(Dis)Advantages of Hosting A Hybrid Event
Hybrid events alongside other tools for remote work and virtual meetings are being adopted on a massive scale as COVID-19 pandemic forces anyone who can work from home to do so. Remote work might become a "new normal" after the crisis has vanished; arguably, a greater proportion of our day-to-day professional activities will be conducted online.
If social distance teaches us anything, it is the value of human connection: in business, as in life, there is no substitute for the power of bringing people together. Humans still rely primarily on physical proximity and personal interactions for learning and educating, exploring, or exchanging ideas, besides building trusted relationships needed for problem-solving, negotiating, and decision-making. So we're confident that when some semblance of normality returns, we'll see a pendulum swing in appetite and appreciation for face-to-face events.
What Is a Hybrid Event?
Hybrid event is an in-person physical event or series of in-person events that have been seamlessly merged with an online audience that can listen to speakers, participate in activities, and network with online and offline participants.
A hybrid event is more than just a live stream of an event to an online audience; it's a streaming experience that supports both attendees on the event floor and those watching online. It offers an interactive space for both audiences to engage while also experiencing the same content.
It is essential to take the time to identify the objectives of your hybrid event and to gather all the tools you need to achieve these objectives effectively. Below, we outline the common elements, goals, and benefits of your hybrid event.
Critical Elements of Hybrid Events
One common misconception we've heard in the industry is that all you need for a hybrid event is a virtual streaming provider. A good hybrid event includes the same hardware and functionality as an onsite event. Paired with a good virtual streaming provider, these constituents will make your hybrid event a big success.
Your content is probably even more important to a hybrid event. Not just do your in-person attendees have to be engaged, but your virtual attendees should also be involved in the event.
The hybrid event attracts both in-person and virtual participants; Giving your organization the chance to attract the number of participants to your event multiple times.
Build custom registration paths for your in-person attendees and your virtual attendees to sign up for correct sessions. Finally, keep track of those who have abandoned registration and send them a reminder email to register!
Volume of Attendees
While an in-person event is often the most engaging one, some interested people don't have the ability or the time to travel long distances to attend such events. Not to mention, sometimes, in-person events can carry a very high price tag. Both factors may prevent individuals from deciding to register for your event. However, with a hybrid event, these individuals may be more likely to attend the event from the comfort of their desktop and at a much lower cost.
When hosting a hybrid event, you will be streaming your speakers and sessions for virtual attendees to view. This allows you to record the sessions and send them out after the event. Attendees who couldn't make some sessions or want to watch again can now engage with the content weeks after the event ends.
Lower Carbon Footprint
By reducing the number of attendees onsite, the carbon footprint of your event will also decrease. There will be less movement by the visitors, fewer dishes thrown away, and less transportation of tables and rental chairs. Your company will not only be positioned as a great event but also as an environmentally conscious organization.
It is the main explanation of why virtual events have been launched; convenience! As described earlier, most people today have hectic schedules and are hesitant to take time out to travel to and commute back from an event.
Flexible, interactive online options are much easier for them to attend.
Connect to a Global Audience
You are no longer limited to a single audience or a few devoted commuters.
Now, you can let people from all over the world enter your event and even take part via an online bridge or forum.
With in-person experience being a major advantage of onsite activities, we expect to see a rise in post-COVID-19 hybrid activities. A hybrid event encourages participants to engage comfortably in-person and practice social distancing while others may take part in the event online from their remote location.
However, there is still no other method that better conveys the aspects of communication than face-to-face connections. Body language is a crucial part of communication. Well, postures, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements are best translated live.
When a company is trying to get the best results with a team buy-in or team building, a face-to-face meeting is the most efficient.
Irreplaceable Benefits of Face to Face Events
Meetings take people to a more focusing environment with fewer distractions. As long as attendees are entertained, informed, and fed, experienced event hosts can keep their attendees engaged for long hours.
-A better Chance to Understand Body Language
Communication is not always conveyed by words alone. You can understand a lot by observing a person's body language and even the tiny signals he/she gives by facial expressions and hand gestures.
-It Helps Make Focusing Easier
Virtual meetings are very beneficial and attractive, indeed. Still, in this multitasking world, the chances are good that, during a meeting, people may be involved in other tasks as well, such as checking emails, which will not allow them to focus on what is being shared in a meeting fully. However, the chances of multitasking are very rare in face-to-face meetings, which is one of the most important face-to-face benefits. Such meetings are more engaging, and people often worry that they may be noticed if they try to do anything else, so complete or optimum attention is sure to be enjoyed in these meetings.
-Conversations Are More In-Depth
Attending a meeting in person usually brings all your attention and ideas to the area around the topic being discussed, making you more involved, thus share more profound insights.
Also, many people attend events not just for content but also for the ability to meet and connect with other participants (and speakers) with common interests. Human factor and relationship building experience are the number one reason people are attending events.
The Verdict - Face-to-Face OR Hybrid Event?
Face to Face Events:
- Better communication
- More personal treatment
- Greater concentration
- Allows off the record
- Add flexibility to projects
- Reduce logistical costs