The COVID-19 pandemic created havoc in the world with lots of quarantines, curfews, and lock downs. Almost every field was influenced by the pandemic, and mostly in a negative way. However, the same pandemic compelled the event industry to adapt to virtual event platforms which subsequently led the industry to hybrid events. One may keep a positive perspective towards this adaptation as it helped event planners and organizers to realize some significant strengths of virtual and hybrid events. Fortunately, today we are talking about the same! We will also be understanding the viability of virtual and hybrid events for now and for the future.
Virtual and Hybrid Events
Virtual events take place on a virtual platform where the attendees are greeted in a virtual environment with virtual lobbies, conference rooms, exhibition halls, lounges etc. essentially the whole event takes place online and is broadcasted throughout the world via the internet. Attendees can witness the content remotely without having to attend any physical venue.
Hybrid events are a mixture of both worlds. The physical audience attends the event venue, while the virtual audience attends the event via a virtual event platform (Over the internet). This ensures interaction between both sets of audience while also maintaining the social distancing. Technology plays a crucial role in virtual and hybrid events, hence as the technology evolves the events do too. It is blatantly clear that virtual and hybrid events are perfect alternatives for traditional in-person events in lieu of COVID-19 pandemic, however that’s not the only advantage. Read on to find out more strengths of hybrid and virtual events.
Wide Area of Exposure and Audience
The thing that is common in both types of events is the virtual component. In case of virtual events, the event can be witnessed from anywhere around the globe with registration and an active internet connection. The content is available online and the attendees can access it from their devices such as laptops, smartphones etc. In case of hybrid events as well the virtual component provides a wide area of audience and while simultaneously also maintaining face-to-face interaction between the in-person attendees.
It is no mystery that traditional in-person events can empty your pockets as there are lots of expenses such as venue, accommodation, sponsors, gifts, and much more. However, in case of virtual events the expenses such as travel, venue, and accommodation disappear thus providing the organizers with plenty of room to work for and invest in technology. Hybrid events do require a physical venue for a particular set of audience but that does not cost nearly as much as in-person events as the volume of attendees falls drastically and the other part of attendees attend the event virtually.
Digital Foot Printing and Analysis
The virtual component in the both the type of event holds the potential to track and provide the organizer with accurate and live data. Event planners can leverage the virtual platform to attain valuable attendee data such as most visited booths, comments, likes, and even dislikes. Such analytics help the organizer to make the necessary changes to their events and make them more engaging. Same case goes for hybrid events, the host and the sponsors can monitor this collection of data and develop potential leads in real-time! Such level of collection and accuracy of data is not probable for traditional in-person events.
Positive Impact on The Environment
Traveling takes a toll on the environment, all the carbon emission and fuel usage means further depletion of resources. That doesn’t imply that we stop traveling at all, but if we can achieve the same content and decent level of interaction via virtual platforms then it is recommended. As we move towards a self-aware and Eco-friendly world it is no surprise that many organizations have started opting for virtual and hybrid events as they help save the environment, in its own way. The commute distance almost falls to 0 in case of virtual events! On top of that hybrid and virtual events also lead to significant downfalls in emission rate from the venues while also saving the trees, as very little to no paper publication is required.
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Hybrid events are significantly convenient and flexible as you are presenting your attendees to choose a platform from which they want to attend the event, that is in-person or virtually. The ability to provide your attendees with options to attend the event develops a good first impression in terms of the event and overall agenda thus achieving you an edge to keep them engaged. It is natural for human beings to desire convenience and hence hybrid events are the way to go.
Potential in-person attendees can opt for virtual attendance, providing them this facility to do so increases the overall registration and attendance rate. A higher attendance rate means a successful event with greater potential for qualified leads.
Over to You
When the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant amount of negative effect on several industries took place. When studied in depth, the same COVID-19 pandemic forced the event industry to adapt and implement a new system of events to host and attract the attendees, by virtual and hybrid events. Ever since last year event planners and organizers have started opting for virtual events in lieu of social distancing which led them to a realization of the true strength of virtual events and led them to hybrid events as well.
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This introduction to 2 different alternatives of traditional in-person events invites a question regarding some other advantages of the 2 alternatives, we got you covered! The above-mentioned points are some of the strengths of virtual and hybrid events which makes them an ideal way to host events and proves that they are here to stay for the long run. Ranging from a larger area of exposure to data collection for future references, all these advantages give hybrid and virtual events the edge over in-person events, especially in times like these (The Pandemic).