Hybrid Events for Associations: Answers to Your Questions


Recently, we hosted a Thought Leaders LIVE webcast with Tony Lorenz (@TonyLorenzbXb), Founder of bXb Online (@bXbOnline). We hold regular webcasts, in fact, with industry thought leaders. They’re all free and available in an online environment called INXPOLIVE.

Tony’s webcast focused on hybrid event monetization strategies for associations. Tony received more questions than we had time to cover, but he graciously agreed to answer all open questions here on our blog (thanks, Tony). Here they are.

Q&A with Tony Lorenz of bXb Online

Q: How much revenue can we expect to earn in our first year of doing a virtual event?
A: Revenue levels depend on many factors which include but are not limited to: revenue mix (sponsors, attendees, exhibitors), lead time established in marketing the event, the perceived value of content and other factors.

Q: Will broadcast professionals soon penetrate into the Association/Conference space using their expertise?
A: They already are. As an example, bXb is working with several broadcast professionals in their work for a variety of clients today.

Q: How do you deal with language differences in online programming? (Translation options) etc…?
A: Established platforms have simultaneous translation as a feature on chat delivery. Transcription content is another matter that requires additional work.

Q: What metrics do you see are most convincing to measure the success of the hybrid event?
A: The first is realized over time and that is how much the online extension drives physical attendance at the next face-to-face event. The second is relative participation in the online extension vis-à-vis the targeted audience.

Q: I’ve been told that hybrid events are another form of social media that’s over saturated. What is your take?
A: I don’t agree. Hybrid events combine physical and online experiences and that convergence takes on many forms. The industry is just beginning to adapt its convergence.

Q: If I were trying to sell this opportunity to an exhibitor, what would be the top two benefits to highlight?
A: Number one is the extended reach to an entirely new audience not otherwise available at the face-to-face event. The second is the possible opportunity through the online extension for highly measurable return on the investment made.

Q: Are there folks who are consulting and writing about the marketing and sales of hybrid events?
A: Yes. I’m one of them along with my team members on the bXb Blog. Other great ones are Dennis Shiao’s blog and Michelle Bruno’s blog.

Q: How do the exhibitors measure ROI using virtual events?
A: See my earlier answer, to the question “If I were trying to sell this opportunity to an exhibitor, what would be the top two benefits to highlight?” It’s all about online metrics.

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Post contributed by Dennis Shiao