24 June, 2021
While the pandemic forced the event industry to go virtual, that virtual component is expected to stay back even after COVID-19, with hybrid events becoming more prevalent.
Raleigh, North Carolina, June 24: COVID-19 made a massive dent in the events industry. With lockdowns announced in most of the larger economies and people’s reluctance to head out due to fear even after curbs started lifting, the events industry was pushed to adopt a newer alternative that sated the challenges the world faced today. This brought the concept of hybrid events to the mainstream, which was present earlier but has become more prevalent in the middle of the pandemic. A hybrid event is a type of event the combines the "live" in-person experience with a "virtual" component. Gamescom, Twitchcon, Junction, and Empower 21 are some of the fine hybrid event examples that made big headlines and delivered an even bigger experience to the attendees.
"Hybrid meetings are here to stay. Going forward, all major face-to-face events will transition into Hybrid events as they have a higher reach. Hybrid and virtual solutions came into the forefront due to the Coronavirus pandemic when companies did not have any other option to fulfill their meeting objectives," said Sneha Das Gupta, Principal Analyst at Beroe Inc. . "Even when the situation normalizes, the hybrid format is expected to rise as the most efficient format of meetings," she added.
There are many benefits of hybrid events that have propelled its popularity. It includes enhanced reach, attendance, and engagement, plenty of sponsorship opportunities, reduced travel costs, higher flexibility, lower carbon footprint, valuable data, fitting for all kinds of budget, ability to re-watch and share information, and higher returns on investment. But in addition to the benefits, there are also challenges in conducting a hybrid event or meeting; inadequate bandwidth support, finding suitable venues and hotels, and different time zones are some of the common ones.
The benefits, however, far outweigh the challenges. 97 percent of event marketers believe there will be more hybrid events in 2021 than ever before. 59.4 percent of them think a hybrid solution will be a significant component of their event strategy this year. More than 50 percent of executives think all live events will possess a virtual dimension in the future. A lot of hybrid event platforms are expected to emerge and dominate. Led by Connected Capital, Brella, a popular hybrid events platform, recently raised $10 million Series A funding.
While hybrid events promise greater ROI for businesses, it’s essential to have a proper understanding of how to make such unique events a success. Cost management should be robust so to optimize the returns. Major costs in a hybrid event come from virtual event platforms, streaming platforms, filming and virtual event production, venue hire, catering, and internet services. Also, one must know how to effectively increase attendee engagement in hybrid meetings, which can be another big challenge for the organizers.
"The corporate world has quickly realized that there's no binary of whether virtual events are good or in-person events are better. A successful event in the post-COVID era will have the flavors of both," said Saranya Sundararajan, Team Lead -- Professional Services and Travel at Beroe Inc. "And such a model unlocks many new opportunities for businesses to reach more people, drive more engagement, and make a bigger impact. In the coming months, more and more companies and organizers will adopt this model to compliment the societal shift we're going through due to the pandemic."
Beroe is the world's leading provider of procurement intelligence and supplier compliance solutions. We provide critical market information and analysis that enables companies to make smart sourcing decisions — leading to lower costs, greater profits, and reduced risk. Beroe has been providing these services for more than 15 years and currently works with more than 10,000 companies worldwide, including 400 of the Fortune 500 companies. For more information about Beroe Inc., please visit https://www.beroeinc.com/.