The world has evolved, and the event industry has had to evolve with it. Since the pandemic hit last year, as event planners, we saw a shift to virtual events to replace face-to face. However, since restrictions have eased, we are now immersed in the world of hybrid events.
A hybrid event, as the name suggests, brings together an in-person event and a virtual event. Simply put, this means all event stakeholders (attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and organisers) can benefit from both formats.
Attendees have the option of attending the event venue or participating for a virtual event platform. Behind the scenes event organisers are now responsible for the set up of additional AV and technical infrastructure for virtual streaming and putting everything in place at the physical venue to enable a seamless, integrated and engaging experience for both audiences.
Here lies the big question — As a delegate, what should I expect, and how can I prepare for a hybrid event?
Well, if you are attending a Hybrid Event, here are a few things you should expect:
More Diversity and Inclusion
The logistics and costs that come with attendance at an event are not necessarily an issue with hybrid events. As a delegate you have options. If you are not up for a long journey to attend a conference, you can opt to stream the event live from the comfort of your home.
However if you are able to attend, we still believe there are great advantages to being there in person. Most times, attendees tend to miss an event due to circumstances beyond their control like budget or more recently travel restrictions but with hybrid events, such factors will not be valid — and more people from many locations will have more ways of participating in an event.
Overall this means a broader audience, more input and a better experience for all.
Improved Opportunities to Engage
With a virtual audience a consideration, clever conference program producers are ensuring there are plenty of ways to interact with speakers and other delegates. To ensure inclusivity of both audiences (in-person and virtual) there should be more time allowed for questions and live polls are encouraged to get feedback. Any good virtual event platform will enable attendees to interact with each other and exchange contact details, and most will include opportunities to interact with exhibitors that may have in person presence AND a virtual booth.
The Hybrid Event format should actually make it more interesting for everyone!
Decreased Carbon Footprint
The event industry has always worked hard to decrease it’s environmental impact, and being part of a Hybrid Event is assisting to reduce this further. Hybrid not only gives the delegates the opportunity to attend virtually, but makes it easy for international speakers to participate without the long-haul flights and time away from home. As a side note, the secondary benefit of this is that the organisers can save money on speaker logistics and therefore the program can become more diverse and include a number of international perspectives, once again delivering more value to the attendees.
Hybrid events might just be the new normal for the events industry. Organisations that desire to host a flawless hybrid event can reach out to Nectar Creative Communications by calling 1300 878 815 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.