After long last, 2020 and 2021 are almost completely behind us. Businesses, groups, and organizations everywhere are looking at 2022 as the year to return to in-person events. However, there are many reasons why a Hybrid Event may still be the best option for your next gathering.
- First of all, no two events are exactly alike, which means no two audiences are exactly alike. It’s practically impossible to know the health status and health risks of every possible person in attendance. So, having a digital attendance option is still one of the smartest ways to manage risk.
- Secondly, let’s face it. Many companies are still trying to recoup lost revenues from the pandemic and a full-scale in-person event may not be the best use of funds right now. While digital events are not necessarily “cheap,” they do allow for less spending on venue, food & beverage, set-up/clean-up, security, parking and other expenses. In fact, going hybrid can allow you to “cap” your in-person attendance to fit a certain budget and then direct additional funds towards building a robust online experience.
- Convenience is still a big driver behind continued interest in hybrid events. It’s not just about guests attending events from their pajamas; it’s also about getting keynote speakers and/or entertainers who might not otherwise be available. Without having to coordinate travel,
speakers in high demand have more room in their schedules to take on additional appearances. The speaker who wasn’t available for a live showing may very well be able to attend via pre-recorded or even live video.
- Safety cannot be underestimated these days. Though Alpha and Delta variants are on their way out, Omicron and other variants are likely to linger for many more years. No one needs the unwelcome publicity that comes with an event being a new source of mass infection. As travel restrictions continue to come and go all over the world at different times and among different communities, having a hybrid option helps protect your investment as well as your guests.
In discussing these issues with your boss, make sure you communicate that “digital” does not mean “just another Zoom.” There can be live music, magic, interactive games, food & beverage delivery, and plenty of other memorable touchpoints to connect with guests. Then, do a quick side-by-side analysis of costs vs audience reach. Most of the time, you’re likely to find that the cost per impression is far lower for digital and hybrid events than it is for in-person. Find the balance point between in-person and online and you have the perfect recipe for a successful hybrid event.
About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry. The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020. Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry. If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!