Hybrid events — an event with both an in-person and virtual component — are trending, as Team SEQ discussed last week. While one of the main reasons hybrid events are on the rise is that the format allows for Covid safety as we baby step back into fully in-person, that’s not the only reason! Sequence is outlining the five benefits to hosting hybrid events, beyond the safety aspect, that makes hybrid one of the most versatile formats available for events in 2021 and beyond.
- Additional Reach to Remote Audiences: Including an option for remote attendees allows for greater reach due to flexibility for guests. Believe it or not, some attendees will not attend live even if they have the choice to. A study found that nearly 98% of attendees at a hybrid event were not planning to attend in-person. There’s a number of reasons guests may not be enthusiastic about attending in-person events: some may be hampered by location or time constraints, others may just be unsure of the increased benefits of attending the event in-person. But the good news is that virtual attendees may also be more likely to attend future in-person events based on a positive hybrid experience.
- Reduced Traveling Expenses: The cost of traveling or commuting to an in-person event can be off-putting to many. There can be the expense of travel, accommodations, meals, etc. Offering a virtual component essentially eliminates those prohibitive additional costs, so attendees can choose which format of the event to attend based on their comfort level AND budget.
- Reduced Carbon Footprint of Events: Reducing travel also reduces our carbon footprint, as does taking some production elements virtual which allow saved materials and waste on staging and other raw materials. As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, reduced travel has had a majorly positive impact on the environment. A virtual element will essentially diminish a large portion of the event’s environmental impact. Better yet, a proactive eye towards sustainability could further decrease this impact for the in-person portion, so this is not just a hybrid-based benefit.
- More Targeted Audience & Greater Engagement: Offering a virtual element within an in-person event allows for more arenas for engagement than would be possible at a strictly live event. A virtual audience can be actively participating via their respective devices in a platform built for remote interaction, such as a chatbox, face-to-face video conferencing, interaction via social media, and beyond. This naturally leads to added engagement post-event, as well! We also love the opportunity to bring the virtual and in-person audiences together in smaller breakouts, using the right technology.
- Additional Sponsorship Opportunities: Sponsors have been learning that the additional reach of hybrid events provides additional value for their money. They are more likely to be interested in sponsorship opportunities for the event due to the larger lead pool. Sponsoring hybrid events also has a lot of flexibility. We can create sponsor packages strictly for the in-person portions, packages for livestreams and virtual elements, and packages that span both audiences.
As always, our team has an eye to safety, event design, and strategy for all our events. As we get back to in-person, we don’t want to lose all the benefits we have seen in virtual. We believe hybrid events have a plethora of benefits beyond the pandemic. Sequence takes the guesswork out of planning a hybrid event as the events landscape shifts throughout the next year.
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