In 2021, hybrid events have suddenly gained the spotlight! Until March 2020 most events were physical, virtual meeting platforms were available but were primarily used for routine meetings and that too generally to bring together participants from different geographies at short notice and zero travel cost.
Thereafter, the pandemic forced everyone to adopt online meetings. Office meetings, conferences, customer meetings, and even family get-togethers went online. People who were averse to using technology or did not understand the technology also joined the bandwagon as there was no option and life & commerce had to go on!
This has brought about a change in habits with several attendant benefits:
1. The cost of organizing events has been substantially reduced.
2. People from different geographies have been brought together at a low cost.
3. The travel time of the attendees has been saved so they can achieve more in a day.
4. The time and manpower needed to organize an event have been reduced substantially.
5. Organizations that earlier could not afford events have now started using this method for marketing and communication.
6. There is almost no limit to the number of participants in an online event.
7. Capturing attendee data like time of entry, exit, and questions-asked feedback, and administration of quizzes have become accurate and more feasible than earlier.
8. With no limit of physical space, many more sponsors for an event can be packed. Further, with a larger number of attendees, it has become easier to find the sponsors and make them agree to pay more!
Will Hybrid Events lead the way?
As we experience more and more online events, some kinks have emerged:
1. People have got bored of online events. They yearn to meet others physically, share a laugh, break bread together, network, and change of scenario.
2. Attention span of attendees of online events is lesser with greater distractions.
3. Everyone is getting a deluge of event invitations. This has resulted in a general apathy to them and the propensity to miss the important ones.
4. No special attention can be given to some special speakers and attendees.
5. Unreliable internet speeds at the attendee end and worse if at the speaker end impact the event experience negatively.
6. Entertainment events, particularly, suffer due to the quality of the internet and the inability of most people to coordinate audio and video inputs from multiple sources.
7. Activities involving coordinated performance by multiple people simultaneously suffer big-time.
8. The magnificence and grandeur of important events go missing.
With the easing of the pandemic, people want to go back to physical events but do not want to lose the advantages of online events.
Hybrid events are the outcome!
These events give you all the advantages of online events at a slightly higher cost while mitigating all the negatives. The future, as it seems now, will see mostly hybrid events.
Why do you need Hybrid Event Management Services?
For a successful hybrid event, you need to consider the following issues:
- To integrate the online audience with the physical audience, an additional special screen is needed with all attendee thumbnails, which can be replaced by the speaker image whether he is online or physical. This also involves streaming and projection technologies.
- To ensure all physical audiences are also seen by the online participants, we need hybrid event technology -having multiple cameras-based audio and video recording set up, having technology to live stream, selecting frames from multiple camera feeds and integrating it with the online meeting software.
- Special hybrid events solution or software to integrate the one-to-one and one-to-many engagement of online and offline participants needs to be used.
- Sponsors can be online or offline. Technology is needed for exposing these brands to both audiences.
- Participant qualification, differential pricing for online and physical attendance and sponsors- all of these factors need to be taken care of while planning a hybrid event.
Since a lot of this requires special handling, you are advised to use a professional agency to manage this.
The author of this note is the director of Channel Technologies, an organization specializing in the execution of online, physical, and hybrid events and their audience acquisition activities.
If you’re looking for a Hybrid Event Agency in India, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (91) 9871125804.