Over the past year, the meetings and events industry changed. We pulled up our socks and adapted to new buyer needs, virtual events and more.
Until the world is back to normal, we will meet – just differently. Hybrid meetings and events, combining both in-person and virtual experiences, are how our industry will reunite, recover, and rebuild.
So how can event and hospitality professionals reconnect and make the most of hybrid? What are the benefits? Fortunately, hybrid events offer both planners and venues a myriad of opportunities to recover their MICE business, succeed and thrive, now and in the longrun.
Discover 7 ways hybrid events benefit venues and planners
1. It increases your reach
While the prospect of a hybrid event seems daunting, remember they have the potential to increase both the venue's and planner's reach and brand awareness significantly.
Venue: For venues, it's a great way to let your property shine! Afterall, you're showing off your fantastic hybrid capabilities and ability to host a seamless, well-made hybrid event.
Planner: By hosting a hybrid event, you'll be able to reach attendees who wouldn't be able to join otherwise. And it doesn't just aide travel and COVID-19 anxiety. After the pandemic, hybrid gives you the ability to reach a whole new pool of attendees in different countries - or those who are simply too busy to attend in-person!
2. You can use the data to improve future events
These days, it's all about data and actionable insights. Hybrid events are a great new way to understand more about your in-person and virtual attendees
Venue: Use digital marketing data to understand event planner’s interest in your hybrid offerings. In fact, Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam saw through their digital marketing efforts that there was a huge interest in their virtual studio, which prompted them to organise a physical tour of the space and expand their offerings.
Planner: Find out what your attendees responded to; what they liked and didn't like about the event; what they'd like to see at the next event.
3. Enhance your content, increase engagement and gain repeat customers
When it comes to hybrid, a big question being asked is: How are we going to keep our virtual attendees as engaged as our in-person ones? If you pull that off, its possible that your buyers will trust in your capabilities and return.
Venue: Assist planners with their engagement plans by providing a fully functional studio, greenscreens and trendy furniture. Give them the ability to map their dream event. Done right, the planner will be more likely to return to you.
Planner: Incorporate live polls or Q&A to keep virtual attendees involved. And make sure that the sessions are a digestible length. Allow attendees to re-watch sessions long after the event is finished, which keeps your event and company fresh in their minds. Remember that its one event with two experiences.
4. Hybrid offers flexibility and security for everyone
These are uncertain times and not everyone will be comfortable attending an event in person. That's why hybrid is a great way to provide both planners and attendees with the comfort of choice: They can attend in the way that suits them best.
Venue: Give planners peace of mind that no matter where 2021 leads, your hybrid solutions offer flexibility and security. A hybrid event makes it easier for planners to pivot.
Planner: Allow attendees to choose how they attend your event – so that no matter what happens, the show will go on and you don't lose out on leads and revenue.
5. Make it safer
Every in-person event, whether it's hybrid or not, must satisfy social distancing requirements. Hybrid makes it easier to reduce the number of in-person attendees while boosting your overall attendance.
Venue: Use event diagramming solutions to increase your collaboration with planners and reassure them that their attendees will be safer.
Planner: Host safer, smarter events with seating arrangements which satisfy social distancing guidelines. Your attendees will feel more secure.
6. Allows you to offset costs and losses
You can still make money from hybrid, whether you're the venue or planner!
Venue: Provide breakout rooms, tiered A/V packages and equipment upsells. Ensure that planners have everything they need for the type of hybrid event they request and be paid accordingly.
Planner: Hybrid allows your sponsors to advertise online and in-person, which increases their reach and helps you attract more sponsors.
7. Hybrid helps you lower your carbon footprint
With so much talk about sustainability in the meetings and events industry, it's important to consider how hybrid will impact your carbon footprint. Well, good news! Hybrid means there will be less travel and waste. Water and energy will also be conserved. This positions both venue and planner as an environmentally conscious organsiation.
We're in this together, and it's time to reconnect
It's about time that venues and planners reconnected, which is why we're bringing them together. Whether you are fully prepared for hybrid or only just hearing about it; whether you’re a planner, venue or hotel, we invite you to unite with your peers, suppliers and buyers with our upcoming events. Learn from their experiences and understand their needs, or share your ideas, worries, advice, and experience.