Hybrid Event – What’s Now & What’s Next

In the past few months, we have tried lots of new things. We learn cooking from YouTube, working from home, binge-watching movies and series with our friends virtually, and the list goes on. Apart from work and entertainment, we also explored a lot of new things. Which we were not able to try earlier because of a busy lifestyle. From attending many virtual conferences to virtual fairs, virtual fests and so on.

For some, the transition from the physical world to online was easy. But for others, it was a challenge altogether. Another big hurdle was the lack of engagement level as that of a physical event. And this can be better explained by those who spent the whole year attending the virtual events. They not only visited virtual meetings but a lot of different virtual events. Some of these events are virtual conferences, virtual town halls, virtual trade shows and so on. And that is why people are looking for better alternatives.

A hybrid event is one such alternative. Since many places around the world are ending lockdown and are returning towards normalcy. People are hoping to get permission to organise a hybrid event. But what exactly is a Hybrid event? Let’s look into it.

What is a Hybrid Event?

A hybrid event is a physical event that is available to the virtual audience also. This event can be accessed by either a live stream or on-demand video. In other words, we can say a hybrid event is a combination of both physical and virtual events. They are not a new concept, but they were not quite popular. But what makes a Hybrid event the most appropriate choice over other options is what it offers. And that is the convenience of a virtual event and the engagement level of a physical event. 

Now you must be wondering how successful hybrid events are? To answer this question, let’s look at some examples of successful Hybrid events. 

Example of Hybrid Events

  1. Apple Special event

Apple last year hosted a special event to launch their latest iPhones, iPads, and watches. The events were highly successful with views from all over the world.

  1. MozCon

Moz in 2020 hosted its conference in a hybrid form. With the help of SEO and content marketing, they were able to pull off a victorious event.

  1. Riot Games tournament

Riot Games chose to host a hybrid tournament for its popular game “League of Legends”. The event was an immediate and immense success. They hosted 15000 physical, 100 million digital audiences in the final round.

  1. John Mayer’s Dive Bar tour

John, a songwriter/singer, and guitarist, live-streamed one of his shows on Facebook in 2017. He topped the video charts on Facebook. While demonstrating to the world that even Artists can successfully use hybrid events. 

  1. MG Hector Plus Launch event

MG launched its new offering Hector Plus SUV through a live hybrid event. As the world came out of lockdown, it was necessary to follow all the guidelines. So the solution was a small, physical event that would be a live stream on several social media platforms. 

  1. Jaipur Literature Fest

JLF is considered one of the most prominent literature fests on earth by fans. This world-renowned event opted for the use of technology to reach a wider audience. The event was a perfect example of a hybrid event. It garnered the viewership of more than a million around the world.

Future Trends in the Hybrid Event Industry

  1. Increasing Demand

Since the lockdown has begun, people are craving for going out. They want to attend parties, music concerts, exhibitions and many more. But most importantly, they want to resume working in a physical environment. And they are done with attending corporate events virtually. And so are the event organisers. So, as we are going towards routine life, we can safely expect the return of physical events. But the virtual events helped in expanding the scale of events. So, we would see hybrid events taking over the event industry.

  1. Large scale Hybrid event

The increasing demand for hybrid events means a growth in the size of these events. Now the people have realised the potential of Hybrid events, we will see enormous events. The event professionals will use the technology and other resources to make sure more people can attend events. Hence, fulfilling the increasing demands.

  1. Short sessions and more breaks

It is like humans can’t focus on one thing for more than 1.5 hours. And this period shrinks when it comes to the digital world. With the increasing demand for hybrid events, we will see a more planned bifurcation in sessions. So, we will see multiple yet compact online sessions designed especially for the virtual audience. 

For instance, a session of 1 hour can be divided into 3 parts of 20 minutes each, separated by small breaks in between.

  1. Dominance of content

In future, event professionals will focus on the content of the event more. It means the content will decide the success of the hybrid events. And this content will be tailored according to the interest of the target audience. And to make this content effective, it will be short, crisp yet compelling. For this, event organisers will conduct research on their target audience. They will try to understand the preference of their audience. And prepare the content of the event according to that. 

Let’s take an example of a smartphone manufacturer. It will first try to understand their buyers’ favourite feature. Let’s say it’s a camera. Now to promote their upcoming phone, they will hold an event on the camera. Here they will talk about new features and improvement in the camera department.

  1. Use of new technology

Technology around us is changing rapidly. And is impacting our lives. This is also true for the event industry. And it is no secret that people who are continuously attending virtual events are feeling fatigued. So, to remedy this, we will see new innovations in technology. For instance, VR (virtual reality) is here for quite some time. And this technology can be used to improve attendees’ experience. Imagine attending a hybrid event using a VR headset. Doesn’t it sound exciting? Who knows, this might happen soon. But for that, we need to wait. Let’s hope this happens soon.  

We hope this article has given you insight into future trends in hybrid events. What are your views? Are you excited as we are? Tell us about your thoughts.

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