The past year and a half have accelerated the adoption of several new technologies across sectors. Even though we’re returning to normalcy, most of those are here to stay since they have demonstrated their benefits to organizations. For example, more and more organizations now want hybrid events that use live video to widen their reach and deepen their impact.
Hybrid events are a mix of virtual and live events. With the help of a video production company, hybrid events decouple organizations and event managers from their locations. Whether it’s a product launch, press briefing, or an internal town hall, it doesn’t take much to turn an in-person event into a hybrid event.
With live video and the help of a webinar production company, organizations can significantly scale their in-person events. As companies and event organizers are finding out, once you start going the hybrid event way, there’s no turning back due to the enormous benefits it offers.
Hybrid events offer the best of both worlds to both organizers and participants. Organizers no longer have to decide between in-person and virtual events. It can be both, as these advantages of hybrid events show.
A popular misconception is that a hybrid event would divide the participants into two groups. But the truth is that if you hold a hybrid event, you would be seamlessly delivering your content to a larger number of people. Hybrid events unshackle organizers from having to limit audiences to the location.
It’s been found that almost 98 percent of hybrid event attendees had no plans of attending the live version of the same event. This shows that you won’t be just giving access to currently interested participants but opening up the event to a significantly more number of attendees.
That increased reach won’t be a one-time thing. Almost 23 percent of hybrid event organizers found out that there’s a progressive increase in participation in consecutive events.
Hybrid events throw up more opportunities to increase audience engagement before, during, and after the event, Before the event, you’ll be able to direct attendees to an online forum or website to know more about the event, the speakers, the topic, and the structure of the event.
Since virtual attendees will be participating through their digital devices, they will be able to actively engage as the session happens. They will be able to comment, like, and share the event with those in their network.
This means that you can hold polls, Q&A sessions, and audience sessions involving both live participants and virtual attendees. Importantly, before, during, and after the event, you can encourage participants to network with each other through dedicated rooms or matchmaking software.
Sponsors prefer larger audiences. They also want formats that make it easy to engage with their content or brand. Hybrid events offer both. That’s why almost 72 percent of sponsors are interested in partnering with hybrid events.
Larger audiences give sponsors greater reach. This is significant as most millennials and Gen Z would prefer virtual communication. Corporate sponsors will be able to reach those audiences through their preferred medium.
Secondly, the format gives flexibility to sponsors. They can directly engage with live attendees and tailor their communication for virtual participants through placements in event apps, live streams, etc.
The third reason is that the data a hybrid event would generate will make the process accountable. Sponsors will be able to tell their internal decision-makers that their money was spent well.
For organizers, there’s also the chance of associating with two sets of sponsors; one for the live audience and one for the digital participants. If it’s a local brand, for example, they would be more than happy to just engage with the in-person audience.
There’s greater awareness among businesses, consumers, and the authorities about the environmental impact of routine actions. By dramatically reducing the need for travel, hybrid events are exceptionally environment-friendly.
Attendees will also feel less guilty about their carbon footprint. Organizers won’t have to cater to a larger group of in-person attendees, which will further reduce the need for disposable catering accessories. The reduced number of hotel stays will also significantly lower your event’s environmental impact.
Customers and clients are increasingly beginning to prefer businesses that are aligned with progressive causes, including, commitment toward the environment. Hybrid events are an opportunity for organizations to become environment-friendly, which will go a long way in helping with their brand equity.
Why will hybrid events be the mainstay across all sectors? Because they can dramatically reduce the needless expenses associated with an in-person-only event. The majority of attendees won’t have to travel, which would reduce the total cost of the event for the organizers.
On top of it, companies also won’t have to spend on accommodation and other expenses. All these savings can be invested in either the content or on more events.
It will also make it easier for your sponsors as they won’t have to be physically present at the location. The crew will also find it easy as they won’t need larger teams to set up and manage the event.
Since you’ll be broadcasting the entire event, you’ll also end up recording it. This gives you a content bank that you can repurpose for marketing. In that sense, a hybrid event is an irresistible opportunity for content creation.
You can share the whole live stream or a portion of it through your social media pages. You can also embed it in your newsletters or blogs. This also gives added visibility to your sponsors who would be encouraged to partner with you for future events.
You can also look into your Q&A sessions to see if any particular question had greater participation or interesting responses. These too can be later shared with the non-attendees.
Another important reason for the popularity of hybrid events is their return on investment. With increased reach and multiple forms of engagement, investments in hybrid events will always be more productive for the organizers and sponsors.
Whether it’s a product launch or conference with teammates from around the world, you get to engage with a larger number of people. You’ll reach more individuals without having to spend on travel or accommodation. More attendance through virtual participation also gives greater views for your sponsors.
You can also scale down the in-person part of your event and scale up the virtual part for greater economies of scale.
One of the most important advantages of holding a hybrid event, a webinar through live video, for example, is the amount of data that you’ll generate. You’ll have several metrics that will give an accurate view of the event.
You would be able to measure the number of participants for the event and each session. You would also have granular insights on how long the participants were engaged and when they logged off. This will help you make tweaks to your content in a way that will excite the audience. If you provide networking rooms, you’ll also know the number of people who were engaging with others.
Your sponsors will also get key metrics that will tell them how many people would have seen their messages. All these insights will help you improvise your content, its delivery, and structure for future events.
If we’ve learned anything from the past 18 months or so, it’s that anything can happen out of anywhere. A hybrid format guarantees that your event will go no matter what happens. Whether it’s a pandemic, inclement weather, flight disruptions, or regional lockdowns, a hybrid event organizer has little to worry about.
With easy-to-access technology, participants will have no trouble logging in and attending your event. This is why you should have a strong digital component to your event to future-proof it. It would be a massive risk to rely only on on-site participation.
The pandemic forever changed the pace of technology adoption. Technological solutions that were only in the periphery are now mainstream, like hybrid events. Even if some companies would expect their employees back in the office, it’s safe to say that hybrid work will be the norm for most companies.
For such a remotely connected world, hybrid events are the right solution. People have no problems interacting over videoconferencing tools and so, they wouldn’t have any issue attending a virtual event.
Corporate sponsors have also understood the needs of the new environment. They would want an event they associate with to have a hybrid component for greater reach, engagement, and return on investment.
It makes immense sense to make your event hybrid with the assistance of a video production company. Through live video, everything from a webinar to an industry conference can have a people-friendly aspect with the adoption of the hybrid format.