The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride for the event industry. The hybrid and virtual event platforms are at their peak and are steadily becoming the most preferential option for event planners and marketers. You must be fencing around what is virtual and hybrid events? Why are they attaining immense popularity? What are the benefits of planning and executing a hybrid event? If you have similar doubt, then this article is just for you. Have a detailed insight into hybrid and virtual events alongside some inspirational examples, let’s get started!
Table of content
- What are hybrid events?
- What are virtual events?
- Why are virtual and hybrid events gaining all the limelight?
- Benefits of hybrid and virtual events?
What are hybrid events?
A hybrid event is a perfect blend of a live in-person event alongside virtual online components. It could be a conference, seminar, product launch, workshop, meeting, tradeshow, and exhibition, or any other kind of event.
Hybrid events are a mix of live on-ground events and virtual events. It combines both in-person events and virtual event features. Hybrid events render the flexibility of participating in the digital space at an event if you are not able to make it to the physical location. It brings attendees in the same frame no matter where they are located. However, hybrid virtual events enable attendees to network and connect in real-time via live chat, audio/video calls.
What are virtual events?
Virtual events are online events that take place over the internet. It has built an impactful space wherein you can interact with people in real-time while sitting at your home comfort. It comes with great escape and benefits for each one- attendees, speakers, event organizers, sponsors, exhibitors, etc.
Virtual event platforms have become more affordable as the internet and technology advance. It is becoming more and more prospect-centric. With the changing environment of digitalization and the key development in digital event management, it is going to transmogrify the entire event fraternity, so do the event technology.
Why are hybrid and virtual events gaining all the limelight?
Post-global pandemic, hybrid and virtual events became more beneficial and innovative in their way. Due to COVID-19 government released orders restricting public gatherings to ensure health and safety, which took the event industry by a sudden halt.
Hybrid events and virtual events come with some major perks over traditional ways of hosting in-person events. One of the biggest benefits of these event platforms is their outstanding reach that is beyond the control of traditional on-ground events.
It offers endless opportunities for event planners and marketers today. With such unique event formats, audiences and planners can now communicate without any geographical strains. Besides that, it enables you to host multiple events similar to physical ones. Organizing a single virtual or hybrid event can capture the sight of your attendees residing across the globe.
What are the benefits of hybrid and virtual events?
As hybrid events and conferences have great attendance more and more sponsors willingly engage in the same. It results in better ROI when compared to physical events. ROI can also result in better reach and are more scalable which means greater return on investment.
Better reach and increased attendance
The prominent advantage of hosting virtual & hybrid events on a comprehensive event platform is “Better reach and Increased attendance”. The platform enables you to reach a wide segment of the global audience seamlessly. Most organizers think hosting an event virtually will break up their prospects resulting in a loss. But the fact is, it helps in developing the audience exponentially. Potential attendees are willing to participate in an event but cannot make it due to the physical location.
Various constraints like accommodation, location, official commitments, etc. stand as a roadblock. Hybrid and virtual event solutions overcome all. It allows interested attendees to interact from remote locations thus amplifying better attendance at your event.
Environmental friendly alternative
In-person events result in having huge attendees which directly affects the environment. Conducting an online event can overcome all these drawbacks and has immensely reduced carbon footprint at the global level making the world a better place to live.
Hosting an event virtually cuts down the cost for every party involved right from sponsors, vendors, attendees, organizers, and speakers. One drawback of hosting an in-person event was people located in remote areas were unable to attend the event and if they did, it involved massive traveling expenses, also food. This made hybrid and virtual events a big success as there is no food, travel, drinks, venue, etc involved. It has benefited both attendees and event organizers in a lot of ways.
Powerful sponsor opportunities
Virtual and hybrid events promote more opportunities for sponsors but how? As per a report, around 75% of sponsors wish to participate in any virtual events as compared to physical events. Hybrid events permit a wider array of audiences to know about a particular brand, thus enhancing exposure to sponsors. Therefore, better reach and increased attendance allow them to have better-qualified leads.
A valuable collection of data
One of the biggest merits of hybrid and virtual events is valuable data collection. Right from the registration process, every data is collected. Physical registration gathers information about in-person attendees whereas virtual prospects are completely monitored by hybrid virtual platforms. As online audiences are in a closed environment their every action right from what they liked, downloaded, shared, commented on, is all tracked by the event team. The platform enables us to collect vital data effortlessly.
Enhance attendees engagement
To make any event a successful one, audience engagement becomes a crucial part. Attending a hybrid event does not just mean that you can watch a pre-recorded video on your device. Attendees at the hybrid & virtual event can take part virtually and participate in a variety of games and sessions the same as in-person attendees in real-time. Virtual attendees can download, like, share, download the content, participate in live Q&A sessions, games, quizzes and give their feedback. Apart from that, hybrid event solutions enable attendees to have real-time interaction with other attendees, sponsors, speakers, & organizers. Both the on-ground audience and the virtual audience can take part in games, sessions, etc thus amplifying engagement percentage.
Over to you
Virtual and hybrid events offer flexible approaches and endless possibilities to make an event successful. We have enlisted a few of the merits of virtual hybrid events that might help you to change your event format and seamlessly increase engagement. In short, if you are yet to organize a virtual event, take our advice and think of planning to host an event in a virtually rich environment, now is the time to do it. Time is running out!