Hosting events amid the pandemic is very challenging for event organizers world-wide. Thankfully through technology, the events industry continues to rise through virtual and hybrid events. Even though virtual events are the key players in the events hosting world, in due time, hybrid events will surely take over and gain more popularity.
As simple as it sounds, physical, virtual, and hybrid events have a lot of differences. Basically, physical events are held in-person, virtual events are held entirely online, while hybrid events have a bit of both. The main question now is, what makes hybrid events unique? Why should you host a hybrid event and what are the pros and cons of hosting one?
What are hybrid events and why should you host one?
Hybrid events are a combination of both virtual and physical events. This can be a conference, tradeshow, seminar or other kinds of meetings that have both online and in-person components in. Meaning, some attendees can attend online while some can come in the venue and experience the event live, some can attend through the virtual event platform, or some can even do a bit of both. This allows the attendees to experience the best of both worlds, and gives them the freedom to experience the one they choose.
Hybrid events will get popular soon enough as vaccination programmes are being implemented. Some stadiums and venues will open up for events hosting. While this sounds great, some people still want to ensure their safety and security. Therefore, the concept of hybrid events is definitely a great idea. In addition to that, 70% of respondents in a study say that hybrid events will be important to the future of meetings.
What are the pros of hybrid events?
Provides opportunities for both the attendees and organizers.
Hybrid events offer a great option for people who do not have the time and budget to attend the physical event. Through the virtual component of hybrid events, they have no reason to miss out! Attendees can maximize the experience by watching the presentation in real time or through a recording.
As for event organizers, space and capacity of venues are no longer big problems. Businesses who hold hybrid events can decide how many delegates can attend the physical event and how many can attend online. This allows them to provide better services to resource speakers and VIP guests.
Creates a safer space for everyone
Hybrid events are much safer for everyone at this time. Since event organizers can choose who to invite and how many to invite in the physical component, overcrowding is the least concern. Aside from that, distancing protocols and other safety measures are easier to monitor since most venues only allow 50% capacity.
Creating a safe space for the event gives attendees and organizers the confidence that they will not be infected with COVID-19. Implementing these safety measures can be a great way to promote your event and attract more attendees.
Increases sponsorship opportunities
72% of sponsors are interested in sponsoring hybrid events. Hybrid events are important for sponsors because of the number of people they can reach. The more attendees a hybrid event has, the better as it creates a large lead pool for them. Aside from that, they can easily communicate with interested parties while interacting with the virtual attendees. Sponsors can also contribute for livestreams, event platforms, and more.
Running out of sponsorship ideas? Check out our list of sponsorship ideas here.
What are the cons of hybrid events?
More complex setup and delivery
While it is true that hybrid events offer the best of both worlds, this also means more preparation and extra setup must be done. By hosting a hybrid event, you are basically producing and preparing for two events.
The biggest challenge is ensuring that the audience are satisfied with both the virtual and live events. Gone are the days wherein you can simply place a camera and record the entire plenary and let virtual attendees watch. This means that the virtual component needs to have an entirely new production that speaks and attracts the attendees.
With the complexity of hybrid events also comes added cost. Organizers must set aside a budget for both the physical event and virtual event. They must also consider the extra expenses needed for virtual platforms, live streaming equipment, and added venue fees.
In addition to the required technology and tools, increase in manpower is also needed to manage the virtual and physical events. Event organizers must strategize well and make wise pricing decisions. Pricing must also be adjusted for sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities. All of these will create a big impact on your event budget.
More stable internet connection is needed
This is a problem for both organizers and attendees. Some attendees might not have a stable connection to attend the event. This can affect their virtual experience – it can either be “the greatest” or “the worst.”
A laggy connection on the organizer’s end imposes a bigger problem. Not being able to get your production through due to internet connection or other online issues will greatly affect the attendees’ experience and their feedback on the event. This is why checking on all your equipment and choosing the right virtual platform is very important.
Host your hybrid events with Delegate Play
Hybrid events truly is one of the best options for events organizers out there. Now that you know what hybrid events are and its pros and cons, it is now time for you to choose the best platform to conduct your event on. Make your hybrid events engaging and hassle free with Delegate PLAY.
Delegate PLAY – An immersive virtual platform putting all uncertainty to an end
While the global events industry recovers and prepares itself for the new normal, it is the perfect time to look at best-in-class digital technologies to address client needs and preferences. To this effect, the recently launched Delegate PLAY is a game changer, enabling vendors to seamlessly host events and build connections. Delegate PLAY is a fully immersive virtual environment which allows users to host online conferences and exhibitions under one integrated platform. Event organisers, sponsors and attendees are therefore able to sync up and network in an online virtual environment, transforming a traditionally offline experience into an online format. To read more about it, click here.
Delegate PLAY helps optimize your events ROI by offering innovative features like custom virtual fairgrounds, real-time audience participation and engagement tracking, accessing events on the go from any device, and unlimited content without any geographical restrictions.
Planning your virtual event on Delegate PLAY? We would love to help make your virtual event a smashing success. For more information or a demo of Delegate PLAY, feel free to contact us via the form below. We promise to get in touch with you in a jiffy.