Hybrid Events – Online and Offline

At the time of writing this article, the Phase 1 post circuit-breaker is still a blur. Event agencies are trying to pivot, clients are struggling to convince their management, brands are trying to navigate the consumer sentiments. Its nothing but pure mess – the same kind of mess you would get when you don’t close the top of your blender and you hit the max speed.

What is a hybrid event?

So much talk and fluff about a hybrid event – but the idea is simple. An event that has a physical element of say less than 20-30 people and streamed live to a wider audience. The possibilities are endless from fan-less concert stadiums, fan-less soccer games, attendee-less conferences and many others.

Will hybrid events be the new norm?

In my opinion, it is not only the new norm but it is already and will be the only way forward until the vaccine is found. Countries that have high-mobilty, high recovery (read more here) are now making u-turn on easing measures because of re-infections. Which means to say event organisers and marketers have to put in all they got (with all their limited manpower resource left) to try to turn this boat around.

Perhaps clients themselves are not convinced that hybrid events will work or its a wait-and-see approach having come out of the circuit breaker soon.

But its not the same as running a physical event – what about all the social interaction and networking?

As much as I would like to say that technology cannot replace the human connections, it somehow already has. We have started to work without seeing each other for 8 hours a day. Something we have not thought possible since the beginning of time. Companies are now allowing their staff to work from home even after their local authorities lift lockdown bans.

Will we get used to it? Yes for sure, after some time.

Is it the most profitable? Not yet

Will it achieve the same effect as a physical event? I am confident it will. Or perhaps even better. (More on this in my next article)

At the heart of it all, its the human connection that really matters and that transcends physical space and time – Adam Piperdy
So what now? How do we start?

Marketers, event agencies and clients are now at the starting line of this brand new era of hybrid events. Here are some key steps I would think is key to organising a hybrid event.

What is the business objective? Every event has an objective or a purpose, let’s be very clear on what we want to achieve. Awareness? Increase in sales? Brand equity?
Who is the target? Will they be pre-registered or a free to air content for maximum reach (highly not recommended – an aunty wouldn’t care about your webinar on digitising the workplace. She would rather watch some MPs sing live on a virtual getai)
What is the content? Will your target audience be moved to take the call to action?
How will you deliver this content? What platform works best for you and your consumers (takes 2 hands to clap)
In short, how will you help your clients market this “online hybrid virtual digital” content to reach your target audience to achieve your business objective on the most suitable platform.

I only have the questions because you already have the answers.

Can all events go hybrid?

100% Yes. Welcome to the new world. Hybrid or Has-Been – you choose.

Talk to us today to find out how you can get started on your own virtual events. Contact us here!

Written by Adam Piperdy, Founder and Chief Experience Officer, Unearthed Productions

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