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5 reasons why Hybrid Events are here to stay
Friday 26 February 2021
There has been much talk about how Hybrid will be part of our journey from virtual back to live events, but there are compelling reasons to believe that they be a vital part of the mix in the ongoing delivery of effective conferences, exhibitions and other internal and marketing events.....
We are already there!
With so much reliance on virtual communication over the past 12 months, clients, agencies and production companies have all learned how to deliver effective and impactful programmes, with a plethora of new and improved platforms supporting our ability to deliver great content to small screens. These skills will not be soon forgotten, nor the benefits 'unlearned', and virtual attendees know that they can receive this content without leaving home or their regional offices (even when so permitted!).
We all remember the positive impact of global lockdowns on our carbon emissions and, with the Glasgow Climate Change Summit looming, how we do business in a greener way will stay at the forefront of company policies for many years to come (and amen to that we say!). UK executives (and their budget holders) will think twice about jumping on a flight New York and we all now know that regional offices have the ability to dial in to quarterly national sales meetings (even if they still attend the big annual kick-start conference in person).
Having a live stream sitting alongside the in person audience, with all the great the interactive tools that sit alongside, has proved that the audience/attendance reach can be far greater than pure live environments,. This is obvious this year, but will still be the case next, with working from home and international travel budget restrictions likely to be part of our 'new normal' working practices for years to come. On our recent Venue Search London webinar, we reached a global event audience with dial-ins from the US, Australia and South Africa (to name but a few...).
With the ongoing uncertainties around future lockdowns and pandemics, organisers must retain the ability to pivot booked events from live to hybrid or fully virtual at relatively short notice. So, in addition to negotiating flexible terms with venues, buyers must ensure that their chosen venue and production partner have the capability to enable fast live streaming at a reasonable cost, if required. In addition, recording sessions allows for audience flexibility in when they choose to view the content, if they can't attend remotely on the day, giving greater longevity to the content.
This last point needs to be considered with some caution, since monies saved in hiring smaller venues, fewer bedrooms and less on-site catering, need to be invested back into high quality studio production, platforms and catering deliveries to doorsteps, to ensure the attendance and ongoing engagement of the virtual audiences. That aside, there will be considerable costs savings in the off-budget lines, largely in expensed travel to the live events (even before accounting for the lost salaried hours involved in getting to and from events).
So, whist there is no doubt that there is little need or desire to create hybrid formats for office Christmas and summer parties, it will form a vital part of conferences, product launches, awards and brand activations for many years to come.
Please do get in touch with our free venue finders on 0207 879 9305 or drop us an email to help you secure the best venue for your next hybrid event.