing delegates to access the event content at times that suit them. Audiences also have the opportunity to access the information prior to the event starting.
Hybrid events can allow organisers, during and after the event, to collect much more in-depth analytics in relation to the participants who attended, how engaged the audience was and who dropped out of the session and why. This trackable information, which is not available from a live event, can then be used to help refine and improve content for future events.
As well as the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience, hybrid events offer a sustainable alternative to fully-live events. With mass travel halted, or at least slowed down, there has been a substantial decrease in emissions and this has made a significant impact on reducing our personal carbon footprint. With the limitations in staff travel currently, a hybrid event can mean that you can continue business as normal, working with people worldwide, and help tackle the crisis of climate change at the same time.
Pre-COVID, event planners have had tighter budgets to negotiate with, every penny needing to be accounted for. With a hybrid event, costs can be reduced, especially in terms of catering, size of venue space required, accommodation, merchandise and printing.
There are lots of cost considerations to weigh up, but each event will vary according to many factors such as audience size, AV technical and production requirements, and the overall format for the event.
A key point is by going hybrid means that you can diversify for future events, providing a fall back, if a live event is not possible.
Types of Hybrid Events
Internal Hybrid Events
For many companies it is not possible to have all their stakeholders in the same place for a meeting. Hybrid Events are ideal in this situation as you can choose a venue either at the companys’ head office or at a local venue and then stream the meeting to those delegates unable to attend in person.
Some example of these include:
- Sales Kick Offs
- Larger team meetings
- Team Meetings
External Hybrid Events
External Hybrid Events would be used to target and engage clients and prospects. Running an external hybrid event can help attract more attendees and help your companys’ carbon footprint.
Some examples of these include:
- Conferences and trade shows
- Customer conferences
- Product launches
Where to organise a hybrid event?
In response to the increasing demand for hybrid and virtual events, many venues are now geared up to provide the most up-to-date technology along with experienced technicians to take your event to the next level. Venues have invested the time to re-train staff so they can offer full support for all your hybrid event needs.
Virtual tours and socially-distanced set ups are available now from many venues to showcase the event space to planners and help in constructing a hybrid-friendly layout.
A number of venues are also launching new, permanent, virtual studios allowing you to deliver a seamless and high-quality event, not to mention reducing on your set up costs!
Many venues now have the facilities to cater for all hybrid event solutions and enable you, as the client, to reconnect with colleagues professionally in a safe environment.
Photos courtesy of ‘Smart AV’ , CCT venues and Twickenham Stadium