In the past year so many new trends and shifts have happened in the event world and in this new blog series I am going to talk about some of them, give my opinions and if I think they will and should last. Today, I am diving into the world of hybrid events.
What is a Hybrid Event?
When the world first stopped so did the event world, then we evolved and adapted and all our events went virtual. Now with vaccinations on the rise and new CDC guidelines a new trend has emerged in the event world, hybrid events. A hybrid event is an event that incorporates in person and virtual components. If done correctly, it is not just livestreaming an in person event, it is an event that has unique virtual interactions and involvement as well as in person components that make up one cohesive event. The important part of hybrid events is creating an experience that holds similar value both in person and virtually.
What Makes Hybrid Events Successful?
Previously, when we as event planners approached an event it was deciding what was our target market, the group of people who would be most likely to show up and attend the event. Then expect that we would see about a 60-70% planned attendance to the event due to scheduling, financial restrictions, ect. Hybrid events really come into play with events such as charity events where making money from ticket sales is a top consideration.
Hybrid events can reach a larger crowd that may not have attended in person due to distance, scheduling, or financial restrictions. When planning an event keeping in mind costs to guest such as commute, gas, parking, tolls, ect can all be a factor to guest not attending. Allowing time to commute to and from events can conflict with scheduling, child and pet care, and other factors. By allowing attendees to take part in a event they are interested in with these allowances increases your attendees.
Hybrid events allows a larger return on investment (ROI) because of the fact that you are increasing attendance, interactions with your organization, more sponsorships and partnerships.
Hybrid Event Examples?
At first when I thought hybrid events my mind went to concerts, meet and greets, and conferences. These large scale events. There is space to plan hybrid events at various levels so here are a few examples
- Charity Events
- When it comes to charity events they will benefit the most from hybrid events, they will get more accurate feed back on engagement and interest and can broaden their attendee scope. With charity events things can be stretched out to maximize event potential. Something like a fitness event where guest track various work outs, partnering with a number of studios or programs and at the end of the week have a small outdoor event with virtual attendees and in person attendees.
- Baby/ Bridal Showers
- Fun hybrid baby showers can maximize on online software interactions. Allowing in person guests and virtual guest play baby shower games online, you can utilize pastry decorating kits for fun activities.
The Future of Hybrid Events
Hybrid events offer so much potential in the event industry. It forces us to think more about inclusion, partnerships and collaborations, engagement and ROI. Hybrid events forces us to be more creative to ensure that the value of the event either equals or surpasses the cost of the event. It forces us to consider our target market and expansion of our event demographics to be more inclusive. It maximizes technological advances and software to elevate our events. I believe we have only begun to scratch the surface of what we could do with hybrid events. In my opinion this is definitely an event trend that should and will stick around.
Let me know if any trends you would love to see or have seen. Also let me know if you think the trends will last!
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