The primary event trend of 2021 for the event industry is hybrid events. Every day they are becoming more significant, more attractive, functional, and therefore more popular in the world of corporations, non-profit organizations, and show organizers. After all, such events allow you to effectively achieve a variety of business, educational, or entertainment goals. No worse than offline events, not to mention online events that have become fashionable in the pandemic era.
What does a hybrid type of event look like?
Such events are a mixture of offline and online. Some of the events take place on a live platform, with real participants, and some in the Internet environment, where remote viewers act as full-fledged accomplices of the event, influencing its course in a certain way. The basis of hybrids is online video broadcasts from both the central location and additional ones. Moreover, these can be inclusions from similar sites from other regions, but even from the home office of individual viewers. The basic principle of a hybrid event is that viewers on the other side of the screen should not feel like spectators, and local participants should not forget about them. You need a constant relationship. That is why they try to add an interactive component to the script with elements of gamification and infotainment. Hybrid programs usually take 2-3 hours.
Seven main benefits of hybrid events
For whatever type of program the hybrid event methods are used, you can still count on a number of significant benefits for organizers and customers, such as:
- Security. The limited size of sites for offline parts and many participants at home reduces epidemiological risks to a reasonable limit. It is easier for small groups of real people to provide social distance and disinfection of the area.
- Scale. As part of the hybrid, it is easier to gather more participants and speakers from the most remote corners of the planet, especially when using translation platforms and translators equipment for foreign guests. Expansion of the geography of online participants. Foreign visitors were attracted to online symposia, conferences, and seminars before the pandemic, but now it has become a commonplace and common practice. Many more international guests, experts, and speakers appeared at hybrid events.
- Progressiveness. Advanced technologies, all kinds of gadgets, flash mobs and challenges, chatbots, augmented reality, and other similar tools within the framework of events have a positive effect on the image of the event, especially in the eyes of technically advanced millennials and buzzers.
- Big Data. Working with an online environment, it is possible to gain access to gigantic amounts of user data legally. They are invaluable in analyzing participants’ behavior, studying their perception of the event, involvement, motivation, and looking for interaction with them in the future.
- Saving. Refusal to rent giant locations, lack of expensive transfers for participants, the relative reduction in catering, decor, etc. – even taking into account the costs of online platforms and organizing video broadcasts, the event budget can be significantly reduced.
- Availability. Digital technologies expanded the ways of holding such events. Still, hybrid events were used only in cases where it was impossible to organize a person’s presence at the event. To do this, a remote participant was contacted via video communication, including a speech in the event program. The range of possible use of hybrids in event marketing is much wider. With the presence of the Internet, almost any event can be made hybrid, both an international conference and a wedding with remote participants connected via video communication.
- Virtuality. When speaking to a remote audience, the online participant is more likely to open up and share helpful information. The performance will be formal or semi-formal. Through video communication, the voice and intonation of the distant participant are heard, as well as his facial expressions, which are more important than words, are visible.
There is a chance that hybrid events will be used much more often than before the pandemic. If not for quarantine, hybrids would hardly have become so popular and in demand, or it would have taken a decade to promote them. The pandemic has made them the primary type of event in a short period.