Learn about all things hybrid, including pros & cons, platform features, and best practices.
The hybrid event model (where attendees join both in person and virtually) will be adopted more and more as we move past the pandemic. This event format can not only serve as a bridge back to normal for the events industry, but will likely continue to persist because of its ability to serve a much larger audience than live events of the past have been able to. That said, event organizers are still determining what exactly a hybrid event looks like and how to effectively implement it.
While COVID-19 has caused a lot of damage, it has also presented great opportunities for the events industry, which has responded with an explosion of innovation. Prominent event tech companies like Cvent, Aventri, ATIV Software, Event Mobi, Meeting Play and EventsAir have adapted to changing customer needs by developing virtual and hybrid event platforms. Many of these companies have additionally incorporated virtual/hybrid event training into their service offerings.
At Virtual Shake Up 2.0, Corbin Ball discussed the nature of the hybrid event model and presented several suggestions as to how event pros can approach this model. Read below for the key things to consider when it comes to this new strategy.
Key Learning #1: Benefits and Challenges of Hybrid Events
Benefits of Hybrid Events:
Key Learning #2: Features to Look for in a Hybrid Platform
When choosing a platform for a hybrid event, it is important to first determine what the event is going to look like and then shop for a platform that has the capability to satisfy everything the event needs. Here is Corbin’s list of features to keep in mind during the hybrid platform evaluation process:
Key Learning 3: Best Practice Checklist For Hybrid Events
Additional Highlights From Corbin Ball’s Session:
Question: Let’s imagine the vaccine works and we get somewhat rid of COVID-19 by the end of 2021. What will be the market share of virtual-only events in 2022?
Answer: If we have a vaccine, the need for virtual events will still be there and there are a number of reasons for this. Business travel is never going to be the same as people are going to be working from home and attending business meetings virtually. Flying across the country or going to another country for a one day business conference is not going to happen nearly as much. People will find that virtual will be good enough for many and I think it's going to have a lasting larger footprint. In the short term, many events are going to be hybrid because that's the bridge from virtual to face-to-face events, but in the long term that hybrid component with the larger audience size and virtual meetings as well could be long lasting.
Question: What crucial skills do event organizers need to develop to survive this lapse in lack of face-to-face events? Communication skills? Digital? H2H? Social media savvy?
Answer: When you boil down events to its most essential element, they bring people together. Think of virtual and hybrid events as another tool in the toolbox to do that. One thing I recommend is to be tech savvy. Virtual and hybrid events are a different animal and it is important to learn as much as you can about them. There is lots of information online and lots of certificates you can get to educate yourself on these new event formats.
Want to watch the full session recording? You can do so HERE.
More About Corbin Ball:
Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS is an international speaker, consultant and writer helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. After 18 years running international city-wide technology meetings, Corbin transitioned in 1997 to become a highly acclaimed speaker with the ability to make complex subjects understandable and fun. Corbin is a 2018 inductee into the Event Industry Council's Hall of Leaders, the most prestigious honor in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry. He is the only person to have received both the MPI International Supplier of the Year and the MPI International Chapter Leader of the Year awards. Corbin has been named as one of "The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry" five times by Successful Meetings/MeetingNews magazines.
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Market Development Assistant, H2K Partners