The crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the meetings and events industry (MICE), one of the first sectors to be affected and one of those that will recover later.
The slow recovery of the sector will cause many associations and companies to look for alternative formulas to continue developing events safely.
While face-to-face meetings are not going to disappear, as human interaction is fundamental for the exchange of knowledge, until the situation returns to a certain “new” normality, and technology can be an ally for organizers who want to develop meetings and events.
That is why hybrid events could be the current solution for those organizations that want to hold a virtual and face-to-face event at the same time.
What is a hybrid event?
Hybrid events are the perfect solution for those events that can be effectively carried out both face-to-face and virtually. Some hybrid events could be trade shows, conferences, internal meetings, corporate presentations, training, etc.
Hybrid events are also useful solutions when many of your attendees who would normally attend in person are unable to do so. Some situations we may encounter when making the decision to organize a hybrid event:
The attendee is unable or unwilling to travel due to health or safety concerns (limited seating).
The attendee’s organization has limited travel expenses and therefore cannot travel to the event.
The venue where you will host the on-site portion of the event has capacity limitations, so not all attendees will be able to meet at the site.
In fact the most typical situation is the former, as currently in the face of the Covid19 health crisis it is not safe to travel, so events will have to be face-to-face for those who can and virtual for those who cannot.
Everything you can do in a hybrid event with Meetmaps
A hybrid event has the same possibilities as a face-to-face or virtual event, as they can be applied in different formats.
Advantages of hybrid events
- Hybrid events allow real-time feedback from participants, providing relevant information that allows organizers to make strategic decisions on the development of the event itself.
- These types of events have lower costs than face-to-face events, since they dispense with most of the costs such as travel, hotels, transportation, catering, among others.
- They allow a larger audience to be reached, since the virtual option can reach a larger number of people.
- It is easier to follow up and interact in a personalized way with the participants through the interaction functionalities that can be measured and analyzed during the event.
- This format is friendlier for the new generations, since the option of attending the event virtually is more flexible for those who do not want to attend in person, and the younger ones are the most familiar with new technologies.
Keys to organize a successful hybrid event
- 1 event, 2 experiences
Hybrid events can generate two different experiences in two different formats.
It is true that content should be generated in two ways to both groups, and make sure it is interesting and relevant to both. The goal is to tailor the entire event for both the attendees who are at home and those who attend the event in person, so that the participation and experience is balanced.
- Create separate content
Content is arguably the most important part of the event, which is why having good content is key to keeping attendees’ attention and motivation.
To keep the content attractive, make sure that the interaction functionalities can be done at the same time both in person and virtually.
- Invite the best speakers
You can invite professionals specialized in the topic to be discussed. International speakers enrich the experience and add value to the event, at a lower cost and without having to organize travel and accommodation for them.
In addition, the event becomes more flexible, and allows to increase the participation of the attendees, who feel more motivated and integrated in the event.
- Use the best platforms for hybrid events
To organize a hybrid event, you can count on platforms like Meetmaps that will help you manage all the details you need to hold the virtual and face-to-face event.
Meetmaps has a platform for the virtual event and a mobile app that can be used so that the on-site and virtual event is aligned at all times. The event website, email marketing and online event registration are options offered by the platform that will help the organization of the event.
- Incorporate interaction features
A virtual event doesn’t have to be a simplified version of an in-person event. On the contrary, the Meetmaps platform offers multiple options to keep attendees’ attention and engagement before, during and after the event, with interactive features in both the virtual and in-person events.
- Generate networking with some features
In any type of event, whether virtual or face-to-face, networking is essential to foster the connection between users and constantly exchange knowledge and business values.
On the Meetmaps platform, it will be easy to hold virtual and face-to-face meetings through private chats and scheduling appointments with other event attendees with the “Meetings 1to1” option. In addition, this option allows you to filter attendees by the category of your choice.
- Organize a sustainable event
Society is increasingly aware of the importance of caring for and respecting the environment, and values brands that are committed to corporate social responsibility, transparent ethics and environmental policies very positively. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020 sustainability will be a key factor in the choice of one corporation or another, and hybrid events are very much in line with this idea, and Meetmaps is committed to continue with this idea.
“It is impossible for the event industry to be 100% virtual from now on,” predicts Julius Solaris, editor of EventManagerBlog.com. “The event of the future will be hybrid by definition. Face-to-face events will have a virtual component.”
If you are considering organizing a hybrid event, don’t hesitate to contact the Meetmaps team.