Hybrid events are here to stay, and for more reasons than one. Not only are they more convenient, but they provide a cost-friendly and business-savvy alternative to fully live events, among many other great advantages.
Plus, a mix of both live and virtual content is a powerful, inclusive solution to the challenges facing today’s event industry. Offering new ways to create one-of-a-kind experiences at conferences, summits and workshops, for example, hybrid events are built for a modern audience who’s connected like never before. In addition to delivering an engaging lineup of speakers, excellent coffee breaks and snacks, and a layout that engages attendees, it’s also important to include a level of digital accessibility that has come to be expected from consumers around the world.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the many key benefits that come with crafting an integrated, hybrid event experience, so you can impress your audience – no matter where they are.
Hybrid events are a simple concept. They are a combination of two separate but equal experiences, in-person and virtual. In addition to hosting a live event, producers implement a virtual component that’s designed specifically for remote attendees throughout the world. With the incorporation of technologies like video and audio streaming, online chat rooms, lead-capturing tools and more, you can engage an audience when they can’t come to you.
Even though the United States seems to be turning a corner with the COVID-19 pandemic, many areas around the world are stuck in precarious situations. If your event is going global, now is the right time to scale back and think of ways to keep you, your staff and event-goers safe from health risks. And, due to the nature of our interconnected world, the hybrid method has moved from a once-luxury to an expectation among today’s event goers. Allow people to stay in place while still giving them access to the whole show. With a virtual event platform, you can do just that.
With a reliable virtual platform, event specialists are given an entire networking toolbox at their fingertips. Technology like Second Stage, for example, are built from the ground up to facilitate online lead generation with features like live chat, polling, high-def video streaming, virtual exhibitor booths and engaging gamification. With this, you get the ability to connect with digital users in a much more direct and personable way. This, in turn gives you a higher number of qualified leads, while still providing a rock-solid virtual experience.
Even those event managers with the smallest of budgets will get the most bang for their buck by hosting a hybrid engagement. You save costs in a multitude of ways. For instance, you aren’t flying as many speakers or entertainers, you won’t need to pre-purchase necessary accommodations and you can rent a smaller venue. A smaller venue means fewer cameras, lights, audio components and crew members to operate all of that gear. Simply put, hybrid events can be pared-down as much as your budget requires.
Recorded content is much more evergreen than a live event, and will help you capture leads long after the curtains fall. With the ability to produce high-quality recordings, and some simple editing, you can build a library of presentation videos, audio clips, case studies and other insights from your event. These assets can then be used regularly on social channels, websites, newsletters and throughout other marketing campaigns for as long as the content remains relevant. You can even post the event in its entirety on a gated landing page, either as a revenue generator or lead capture. There’s no doubt that you’ll feel the impacts of your event for months, even years down the road.
While you may think offering a fully virtual experience – one that rivals the in-person show – may dissuade people from active participation in event happenings, it actually has been shown to increase engagement overall. In fact, according to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of event marketers claim that virtual engagement tools will play a big role in their event strategy for 2021. In other words, if you’re not already hosting a virtual event component, you need to catch up, as your competitors likely are.
When trying to draw-in potential partners, you’ll realize early on that attendee data matters. After all, just like your own brand, sponsors want to get their offerings in front of as many of the right people as possible. With virtual capabilities, you can upgrade your sponsorship pitch by showing larger audience numbers, more diverse demographics and a global reach, versus just in-person attendance.
We all need to do our part to protect the environment, and that includes event companies. Even events that only host a few dozen people contribute to an increasing carbon footprint, as they travel in from all corners of the country. There’s not just an ethical reason, but a business benefit as well – going green has come to be expected from your audience, with Forbes showing that more than 80 percent of consumers respect companies adopting eco-friendly practices.
Are you exploring the benefits of hosting a hybrid event?
Discover the advantages of using a secure, seamless and stable hybrid event platform from Second Stage. We’re the country’s leader in virtual audience engagement, and can help you take control of the hybrid experience. From live streaming to recording capabilities, digital breakout rooms to networking capabilities, and so much more, our end-to-end platform and integrated in-house production team is your all-in-one solution to crafting an amazing event.
Let our team show you how you can benefit from a unified experience that is branded to your event – contact us today to learn more about our solutions.