Why Hybrid Events Give Your Audience What They Want

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“It seems like technology has finally been toppled from its place at the top of the virtual events debate and we are, at last, getting back to the basics of looking at the needs of the client,” begins a blog posting at Pure Rocket Science.

We couldn’t agree more.

The post goes on to reference recent research findings that support the notion that your potential audience is inclined to attend and participate in digital events. The post also touches on the accessibility of digital events and the cost savings they can generate.

The Path Forward: Hybrid Events

Pure Rocket Science also asks the question, “Why are event organisers still so reluctant to embrace virtual technologies?” In my mind, organisers of physical events ought to consider “digital extensions” to provide their audience what they want (via a hybrid event).

Why Would Audience Members Like a Digital Extension?

  1. Can’t attend a physical event because of a scheduling conflict? Check out portions of the event online.
  2. Haven’t experienced this event before? Check it out online, then decide whether to attend in person next year.
  3. Attending the physical event, but unable to pick between two sessions airing at the same time? Pick one, then view the other one “on demand” in the digital environment.
  4. Hesitant to acquire an abundance of printed material from each exhibitor’s booth? Access the digital environment to download the documents from their digital booth.
Hybrid Events: Getting Started

Event organisers can take small steps on the journey towards hybrid event nirvana. Here’s a possible progression:

  1. Capture content at the physical event, then enable a “post-event”, on-demand digital extension.
  2. The following year, stream selected sessions via live video.
  3. Pitch integrated sponsorship packages to your physical event exhibitors.
  4. Add interactive elements around the video, so that audience members can comment, rate, engage and converse.
  5. Allow physical event exhibitors to have a corresponding “sponsor space” in the digital extension.
  6. Create “mini events” throughout the year (on the digital platform) to continue the conversations from your physical event.
  7. Sustain and support a “365 community” (online) around your event.

Thank you, Pure Rocket Science, for starting the dialog.

What do you all think about hybrid events? Use the comments section below to ask questions or share insights.

Related Resources
  1. The blog posting from Pure Rocket Science: You’ve got to deliver what the audience wants
  2. INXPO White Paper: Hybrid Event Best Practices


Post contributed by Dennis Shiao