HOW WILL HYBRID EVENTS EVOLVE IN 2021? 

It’s fair to say that, now we are over a year into the COVID-19 Pandemic, events looks very different from those created pre-Covid. So, it’s only logical to assume that events produced a year from now will look very different from those being made today.

The prolonged lockdowns and the change to working from home have forced almost every business to utilise virtual event solutions. However, as the world starts to emerge out of lockdown, the public’s new familiarity with attending virtual events means that hybrid events are expected to very popular post-Covid restrictions too.

Hybrid events claim to allow event organisers to bring together the best of both virtual and physical events. But what are the real benefits of hybrid events and how could they evolve in 2021?

THEY CREATE AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT:

In person, events tend to pack back-to-back content into a short space of time with attendee’s often having to choose between which sessions to attend, or having to dash in and out of them. However, transitioning to a hybrid event eliminates time constraints.

You can make content longer or shorter as the subject necessitates, and you can allow attendees to engage with it on their own schedules. Presentations and content can be offered for several weeks or years, which in turn will help reach people anywhere in the world who wouldn’t usually be able to attend the event.

THEY CREATE FLEXIBILITY:

2020 taught most of us one thing: how to be flexible. We adjusted plans, transformed ourselves digitally, and made quick decisions.

Many people will be wanting to maintain that flexibility into 2021 and beyond. For event organisers, that means understanding that how people engage with your event could change at a moment’s notice.

THEY CREATE AN EXPERIENCE:

Over the past year, many businesses have viewed virtual and hybrid events as a stopgap until the world returns to ‘normal’. Whilst some see virtual events as a necessary evil and a place holder for physical events, for others virtual events are preferable for their easy access and reduced time commitment.

When live events are widely permitted Hybrid will allow attendees to choose how they wish to attend for their best experience.

However, to create a shared experience it will be important to ensure the live experience is extended to the home and that every element is as impressive and interactive online as it is in person. To do this you will need to think of the event from both angles at each stage from content creation and delivery to activities, and in some cases even refreshments or dining.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

As we transition to the ‘next normal’ remember the key takeaway for Hybrid events is to put the attendee experience first. Covid has changed attendee’s expectations, it’s every event professionals role to accommodate and exceed these expectations to make each event as successful as possible and in some cases hybrid may be the only way to achieve that.

HOW WE CAN HELP:

Whether its live, hybrid, or virtual - First Event can work with you to deliver an event that meets your specific goals within your organisation, contact us here for more information.