If there is one particular thing that we learned about the events industry, anything is possible. The lifeline of the events industry is its people. Everything that the industry is because of human interaction and people coming together for one common purpose to connect.
The pandemic taught us how important it is for people to meet people and connect. The beginning of 2020 brought the entire industry to a standstill. The event organizers had to either cancel or postpone their events. However, people soon realized that stopping wasn’t the solution and that if we had to survive in a time like this, then we had to think and come up with ways to live in this kind of a situation. With this came the experimentation of conducting hybrid events. Hybrid events wasn’t a new concept; however, it worked the best during the pandemic.
The coming about of hybrid events proved to be so much more beneficial to everyone involved in it. The audience, the organizers, and the investors are now able to see that the event industry will upscale to an enormous extent here. Hybrid events benefits are many. They have proved to be more cost-efficient and have been able to bring about more return on investments. Moreover, the audience has been able to experience something new and connect with more like-minded people.
Technology has been able to bring together and build a community more than anything during this time. While we are still in the starting stages of this journey, leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors who have been able to foresee the industry’s course and make the best use of the resources available at hand have been able to strive during times like this. Below we will discuss several benefits of hybrid events that will come about.
What exactly is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is a mix of having an online experience with a physical event. A physical event takes place at the central location or the primary location of the event. By integrating online platforms or social media platforms, you can invite many people to be a part of the event. Having a mix of an event of this kind is called a hybrid event.
GEVME designs a platform and customizes it according to its client’s requirements to give the client’s audience a good experience. Along with this, it also enables integrating social media platforms like zoom. The primary purpose behind hosting a hybrid event is for more people to be a part of and engage with the event. GEVME’s platform also enables the online audience to interact with each other and participate in the live quizzes and polls, giving the audience a wholesome experience.
How can hybrid events help the events industry?
The entire events industry has been experiencing a revolution of its kind. No doubt, many sectors, including the events industry, experienced a massive downfall at the beginning of this year. However, companies like GEVME have proved that when one door closes, several others open and that it is smart to make the best out of the resources available at hand.
The pandemic was the main reason companies resorted to hosting hybrid events even though the concept existed but was not that popular. There would be a misconception that hosting a mixed event would be expensive and unnecessary. However, this wasn’t the case when resorting to hybrid events was the only option left. Many were blind to the advantages that mixed events brought along with it regarding the increased amount of reach and data access that can help the company in the future.
GEVME has helped host events like Web in Travel 2020 and ICCA -AES 2020, which were purely based on social meetups and interaction. Hosting an event requires skills and expertise for everything to go in a proper flow. The main element of conducting a virtual event is that the event mustn’t lose its authenticity and impact on its people. In taking the event virtually, you have to give your online audience attention and be answerable to them with regards to anything happening at the event. For this, GEVME provides the hosts with basic training and also provides support throughout the event.
Hybrid events can help an event reach out to more people than they could at a physical event itself. More people can be a part of and even participate in such events. You have to learn to be as creative as possible with the resources at hand and give the online audience an excellent experience and make their time worthwhile.
What are the opportunities for hybrid events?
Increased Audience Reach:
One of the primary advantages of hosting a hybrid event is that it improves an event’s attendance rate. In this way, no matter where part of the world people belong to, they can have access and participate in the event. In this way, more people can have access to the event resulting in more people being aware of the event’s happening and the company.
Another primary reason for hosting an event online is the data collected at every stage, from marketing to engagement to attendance. Data can help understand how the audience responds to emails or other forms of invitations to the event, from where they land on the leading registration site, and how many of those turn up for the event can help the hosts recognize any pitfalls occurred at any stage. If the fault was in the marketing campaign, the firm could develop a better campaign the next time.
Hosting a hybrid event is way less expensive and more profitable than hosting a physical event. Hosting a mixed event does not require a big stadium. The event can be conducted in a much smaller area and then live telecasted to a broader audience. You do not need a crew of people running about checking if everything is going according to what is planned. Monitoring the entire event by sitting in one place is one of the advantages of hosting a hybrid event.
There are many reasons why people may not be able to show up at an event. Some people do not like to travel to places, especially if they have other work or children to take care of. In that case, they can anytime watch the replay of the event anytime later and not miss out on anything. Hosting a hybrid event allows people the flexibility of attending the event from anywhere. One doesn’t need to step out of the house or stream it from the local coffee shop or watch it even while travelling. The main requirement to have access to the event is a good internet connection.
Hosting an event online and live has an added advantage of understanding the audience’s opinions at large. This process, if done manually at a physical event, can be more time-consuming. The live audience and the audience present at a physical location can participate in live polls, quizzes, and QnA’s and contribute and be a part of the event.
Lower carbon footprint:
Many people are environmentally conscious and try to minimize travelling as much as possible to reduce the amount of carbon footprint caused due to travelling. In such cases, it makes more sense for them to attend an event online rather than physically attend it.
How will the Event Industry be after COVID-19?
The industry definitely will not be the same as it was even last year. More people have begun to become aware of the existence of hybrid events. Companies that have already conducted such an event know that while they are going to be investing in hosting a mixed event, they will at the same time be able to cut down on other costs typically incurred.
Now there is no need for large crowds to gather at one place. People won’t have to step out of their homes and watch the entire event while comfortable sitting on their couch. Travel costs in the future will be reduced. Since people do not have to put in the physical efforts of travelling to an event, the event organizers will have to learn and find ways to capture the audience’s attention by putting out good content to increase people’s attendance for the event. The content being marketed will be focused on more. The focus will be on giving the online audience an excellent experience.
The entire event industry will be more people-oriented in understanding how people think, how to capture their attention, and how to keep them online watching the event till the end. All of this needs an incredible amount of study, research, and most importantly, it requires skills.
While physical events will not disappear because, after all, as human beings, we are also social beings, we require necessary human interaction and can connect. However, people companies have got the hang of virtual events and are aware of how beneficial and cost-efficient hosting a virtual event is. There will now be more demand for people who can understand and work with AI, VR, etc. There will be a demand for a Digital Manager along with a need for creative people.
On the whole, the events industry is going to change. This change will come for the company’s betterment to understand and serve its audience well and for the audience to have an experience of its lifetime.
Future of events
The changes brought about in the events industry one year with the shift in the people’s mentality were more than what it had in the previous decade. With the inclusion of technology in this industry, the industry’s change will be much more in the coming years. The management will require resilient people to adapt to change quickly. As more technologies are introduced, the consumer experience will improve. The more the experience improves, the more the demand for a better experience.
The event industry’s future will include visionaries and people who can see ahead of time and understand what the people will require, how to keep them engaged for a one or two-hour show, or to keep them engaged even throughout the day.
This industry is going to change too quickly. While it will make hosting and attending an event easier and profitable, it will require skilled people with regards to orchestrating the entire event. There will be more effort to be put in to plan out and conduct the whole event so that the audience has a good experience and that the event takes place promptly. There will be more focus given to details, with minimal time wastage. The event industry will stay more focused on just what the audience needs and also helps stakeholders in Events Management companies for their growth as well.
Even though it has been just some months since the chaos and lockdown, and the pandemic is still ongoing, and the number of changes seen within the events industry is numerous. The changes that have taken place might be as much as that in five years or a decade. This year, in particular, brought about most of the changes in a snap. The stakeholders of events companies will benefit now more than ever. As a whole, the industry’s future looks more technical, profitable, and, most of all, more service-oriented. Those who cannot keep up with the advances that come on from now may not survive.
GEVME recognized the role that hybrid events would play in the future, and keeping this in mind is focused on the experience that it gives to its audience. Now more than ever, there will be requirements for more technical experts and the ability for critical thinking and making quick decisions. While the traditional way of conducting events will still be on in the future, having an integrated operation method will be smarter. More focus will be given to experiences, expense on unnecessary things will be cut down, less negative impacts on the environment, and more time saved. It is crucial to be attentive now and keep an eye out for all the trends that are going to come about. We have now integrated technology with the industry, and hence the changes and possibilities that this industry will bring about with it will be endless.