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Are hybrid events the right solution for your industry?

Hybrids, unlike cyborgs, are very real and have been around for a while. Only recently, though, event organizers fully realized the golden potential hybrid events have for adapting to extraordinary circumstances. It’s a trend that’s here to stay as we’re not just in a temporary pandemic situation — there’s a post-pandemic world on the horizon.

Combining the best practices from the virtual and the real-life interaction sounds like a no-brainer, however, is this the case for every business? Alternatively, are hackathons and flashmobs authentic when they’re partially online?

We carefully observed the tendencies that have formed during last year and the way they played out. As expected, safety, convenience, cost efficiency, and innovative technologies, are the dominating priorities now. Here’s how all these values are now incorporated into the hybridization of events made for and by different industries.

Sports

If you think about it, major global sports tournaments have always been hybrid, or at least, ever after television was invented. You have the live event with its participants and attending audience; then you have studios and commentators from various countries; and; there are also multiple streaming channels allowing people to watch from anywhere in the world.

So, it’s no surprise iconic mainstream organizations like FIFA and NFL were remarkably quick to make the shift. We’re not saying they were not on the losing end when they canceled dozens of games due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, they are back on track now trailblazing and becoming stronger.

Basically, the only new rule for huge sports competitions is simple. They have to reduce their live audiences while being extra interactive on their broadcasting programs.

NBA Virtual Fans/Photo credit: www.sportscasting.com

NBA introduced their Virtual Fans powered by Microsoft Teams and the reactions were ecstatic. Unfortunately, one model doesn’t fit all and the prognosis for the Tokyo Olympic Games is not that optimistic as Japan is still in a state of emergency and unable to accommodate thousands of competitors.

Business

Nearly three-quarters of meeting planners are moving their face-to-face events to virtual or hybrid this year, according to the most recent Meetings and Events Pulse Survey conducted by Global DMC Partners.

Successful businesses are no strangers to technologies so the transition from live meetings to entirely virtual was not too complicated. The same way thousands of companies switched to remote operations, most of the conferences, seminars, workshops, and trainings became online. Although this is convenient, it limits the networking opportunities, which left space for the new generation hybrid events platforms to flourish.

Event organizers can now independently choose a hybrid hosting service for their event or they can pass on this responsibility to the venue. This might be challenging for the venue but a lot of venues are actually already well prepared. Hilton’s newly released EventReady is an excellent example.

Some of the most memorable partially live and partially virtual 2020 events were Webinar World and Eventex where hybrid events marketers eventually made their point.

Science

There’s no doubt — medicine was the most important science last year. It still is. Healthcare professionals are veterans in conferencing and traveling around the world. And yet, travel restrictions are not big enough to stop them from progressing in their fields. Especially in times when medical skills are needed the most.

COVID-19 had spread all over the globe and required collective research and insights. Therefore, large international medical conference organizers didn’t hesitate at all and demonstrated how flexible they can be. Not only they kept canceled events to the minimum, but they were highly proactive about calling unscheduled summits.

Healthcare conferences innovations inspired other scientific communities to think ahead and now we have interactive museum events along with hybrid lectures and seminars.

Fashion and Art

Sustainability and environmental awareness are prominent tendencies we’ve been witnessing at arts and fashion shows for years. It’s a punishment for artists to leave them without an audience and virtual is not the same as live. Still, a mix between virtual and live is an option, what’s more, it’s an eco-friendly option!

Hybrid events help minimize waste. In fact, anything based on advanced technology is waste efficient. Speaking of efficiency, the cost of a hybrid event is always less which might increase revenues.

Paris Fashion Week 2020/Photo credit: www.abcnews.go.com

In October Paris Fashion Week set the bar high with its versatile program of physical-only, virtual-only, and hybrid presentations. For the record, hybrid shows were reported to perform best.

Music

This is a big one! Who doesn’t miss concerts and festivals? After the magnificent closure of the year with the virtual Tomorrowland Around the World, we’re eager to see more of that revolving.

Certainly, most of the upcoming festivals in 2021 will be considerably smaller, nevertheless, some entertainment technologies let you plan more ambitiously. Hybrid festivals and tours will be preferred over hybrid concerts. Another direction the music events can go in is booking multiple venues while streaming simultaneously on-site and offline.

Live music trends also fluctuate geographically. For instance, in Asia hybrid formats are most welcomed. Last month the Chinese independent label Modern Sky announced that its live streams had drawn over 42 million viewers in 2020.

Trade Shows

Don’t underestimate hybrid trade shows because e-commerce is still doing phenomenally. Sadly, numerous events planned for the beginning of this year were still canceled even with the hybrid option on the table. Safety measures are different in each country and they’re constantly changing.

The fairs stage is unpredictable but not lost. It’s fascinating how all interested parties adapt. An impressive case study is Fairsnexts innovationa truly virtual platform, that now integrate their service into physical events and turn them into a hybrid.

Fairnext Hybrid Fairs

Тhe hybrid format is flexible. Flexible enough to cover the needs of all types of events. It’s not about the specifics of the particular industries, it’s about the event industry that unites them all. Provided that you’ve chosen the right platform, you can count on the success of your precisely planned initiative. For a little help with that, we offer our Evedo webinar services for free.

Join us on our channels and keep up with the latest news and tricks from the event industry!

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