Virtual 2020, Hybrid 2021: The revolution in the event industry

Virtual events have proved themselves in 2020, but are hybrid events going to mold the future of the event industry? Let’s find out.

Today, organizations are significantly reaching global attendees and expanding their business immersive even during this difficult time of covid-19. From working from home for months together to attending virtual meetings, training, conferences, and events, the pandemic has made us reliant on digital tools and technologies. Let us see how virtual events became the talk of the town in the year 2020.

VIRTUAL VS HYBRID EVENTS: HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?

There are a few determining factors for choosing the right platform for your event. Some of these factors are the size of your event, available capital, a timeline of the event, and the location of the venue and the attendees. For the in-person part, it is necessary that the attendees stay in the same physical area to attend the event at the venue. Virtual attendees can join from anywhere in the world. Via hybrid events both, the in-person and virtual attendees can interact with each other. Virtual events took over the event industry in 2020, let’s look at how.

VIRTUAL EVENTS IN 2020

Following the constraints placed on live events due to the outbreak of a global pandemic, simulated events received a lot of attention last year. And why not? Digital events usually have lower production costs and can be produced and presented much quicker than live events. Businesses have been able to continue to reach their customers and partners through virtual experiences even though in-person events are not accessible.

Since there are no restrictions on audience size in a simulated environment, virtual gatherings can accommodate much more people than a live event. Digital activities often eliminate or at least minimize organizational and financial obstacles for attendees, helping organizations to extend their audience beyond their home city or country.

VIRTUAL EVENTS ADVANTAGES

1. Makes a good first impression:- 

Custom forms, easy payments, and quick accurate analytics are some of the features that the planner can leverage. These features enhance the attendee’s experience as soon as the event commences.

2. Generate potential leads:- 

Apps are available to store and identify potential leads, these make it easy to manage and pursue. Such lead retrieval gives access to important personal details shared by the attendees to the exhibitors, thus generating numerous leads with relatively less effort and hassle.

3. Display effective programming:- 

Let the creativity flow and think outside the box, the exhibitors can provide an immersive experience to the attendees with custom event schedules and engaging sessions. Keep a flexible platform with a concrete foundation.

4. Amplify your sponsor’s and exhibitors’ value:- 

Virtual events offer limitless scaling and the opportunities are increasing for getting sponsor packages, these help to keep the events profitable. The ability to know how many times a virtual session or booth was visited provides valuable information to the sponsors and exhibitors. As for the attendees, they don’t have to travel long distances to attend an event; they may simply attend the event over the internet and obtain more time to interact with the sponsors and the exhibitors.

5. Better feedback from the attendees:- 

Virtual events help to accumulate important data which can be beneficial for future events. Simultaneously they also offer several metrics to help plan future events. A number of attendees sorted by time and the speakers with the maximum engagement rate can be recorded and analyzed with help of virtual events.

6. Enhanced attendee Growth:- 

The fact that the attendees can attend irrespective of their geographical location is one of the most important features of virtual events. An event taking place in Canada can be witnessed by an attendee in Russia, this elimination of geographical barrier increases the attendance exponentially.

7. Increase your networking options:- 

Introduce special meet-up places, cocktail parties, and entertainment programs while providing detailed attendee directories. Keep everyone engaged in the event, even those who don’t particularly develop relationships in traditional events. Leverage polls, discussions, and votes to keep everyone engaged.

HYBRID EVENTS IN 2021

Hybrid events are a mixture of both worlds. On scrutiny of virtual vs hybrid events, a hybrid event permits for a few of the audience to attend face to face (live), while others attend virtually (online). This can be a good method for businesses to expand their overall reach, by creating their event and its content accessible to people who are restricted by provision or money reasons. This approach eliminates several of the physical barriers for both organizers and attendees, reducing prices and production overheads at an equivalent time.

If we look at virtual vs. hybrid events, hybrid events afford way larger quality in production values. Event hosts or producers are able to be seen from a studio, which may be utterly custom-made to suit the event (think broadcast set-up style!), providing superior lighting and sound, adding to the event experience.

Effectively incorporating virtual elements such as video streaming and Q&A sessions is the recipe for a successful traditional event to grow while maintaining diversity.

At a time wherever live events don’t seem to be possible, you’ve most likely been curious concerning hosting an incident either on a virtual platform or a hybrid events platform. However, according to several event planners, Hybrid events are the popular answer over virtual events and are planning to be a game-changer in 2021. Hybrid events not only modify much better-quality production values, the general result and content delivery is way too impactful. Leading to a larger comeback on your investment.

HYBRID EVENT ADVANTAGES

1. Amplified attendance.

The venues are bound by limited physical space for in-person attendees; however, in the case of hybrid events, you get additional attendance. Virtual attendees need not travel long distances, rather they may attend the event at their own comfort, thus increasing attendance Significantly.

2. Thought-leadership

If cost-savings leave you with a bigger budget, contemplate reaching bent on presenters who could have been out of reach or who are new. This creates a chance to create new connections, provide your attendees access to new and in-demand speakers, and provide presenters exposure to new audiences.

3. Networking

Interactive platforms are designed to facilitate engagement and networking online. Whether via chat, live polling, virtual break-out rooms, video chat, or connecting via social feeds, the digital expertise exposes new opportunities for presenters and attendees to have interaction on an additional intimate level as compared to the past. The wonders of an occurrence platform is the association created between the in-person and virtual attendees, instead of treating them as separate audiences, the platform is intended to be all-inclusive, giving every attendee equivalent expertise regardless of wherever they log in from.

4. A New Revenue Stream

Take advantage of the virtual environment and get inventive virtual event sponsorships which will usher in additional revenue and ultimately increase your ROI. If you’re streaming your event live or providing it on-demand, it’s a good opportunity to drive revenue via banner ads, ticketed content, sponsored segments, digital swag baggage, etc.

5. Data to Report on

The qualitative nature of in-person events is a challenge to work out. The good thing about a hybrid event is that it introduces a virtual component. Thus enabling organizes to know who attended, and for what time period, what they watched, and much more. This provides you the ability to supply sponsors with information to justify ROI, and importantly, it provides you valuable insights for improvement.

6. On-Demand Viewing

One of the key advantages of having a virtual component is that you can stream your event or you may present it as on-demand. Thus eliminating any time-zone barrier or schedule conflicts that may exist for the attendees. Convenience for the attendees goes a long way in maintaining a good impression. Likewise, having an on-demand feature improves the sustainability of your event and thus will continue to get more attention even after the original event has concluded.

7. The Opportunity for Social Connection

You may also present social opportunities to the attendees, as due to the pandemic there have been severe travel restrictions and lifestyle restrictions. Thus, integrating a social media platform into your event will gain you awareness.

OVER TO YOU

The pandemic has made the digital world our second home. Coupled with the crisis, the significant technology-led advancements have fundamentally altered the way meetings and events are conducted. Now, the question is: will virtual events be the norm for longer? Or will hybrid events take over completely in 2021? Perhaps, both hold equal importance and go hand in hand. Our prediction is they both will continue to exist as they are easier to organize and engage more attendees in their own way.