Essential Considerations to Evaluate Your Readiness for Hybrid Events
After a year, the industry could finally get accustomed to the strict virtual format of events. And now, many incumbents from within are naming the year 2021 after hybrid events. Many eventers are rushing to label hybrid a more familiar territory. However, it would be too early to make any conclusions.
Conventionally, hybrid events focused on creating the in-person experience for the audience. Addressing the virtual audience was always a secondary consideration. Live streaming of the speakers’ sessions as a bonus was the only major attraction for the virtual audience.
However, recent developments in the past year have drastically changed this orthodox approach. From organizers to sponsors, to attendees everyone has become more tech-savvy than ever. This massive shift has flipped the scenario by 180 degrees. In the present times, the virtual audience makes up the dominant contributor to the overall attendance. Eventers ought to pivot the hybrid events around the virtual audience. They can provisionally incorporate the mice-share in-person audience.
Earlier, a hybrid event was a physical event with a virtual extension. However, in the new landscape, it a virtual event with an extension to accommodate small-scale in-person attendees. Following the virtual-first approach, you need to evaluate your readiness for the new parameters. Here we present some factors that you should assess before you leap into organizing a hybrid event.
Handling Safety Issues for the Event
Often, event planners eye to meet the industry standards and regulatory policies while considering safety measures. While conforming to the law is inevitable, you cannot afford to overlook the confidence of your attendees. In addition to securing the event from cyberattacks, make sure your event complies with the local restrictions.
Given the uncertainty of the present times, you need to stay abreast with any change in the local constraints. If the restrictions are getting stringent, it can explain underselling of the tickets and help you revive your strategy. You can also survey the virtual community you have already built. The results would empower you with valuable insights such as audiences’ comfort and expectations and their likelihood to attend the event in person.
Format Compatibility of the Event
The nature of the event is crucial in determining whether going hybrid is worth it or not. Analysis in this direction will give you an idea about the inclination of the audiences, virtual or physical, for a particular event. See whether your audience is more dependent on in-person interactions to close the deals or are introvert individuals who prefer online engagement with the network,
Events that need site-specific experience or allow hands-on interactions with the products are difficult to translate virtually. On the flip side, events that are more focused on conveying an idea and educating people are ideal for a virtual environment. You can test the waters by surveying the audiences to assess the feasibility of a hybrid event.
Monetary Planning and Limitations
Finally, the decision to go hybrid boils down to one factor, the budget. There is a constant debate around whether virtual events cost lesser than in-person events or not. With most of the eventers voting in favor, virtual events seem to be a clear winner. However, when it comes to hybrid events, the expenses are multifold.
Although the virtual audience makes a majority of the share, you need to satisfy physical visitors. Arranging for the venue, stage, lighting, travel, and safety supplies is inevitable. At the same time, the event should deliver an experience to meet the anticipation of virtual attendees. Hitting the bull’s eye at both the front can elevate the overall cost. It is imperative to weigh the expenses and returns before edging forward.