The pandemic has forced us all to change our way of life over the past year. And nowhere is that more true than in the events industry. With large gatherings banned, event organisers turned to the virtual world to keep the show on the road, so to speak. And it’s proved more successful than anyone dared hope.
But now what do we do? As the lockdown starts to release its grip on our daily lives, many of us are unlikely to go back to the old normal of spending hours on an aeroplane to listen to a conference speaker when we’ve got used to simply clicking on a few computer keys. On the other hand, the pandemic and its associated social distancing has highlighted the vital importance of human contact. We’ve all missed the day-to-day interactions and networking we used to take for granted.
So, as we emerge from our forced hibernation, how do we combine the best of both worlds to create a new future of hybrid events?
Mixing live and virtual audiences
The great thing about virtual events is the way they open things up to a much wider global audience. So it makes sense to keep that advantage and combine it with a traditional live audience at a specific location. The challenge is how do you cater to both live and virtual audiences at the same event? Opportunities for networking will need to cross over the boundaries of technology to keep both audiences happy and engaged.
Costs and pricing
For external events, a two-tier pricing system makes sense to reflect the different experiences of live and virtual delegates. The savings on things like venue costs will make this viable. For internal events, the cost of technology to open an event to a wider audience need not be significantly more than the cost of a live event – but with the added benefits of wider exposure and no travel or accommodation expenses.
Flexibility is another huge advantage of a hybrid approach to internal events. Instead of having 200 people in a room and relying on post-event material to get your message out further within your business, you can have your entire workforce attend virtually for part or all of an event. It makes it easier to cater across time zones. And you can record everything and make it available on demand for people who are unable to attend.
In a hybrid event world, you no longer have to fill a whole day or two to feel like you are making the most of your investment. You can even split content across a number of days so that people can fit it around their day job.
For more information about how to create a successful hybrid event, please give us a call on 01252 717707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org