Within the past year people have started to value offline communication a lot more! Despite all the advantages of meeting people online, it became clear that in-person connections can’t be fully replaced by any virtual analogs. When it comes to the business world, people are willing to start building their network again with the help of live events. However, in many countries across the globe live events don’t seem to be back any time soon. In these circumstances, one of the feasible solutions for event organizers is to host hybrid events. The question is are hybrid events just a temporary solution or will they stay forever?
Yes, hybrid events will stay. Why?
62% of event planners agree that the future of events is hybrid - the balanced mix between online and offline formats. But why hybrid events are here to stay given that people want to come back to in-person meetings as soon as possible? First of all, both event organizers and participants have already got a lot of experience in hosting and attending virtual events. People got to know that virtual events aren’t always boring and useless. Secondly, people realized that online participation has many positive sides such as no need to travel, cheaper ticket prices and keeping the comfortable environment of your own home office.
Hybrid events are the best in audience engagement because they turn spectators into active participants fully immersed into the on-site event. Nowadays, virtual participation is much more than offering a live stream, and the competitive advantage of hybrid events is that online participants are given nearly as many opportunities for networking and discussion as the ones who attend the event on site.
The technological development that the event industry has made is enormous and it doesn’t seem to stop in the coming years. Hybrid events are going to be the first to apply the new technologies in order to make virtual participation as similar to live as possible. For example, high-tech interactive interfaces will allow online attendees to not only choose the on-side event stage that interests them the most, but also to engage in votings, Q&A sessions with the speakers and attendees inside the venue.
One major strength of virtual events that neither event organizers nor attendees want to miss are the recorded sessions. For organizers, it’s a possibility to make additional profits by selling the recordings on demand or to expand the brand awareness by posting the recorded materials on social media. Whereas attendees value the possibility to choose the particular piece of content and consume it at their own convenience.
Hybrid events are also more successful in terms of attracting sponsors to the event. Thanks to new technologies sponsorship integrations continuously become smooth and effective. In addition, virtual event sponsoring is less expensive compared to live events. Online formats encouraged small local companies to invest in sponsoring which was unaffordable for them before.
Summing up, hybrid events will definitely reshape the future of live events. If organized in the right way, hybrid events can bring together the best features of virtual and live events. On the one hand, creating an opportunity to visit the event on-site and build in-person connections. On the other hand, making it affordable and accessible to people all over the world.
The future of business events is hybrid
Once the pandemic is over and on-site gatherings will become possible, hybrid events will rapidly grow in numbers, especially when it comes to business events. The crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the upcoming period of recovery after the crisis will make internal corporate events less popular, whereas events for clients and partners will gain popularity.
Companies will be interested in attracting new customers and presenting new products to them as well as making the existing customers interested in purchasing the products/services again. Business conferences, forums and seminars organized in a hybrid format will become a handy tool to meet all these goals .
Do you want to organize your own hybrid event? Download Liveto’s free guide and learn everything you need to know about hosting a hybrid event successfully.