Now that the coronavirus pandemic is coming under control thanks to the introduction of vaccines, some marketers mistakenly believe that virtual events are also coming to an end. The truth is just the opposite, however; virtual events are here to stay – but in a hybridized format that is beneficial for both brands and consumers alike. Here is what every business owner and marketer should know about hybrid events.
Virtual Got a Big Boost in 2020-2021
Although the pandemic slowed in-person business significantly (and even brought it to a full stop in many cases), consumers never stopped consuming. People still need and want the things they use every day, including absolute necessities, high-end luxury items, and everything in between. Marketers had to get creative in response to the pandemic, so rather than putting time and effort into advertising for brick-and-mortar shops that were closing left and right, and rather than inviting people to attend massive events in person, they began using the internet to their advantage – and they did so with gusto.
Making Virtual Better
It is true that attending an event virtually is never the same as attending in person, and up until a few years ago, it would have been safe to say that the virtual experience paled in comparison to the live one – especially for workshops, conventions, and conferences attended by hundreds (or even thousands) of people. However, new technology made it possible for marketers to host virtual events in newer, more immersive, and far more engaging ways. As more people attended virtual events and provided their feedback, technology and creativity continued to mold and shape the way content was being delivered.
Are People Still Attending Virtual Events?
Now that people are once again meeting up for large events in person, it may seem as if virtual events are things of the past. This is not at all the case. The benefits of virtual events still exist, even outside of a pandemic situation.
- They do not require making travel plans. If you have ever traveled across the state (or even across the country) for a business conference, then you probably already know how time-consuming, nerve-wracking, and expensive travel can be. With a virtual event, travel is not required.
- People can attend from anywhere. Furthermore, whether attendees are at home in their pajamas or halfway around the world on a business trip, all they need to do is open their laptop or mobile device to enjoy the presentation.
- Technology makes participation possible – and far more engaging than you might think. Today’s technology allows people to really engage with your content from afar, which makes it much more effective than simply watching a livestream.
Hybrid Events are the New Normal
Hybrid events are smashups between virtual and live events. In other words, while many people might attend an event like a conference or workshop in person, others can join in virtually, whether they do so from their homes, their offices, or even while they are on the go. Although it might seem simple enough – just stream your presentation online so that others can watch – a successful hybrid event requires more than this. Presenters need to find a balanced way to make the online experience as realistic and immersive as possible. That is where choosing the right streaming platform comes into play.
Hybrid events are here to stay because they cover everyone’s wants and needs. Those who prefer viewing an event in person can certainly do so, but those who want to participate from the comforts of home, a hotel room, or even on a flight across the country are not left out. Thanks to today’s technology, today’s virtual gives distance participants numerous options for engagement, too.