Last year when in-person events came to a screeching halt, some pivoted to an all-virtual format. Now, with more people vaccinated and companies returning to the office, there’s a shift in meeting and event planning encompassing the best of both worlds—the hybrid event.
Hybrid events are on the rise in 2021.
When the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) surveyed organizers about how they plan to manage their corporate meetings this year, many point to hybrid events. Three out of five respondents said they expect to hold at least one hybrid meeting in 2021.
And why not? Going hybrid allows you to create an engaging and immersive event experience that also pays dividends. A whopping 86% of B2B organizations see a positive ROI of their hybrid events seven months after the event date. (Source: Markletic Event Research)
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to implement a hybrid element into your next corporate meeting, conference, or sales event, consider these attractive hybrid event benefits.
Hybrid events allow you to double your reach. The dual-format draws those people who planned to attend in-person, as well as those virtual attendees who a.) were otherwise unable to participate in, or b.) weren’t sure if attending was worth their time. The flexible virtual format allows them to tune in, and if they like what they see, stick around for more valuable content.
Because virtual attendees connect to the event via their phones or laptops, they can participate in live discussions, as well as like and share content using digital channels. Plus, by recording sessions and sending them out or posting them after the event, in-person attendees who couldn’t make it to all sessions or simply want to revisit the content can do so for days and weeks after the event (a valuable benefit for speakers and sponsors, too).
By reducing the number of onsite attendees, the event’s carbon footprint also decreases—think lower carbon emissions associated with travel, fewer resources used in preparing food, and lower energy costs—thus lessening the environmental impact.
Robust data tracking.
You can use your online event technology platform to capture vital data. Which session had the most activity? How many people stayed, and when did they drop out? Use this valuable data to tailor your follow-up marketing content, feeding them the material they are most interested in, and modify upcoming event topics to align with attendee behaviors.
Improved lead generation.
Hosting part of your event in a digital environment creates opportunities for building brand awareness and lead generation. Use post-event attendee surveys and attendee tracking and lead tracking to develop your marketing pipeline.
By offering your event in both in-person and virtual formats, you’re meeting your audience right where they need you to be. For remote workers with time or budget constraints, the option to log in online and participate virtually may put your event within their reach. The inclusive format shows that your brand is willing to do what it takes to make it easy for attendees to connect and participate.
Over the past year, our team at Shamrock has managed a few virtual product showcase events. We’re looking at some hybrid events for later this year. How about you? We’d love to hear from you. Join the discussion on our Facebook page.