It’s no secret that putting together a physical event is detail-oriented, risky, expensive, and fast-paced. Companies organize events because they hold value in terms of branding and companies tend to shell out massive funds to host and execute them on a rather frequent basis. However, with COVID-19 looming for over two years now, the events industry adapted to the circumstances and many even shut their doors for obvious reasons. Technology helped the industry evolve and swiftly shift to the digital world to continue successful operations. Today, from conferences to board meetings, everything occurs remotely using hybrid conference platforms.
The pandemic played a significant role in making the world realize the untapped potential of the virtual world and the benefits it has to offer, which might not be offered at in-person events. These benefits include:
On hybrid event platforms, it is easier to collect data on an array of logistics like regular attendance, audience engagement, watch time, and so on which facilitate companies to plan their upcoming events accordingly and make suitable changes.
In-person events involve the participation of way too many people and rescheduling is not a convenient or feasible option in that case since it affects a large number of people and factors. However, virtual events on hybrid event platforms have the element of flexibility and can be feasibly rescheduled since it is all planned way in advance.
Virtual events have the potential to reach a global audience and the marketing of the event can be accelerated. People who may have other commitments and hence cannot attend in-person events, find virtual events more feasible. This somewhat motivates them to attend the event since it can be done with minimum effort from the comfort and safety of their homes.
In-person events require heavy marketing like brochures, pamphlets, and posters with the added element of commuting from one place to another which all contributes to the carbon footprint. With virtual events, this is not an issue and these events are eco-friendly and sustainable options.
Decreased commuting costs:
Virtual events are held on hybrid conference platforms and hence people can attend them from anywhere in the world, minus the travel costs. No expenses on food, entertainment, commuting, or stay are involved and hence almost zero contribution to the carbon footprint.
Database for information storage:
Post the conclusion of the virtual event, firms can use the virtual event platform as a database or a storehouse of data and other valuable information like the event’s presentations, marketing collateral, vendor booths, speaker information, and so on. This information may be accessible to attendees all the time and companies can store content and data for their future reference.
The real question here is though, how does one reap the benefits of in-person and virtual events? The hybrid format has done wonders for the events industry in this regard. Hybrid events are held both in-person and on a virtual conference platform simultaneously. The aim is to reach a global audience. People who can attend the in-person event may do so, but people who might not be able to commute and attend the event live may choose the online option and participate via mobile phones, laptops, or PCs. The hybrid approach is very well assumed to be the future, and rightfully so. It gives access to a larger audience to engage in a certain event, even from the security of their homes, and still experience the same things it has to offer as the live audience.
The COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a virus, right? Now, a virus never essentially leaves the planet, continues to mutate and occasional flare-ups are a huge and likely possibility. If another surge in COVID cases is witnessed in the future, the amount of investment done in physical events will go down the drain due to the absence of pandemic-related insurance and financial backing. In such an event, the companies will not be able to protect themselves financially. To protect themselves in the event of another natural calamity or the like, hybrid models will come in handy.
The virtual component will always be a knight in shining armor in such cases and organizations will not feel the burden of coming up with last-minute solutions or doing any damage control. This way, companies can invest their time, efforts, and energy into the virtual event and do a far greater job of accommodating virtual attendees.
- a) In the case of hybrid events, it is of utmost importance to give equal attention and commitment to both the live audience and the virtual audience. The attendees must have an enriching experience regardless of the platform they attend from. No one should feel less attended to and everyone must be able to have fruitful takeaways from the event in the best way possible.
- b) Marketing the event to both groups is equally important to drive engagement. Obviously, the marketing tactics for both groups will be different but is essential to ensure the success of the event in terms of global attendance. Online marketing tools like social media campaigns, content creation, and email are useful.
Now that the world is gradually transitioning back to normal (whatever that means) the future of events is still an ongoing debate. Companies must research this topic and formulate a plan of action as to how they plan to host upcoming events. Surveys can be carried out and the interests and preferences of attendees can be weighed. Various virtual conference platforms can be explored as well. However, the best alternative for organizations to save up on time, funds, and other resources is to rely on the hybrid event format. It encompasses the benefits of both the virtual and the live components. It is, without question, a model that will be sought out in the post-pandemic world forever without hesitation. One thing to ensure is to choose an efficient platform, like Dreamcast. It offers a wide range of virtual solutions helping one host their virtual events smoothly.