Hybrid events are events that take place in the virtual as well as in presence. Since we developed a platform for virtual events in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we received requests for hybrid events. The restrictions on the number of guests and the expected relaxation of these restrictions make hybrid formats attractive for event organizers. On the one hand, the live character of an event can be maintained, while at the same time, the reach of the event is extended. In addition, hybrid events currently have the advantage that a renewed restriction of live events can be cushioned because the virtual event is planned at the same time.
So we have to ask ourselves: What do hybrid events look like? What factors are involved? What do our customers understand by this, and what is expected of us as a platform provider? Hybrid events have a virtual part and a part that takes place on-site. There is a live audience and other viewers or visitors who follow the hybrid event online and, depending on the concept, are also actively involved in it.
The most important component of hybrid formats is, therefore, the live stream. What happens on the live stage is recorded and streamed on an event page. The audience logs on to the event landing page or visits an event page without registration requirement and can follow the stage activities there. When questions are asked from the audience, guests watching the stream can also join in and chat their questions to the speakers. If audience sentiments are raised, they do not raise their hands but click through an automatically played survey to participate.
Event organizers are increasingly developing hybrid events as formats that are more than just a filmed stage and live-streamed content, as such interaction tools show. Some event formats are more suitable for hybrid events than others. For example, a virtual concert is judged by the audience as less equivalent to a live concert than, say, a hybrid trade show, product presentation, or plenary session. Particularly in the B2B sector, hybrid events can ideally complement live events. Here, the focus is less on the live experience but the reach, information content, and network character. All factors can also be implemented well hybrid.
At the moment, our customers mainly organize virtual events. In the course of the relaxation of the pandemic measures, hybrid events are now retaking place. Nevertheless, we can present some projects to you.
For example, we developed a hybrid booth for a renowned agency client for an international company from the consumer goods & healthcare sector. The company was represented with a booth at MWC 2021 in Barcelona. For the customers and interested people who couldn't be live on-site, we developed a virtual experience that brings them very close to the product. Via a landing page protected by a login, users can listen to presentations, chat, and book a virtual tour of the booth. Since the company is international, we are establishing eleven country lounges. A separate virtual experience is created for all mobile devices, optimally presenting the product on the phone or pad. Of course, users will also find all the information about the invited experts, an agenda, and product videos on the page. With the digital booth tour, users are guided around the booth by the camera and connected directly with an expert on-site, who can answer all questions about the product and bring the USPs to the customer.
We assume that hybrid events will establish themselves in the long term as formats that optimally combine the advantages of virtual events and live events. The reach can be increased in this way. Global guests are addressed, and events become more sustainable. Content can be distributed in a more targeted manner, and follow-up is based on reliable data sets. With exciting and innovative hybrid events, companies and agencies can stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression.