The events industry is all about human connection. When event streaming technology first surfaced, in the 90's and into the early 2000's there was a fear that the events industry was approaching an abrupt end. Decades later, we are more sure than ever, especially after the quarantine resulting from COVID-19, that in person events are not going anywhere. Humans truly are wired for connection, and that connection goes beyond a screen. In fact, a significant amount of research has proven that screen time can be detrimental to human health. The connection, the chemistry, and the transformation we experience from in person events cannot be replaced by virtual events. So, one solution in the meantime, as we know, is hybrid. Here are 7 reasons why you should host hybrid events.
01. People connect through shared experiences.
Let’s say you’re planning a sales training conference. Bring 4 key stakeholders in for an interactive, safe experience such as a physically distanced low ropes course. Tie in the learning outcomes with what the content purpose for the sales team, film the primary stakeholders as they solve problems on the ropes course, add in a live host for the event livestream to invite your entire sales operations into an unforgettable event. Then, tie in more content related to this and breakout rooms with discussion questions. Watching their organization’s top performing sales leaders in this learning experience increases engagement because viewers actually get to see what they are going through and feel like they get to know the leaders in a new way, which will make them feel more connected to your organization.
02. Improved data tracking and success measurement.
By incorporating virtual components, you will have access to more data tracking possibilities compared to strictly in person events, where the best way to track if you don’t have a million dollars to spend is surveys. While you may still be able to track the equivalent with a virtual event, we have seen both engagement and reach increase for hybrid events over strictly virtual events.
03. Budget flexibility.
One of the greatest benefits of hybrid is that it works whether your budget is $10,000 or $500,000. If you’re planning an event, save on transportation, hotel rooms, venue, and catering costs by implementing a hybrid event strategy.
04. Elevated brand experiences with expanded reach.
Leverage hybrid events to extend your brand’s reach by combining tangible visuals and face to face experience with virtual. Expand the reach and engagement of a product launch by live streaming on your social media channels.
05. Increased social media exposure and content shares.
In person attendees are more likely to share to social media platforms about the experience they had in person, especially if they were featured on camera! Virtual attendees can easily share their favorite session, in real time, to their colleagues directly or to their social media platforms. Not only that, video content and live streaming platform Vimeo reports that live content views are 8x longer than on demand content views.
06. Prove your value to superiors.
With a little math, you can show your leadership team the resources that you saved them. From travel expenses, to venue expenses, and most importantly, energy and environmental costs.
07. Engage with leads while you already have their attention.
With an online component, you have the ability to leverage digital connection with your audience. Work to make sure that your online attendees do not feel less important than your in person attendees. Give them a special offer that is not relevant to in person attendees. Additionally, be prepared to give online attendees an offer to register for your next 2021 or later in person events. Unlike in person attendees who may have to pull out their phone and may or may not have a good signal, they are already on your site and connected to wifi, so provide them a direct link to sign up for something you know they want!