One of the most significant benefits of the shift to hybrid events is the opportunity to engage more attendees.
Whether many realized it or not, the shift to virtual events proved organizations could stage such events and that attendees wanted to participate and engage in new ways.
Organizations must seize the opportunity to deliver their events to anyone interested in consuming them, whether it’s in person or on the other side of the globe. Hybrid events will continue to grow in importance in the months ahead as we look to move past the difficulties of the past year-and-a-half.
Here are three ways to make them a centerpiece of any campaign.
Recognize that inviting more people is better.
Looking back just a few years, many event organizers were worried about how a hybrid event would cannibalize attendees to the in-person portion. But by taking the opposite approach, event planners have the opportunity to “upsize their event” and reach a larger audience.
Today, there is no need to worry whether the online element will lessen interest among potential attendees. Every event will not attract in-person attendees from the far reaches of the globe, and with technology, they don’t need to; attendees can engage with an event from wherever they are most comfortable.
Keep the connection front and center.
At the heart of any event is the opportunity to make connections. Whether an event is in-person, virtual or hybrid, networking and the opportunity to connect with brands, organizations, and new people are paramount.
The temptation many organizations may feel is to try and create an event geared toward their technology. Instead, they should create an event people want to attend and use technology to reach a wider audience.
Think differently to achieve the same goals.
The most significant element of planning a hybrid production is not to forget the goals of an event. Just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean the same business objectives do not apply.
When planning, the key is to think about how attendees will interact with every aspect of the event. For example, if there is a networking break for in-person attendees, what about delivering exclusive content for online participants?
As business travel looks to return in many parts of the world, events will remain a mainstay for marketers. But organizations and event planners must recognize everyone may not be willing or able to travel, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to participate in an event.
Technology has changed every aspect of business and marketing, and it will continue to evolve events. The mandate for event planners is to embrace it and use the technology to maximize the reach because every event today is a global one.
So, plan accordingly.