BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: hybrid events
HYBRID EVENTS COMBINE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: THE ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL EVENTS AS WELL AS THE ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATION.
Digital and hybrid event formats played an important role in live marketing and communication long before the COVID-19 pandemic and still do today. While offline events score mainly through direct and personal contact, multi-sensory content as well as emotions and experiences, the focus of digital formats has so far mostly been on reach. This results primarily from the fact that digital formats are generally used independently of time and place and are available almost always and everywhere. The digital conference can be attended by a global group of participants and content can be provided in digital form before and after the event. Further arguments are sustainability (e.g. reducing emissions by not traveling to physical meetings), effectiveness and efficiency (e.g. by reducing travel time to physical meetings) and convenience (it is more convenient to watch the event on your own monitor).
The Solution: Hybrid Events. They combine the best of both worlds: The aspects of physical events (multi-sensory, personal dialogue, experience-oriented and emotional addressing) and the advantages of digital communication (reach, sustainability, effectiveness, efficiency and convenience ). By combining and synthesizing the different properties of live and digital, not only can synergies be created, but even completely new event formats and communication strategies can arise.
What to look for when implementing a hybrid event and what are the crucial factors to consider are explained below.
PARTICIPATION, INTERACTION & CO-CREATION
By integrating both the participants on site and in the digital environment on a similar level, indepth experiences and valid connections can be created. Especially if the content is adapted to the needs of the target groups and participants, addressed directly and thus creating added value for all participants. In this context, user-friendly and simple handling of the platform and technology used is also important.
AUTONOMY & CHOICE
Being able to decide for yourself which content is relevant, which program points are used or which content-related or optical perspective should be taken, personal and individual experiences can arise that evoke a feeling of appreciation and exclusivity.
TIMING & PACE
The timing of the event as well as the coordination of the content and timing of the individual program items are of central importance, as the attention of the participants in digital events is less than in offline events.
CONTENT BEFORE, DURING & AFTER THE EVENT
Professionally prepared content adapted to the target groups plays a special role in the context of hybrid events, as it keeps the participants immersed in and connected to the event. It also serves to differentiate itself from other providers and other events. The event objectives can only be achieved if the content delivers what the participants expect.
MULTI-SENSORY & HAPTIC MOMENTS
Like the content and the active involvement of the participants, haptic moments and the addressing of the multiple senses can also serve to evoke emotions, create experiences and differentiate the event from other events and providers.
NETWORKING & PERSONAL DIALOGUE
In terms of networking and personal dialogue, hybrid event formats offer new and exciting opportunities. If these are used in a targeted and professional manner, there is an opportunity in the digital context to bring communication and networking to a new level. In order to implement these success factors in the context of a strategic event concept, some central considerations are to be made. Among other things, the following essential questions must be asked and answered in a highly strategic and individual manner:
- What is the aim of the event?
- Which target groups should the event address and how?
- How can existing offline event concepts be successfully converted into the digital
context and appropriately adapted?
- What does the specific user experience (in front of the screen) look like as part of
the event design?
- What added value does the event create for the target groups?
- What’s the event USP and how does it stand out from the ever-increasing competition?
The central questions focus on the objectives and target groups of the event, from which the hybrid event concept is derived. In the best case scenario, this concept contains the key success factors and takes the associated considerations into account.
If you would like to learn more about the conception, planning and implementation of hybrid events, click here.