What is a hybrid event and why they are a trend in the MICE sector

Hybrid events are not something new, since they have existed for more than a decade, nor are they a simple anecdote, because their future is undeniable. They were discussed by all event professionals when the covid-19 pandemic changed the rules of the MICE sector. But what are hybrid events and what opportunities do they offer?

It is important first that we are clear about what hybrid events are NOT. They do not refer to the mere broadcasting of a face-to-face event so that other people can follow it online. Nor is it an event that takes place in different places simultaneously (multi-site event). A hybrid event is one that takes place in a physical venue with a limited number of in-person attendees and another part of the audience that participates and interacts virtually.

The fundamental thing, therefore, to determine if an event is really hybrid, is that online attendees must have the opportunity to participate in the event in a way that is as close as possible to that of face-to-face attendees. It is true that they will hardly participate in the catering of the event, for example, but technology advances so that there are more and more possibilities for them to interact just as any other attendee. In other words, the line between face-to-face and online attendees is much more blurred in these types of events.

In a hybrid event, all attendees can ask questions, vote, play games, arrange meetings, visit stands, read communications, complete tests, make a presentation, take part in a debate, etc., regardless of whether they are at the venue itself, at its home or in an office. The organizer is, therefore, with the great challenge of engagement: how to keep the online attendee equally hooked?

The key, of course, is in the content, which must be designed for both types of audience as if it were only one. It is true that there are events in which the experience provided by actual contact is difficult to substitute. However, video calling and other event technologies pave the way for audiences to receive digital interactions in a more natural and receptive way.

Finally, hybrid events provide further depth and opportunities to the organizer. They will achieve a much greater reach, with a global and potentially unlimited audience at a much lower cost per attendee. In addition, the hybrid event will see its ROI boosted with new revenue and sponsorship possibilities for the online format. n top of that, it is much easier to collect and measure event data and makes it easier to promote activity on social networks.

Traditionally, the hybrid event has been residual in large part because the technology was not so accessible yet. However, more and more event organizers are choosing all-in-one platforms such as evenTwo, which combine technology for face-to-face events with virtual tools that allow any attendee, regardless of whether it is in person or online, to share the same experience in the event.

7 claves para organizar un ve

7 tips for organizing a virtual event

Virtual events arrived in 2020 as a lifeline for the MICE sector. Far from being just a temporary need, they offer numerous advantages and opportunities that will make them last over time. On the one hand, the savings in space rental costs, staff and allowances allow professionals to be more ambitious when organizing an online event, since they will be able to make a greater effort in creating content and engaging. In addition, the virtualization of the event provides the possibility of expanding the audience to as many attendees as desired, while aspiring to hire more demanded speakers, whose availability is much easier to arrange by videoconference than in a face-to-face event.

But how is a virtual event organized? In this article we give you some tips when it comes to focusing the way in which to host your online event.

  1. Focus on your strategy. Just like in face-to-face events, it is necessary to define the objectives that we pursue according to the type of event that we are planning to organize. In a virtual fair, one of the main aspects will be to provide visibility to sponsors and promote lead generation; in a virtual convention, we will be interested in strengthening the brand image and teambuilding; In an online workshop we may need to customize the registration and agenda and deliver certificates of attendance. Each type of content will require its own tools.
  1. Use an attractive and safe web space. There is no doubt that a virtual event takes place in a web space, accessible online. While a one- or two-hour webinar may be held effectively inside a simple web space, other more complex events will require a more specific platform that adapts to its characteristics. If our event has parallel sessions, exhibitors, extra content or some interactivity is needed, for example, we may have to resort to a provider that is specialized in this type of development. In the same way, more and more event organizers are demanding a secure space, with login access and greater privacy guarantees.
  1. Capture the audience’s attention. In a virtual event it is easier for our audience to lose attention. Attendees can follow the broadcast from their home and will have all kinds of distractions, so keeping them interested in what is happening on their screen is surely our biggest challenge. A good program, attractive content and speakers who know how to communicate through the camera are the pillars on which a good virtual event will be based.
  1. Encourage participation and networking. One of the problems that an online event can present is unidirectionality. Involving attendees is not only possible but also necessary in most cases, and an increasing number of resources allow to achieve this. Depending on the type of event, it may be a good idea to streamline the sessions with questions, chat and voting, enable videoconference meetings, create virtual meeting spaces, games, raffles… The limit is not technology, but imagination!
  1. Add value to sponsors. A good sponsorship agreement goes beyond the inclusion of logos and introducing advertising breaks in the broadcast of the event. The sponsors will obtain higher quality leads the more we manage to bring them closer to the attendees, and for this there are different web resources. One of them are the virtual stands, which can be in page format or even as part of a 3D fair that can be visited virtually. The exhibitor himself can edit the appearance and content of his stand and even make appointments and receive messages from the attendees.
  1. Collect and analyze metrics. There is a lot of data that in face-to-face events are elusive. How many meetings have been held? What have the attendees commented? At what point have they left a session? In this sense, virtual events are an opportunity to measure any aspect, since everything is behind a technological factor that enables this analysis. Likewise, it is essential to know how to treat and interpret all this information, so that it is useful for the organization of future virtual events.
  1. Choose an all-in-one technology partner. In short, it can be said that technology is key in any virtual event. More even so for those who require something more than a mere live broadcast. Dealing with different providers for broadcasting, web platform, interactive tools, and attendee registration can be a real headache. For this reason, from evenTwo we recommend hiring a technological specialist with experience and good references in digital tools for events, with a professional and close service that prevents any setback from ruining the organizer’s work.