As an event organizer, you’ve likely heard the term “virtual event” constantly since the start of 2020. Indeed, the pandemic turned virtual events into a major pillar of the events industry when most in-person events were perpetually postponed or cancelled. However, the desire for physical events never vanished as humans generally crave face-to-face contact and the emotional connection it provides.
Yet, after discovering some of the unexpected benefits of virtual events, many wish that they could mix the advantages of physical and virtual events together. That’s why demand for hybrid events is getting stronger as they are able to provide this blend of benefits for event organizers and attendees.
Why Are Hybrid Events Winning?
Hybrid events are events that merge elements of both in-person and virtual events. Participants can attend hybrid events physically and in virtual spaces.
But let’s take a closer look at the winning benefits of hybrid events…
Reduced Travel Costs
Because virtual attendees don’t need to be in the vicinity of the venue they’ll avoid travelling expenses. All they’ll need to do is use an electronic device and make a few clicks, attending the event from the comfort of wherever they are, be that the office, a cafe, or their own homes.
Trackable User Data
Since hybrid events are organized both physically and virtually, they provide many metrics that are trackable. These metrics can help us learn more about our events and provide insights for us to improve our content. We can obtain data like the accurate number of participants, how we interacted with them, and which event sessions have had the most and least attendees. This is compared to physical events, where counting participants is generally a manual and time-consuming process.
The Future of The Events Industry
Virtual events have dominated the events industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual events provide various benefits for event organizers and participants alike, such as reaching wider audiences and allowing the collection of real-time data, advantages that physical events simply do not have. Nevertheless, although the advantages of holding virtual events are beginning to eclipse the benefits of in-person events, there are some crucial elements that virtual events are not yet able to replicate.
For instance, do you ever begin to feel bored when perpetually talking with others via a monitor? Would you prefer chatting with people face-to-face or in a virtual world? Face-to-face communication is the most important element of an in-person event as it fulfills the human desire of emotional interaction. Interactions that provide better opportunities for greater engagement and the exchange of information, as both listeners and speakers can see and interpret each other’s body language and facial expressions. Hybrid events maintain that element while adding the bonuses of the virtual world.
Right now the potential of hybrid events is huge. According to EventX’s recent report, a majority of event industry experts believe that at least 50% events are going to be organized in virtual or hybrid formats after the pandemic. This opinion was especially strong in event organizers based in Singapore and shows the highest rate of adoption for hybrid and virtual events.