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  • Mary Windham

The Future of the Event Industry is Hybrid

From the Desk of Mary

Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer

Even as vaccines roll out and events start bringing us back together, the public still isn’t ready for completely in-person events with large groups of people. We’ve learned the dangers of contagious viruses, but what’s more, we’ve also learned the many hard-to-ignore benefits of virtual event platforms.

Greater audience reach, the efficacy of online marketing, and streamlined surveys and analytics are just a few of the invaluable qualities of today’s virtual events.

As a result, many event planners and businesses alike are now looking at combining in-person benefits with virtual platforms, known as a hybrid event.

Benefits of Hybrid Events

Hybrid events allow the participant to choose their own experience, maximizing their potential to enjoy the event and come back. In addition, hybrid events create a uniquely cost-saving way to maximize your audience reach through in-person networking as well as far-reaching online promotions and engagement. Just a few other benefits are:

  • Video and photos of real-time events

  • Integrated online marketing throughout the year

  • Countless engagement opportunities

  • Greater flexibility and pivot potential

  • Analytics, surveys, and data still quickly available

  • Reduced impact on the environment

  • Reduced travel costs and staffing needs

What Does a Hybrid Event Look Like

These combo events can take many forms, but the main goal should be to provide the same, engaging experience for both in-person and virtual attendees. The two parts shouldn’t feel like two different events or feel like one is better than the other.

Like any event, the organization should identify its main goal and brainstorm modern, interactive ways to achieve it. Researching the current market or talking to an experienced hybrid event planner is a great way to tap into endless opportunities for entertainers, live streaming, recordings, in-person engagement, online activities, and more.

Apple Special Events are a great example of digital + in-person done right. They prioritize production value that’s easily experienced by both in-person attendees and the streaming audience. Think it’s only great because it’s Apple? Think again - Riot Games’s League of Legends Tournament is an immense in-person, live-streamed spectacle that attracts tens of millions of live viewers every year. In addition, the CDC’s 2012 hybrid conference was the government’s first conference to include virtual components as well as in-person activities.

There’s one thing these guys all have in common - they were ahead of the game and learned how to do virtual and hybrid events early on. But don’t worry - it’s not too late! The sooner you learn your way around these innovative events, the sooner your company will be able to offer an exciting and unique experience every time.

How much does your business know about hybrid events?

Tell us your experiences in the comments below! You can also follow Occasions, Inc. on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


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