Hybrid Events: The Best of Both Worlds

Virtual events are here.  But never fear… magic still happens when people meet face-to-face.  By creating a hybrid event which includes both virtual and physical components, your event creates an all encompassing and measureable experience. It reaches beyond those people who can get out of the office. It enables active participation by those who can and cannot attend in-person, while also extending the experience for both groups well beyond the physical event dates to create an ongoing community. And the greatest benefits?  Business intelligence and truly measureable results are easily gathered!

One global technology company who incorporated a virtual component with an existing event found that they…

  • Captured more executive participation:  a third of the virtual event attendees were from the executive/senior management and management groups (33%);
  • Extended reach to a larger audience:  55% were first-time attendees at the virtual event
  • Drive physical participation at next year’s live event:  34% of the virtual attendees indicated that they are extremely likely or very likely to attend the live event in 2010
  • Maintained physical audience:  only 7% of the live attendees indicated that they are likely to attend only the virtual event in 2010
  • Enhanced event value for in-person audience:  2,000 in-person attendees logged into the virtual event during the conference to interact with each other and share information

So get ahead of the curve and start considering how virtual events can enhance your event strategy!  Here are a few key questions to ask yourself before speaking with potential providers…

  • What are your goals, objectives, and expectations of a hybrid event?
  • Who are the target markets for the virtual component? What are their demographics – including time zone and languages?
  • Like a live event, how much can the internal team take on? Do you need an outside producer to help with virtual strategy, content, and project management?
  • Realistically, what is your not-to-exceed budget number?
  • What “sponsors” might be interested in virtually advertising or “exhibiting” to help off-set your investment?
  • Who within your organization needs to buy-into this concept?  What is the best way to include them in the process?

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