Hybrid events: the future post Covid-19
It is clear, conventional events will take time to come back, the alternative: hybrid events. A type of format that already existed but that with the current situation has become a much more powerful tool for the events industry.
But … What exactly do we understand by hybrid events? It would be the combination of a physical and virtual event in which a part of the attendees is divided into different points in an in-person way and the rest is virtually connected. Normally there is a headquarters and other “satellites” that are connected to each other and interact.
The hybrid event, apart from being more profitable economically, also saves time for attendees and speakers. This implies greater comfort and efficiency in terms of attendance, as well as greater post-event dissemination. We will also be able to increase the impact, since we will have more coverage and geographic reach.
Hybrid events allow us to enrich the event and take advantage of all the benefits offered by the two types of formats (real and digital events). We can have talks, conferences, workshops, etc. both in person and online. In addition, everything we do through the online format will remain in the virtual world, which will allow us to access information whenever we want, even if we have not attended the event.
On the other hand, a hybrid event gives us the possibility of having attendees who are in the other part of the world, at a very low cost and making them protagonists, since their involvement is constantly requested, encouraging their participation.
Some technological tools that will help us organize this type of events are: Streaming, Online Presentations, Online Chats, Webcasts, Social Networks, VR Tools, Applications, etc.
Traditional exhibitions and fairs will be requested to incorporate technology to make the event experience more productive for visitors and exhibitors, post-event surveys show how participants value the use of interactive channels and tools that allow them to increase their contacts and perform their overall experience.
It is also important to keep in mind that certain professions will become more relevant: Community Managers, responsible for collecting data, analyzing trends and keeping the community active around a product, service or company, data analysts, to obtain detailed information on the interest of content and the behavior of each participant, we will obtain valuable information to determine the ROI of an event, UX Designers, so that they develop a more pleasant navigation for virtual assistants.
Even so, we must be clear that an event will always be a means of achieving something, and that two-way and experiential communication between attendees is essential. Therefore, there is no doubt that the in-person format will return as we will continue to seek face-to-face to do business, at the same time new tech trends can help organisers to improve the design and organization of events and how we participate in them.