Are Hybrid Events the Way of the Future?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Society has gotten a taste of the convenience of virtual events. And we don’t want to completely give them up. While in-​person events are expected to return this year, they can be costly. Attendees have to pay for travel expenses to get to the event, as well as lodging. That's on top of what the event cost to attend. But there are still many business professionals who prefer in-​person events. It’s easier to network in person and traveling can be a fun break from the day-​to-​day work routine. In order to satisfy both types of event attendees, many organizations will turn to hybrid events going forward.

Hybrid Events: the Inevitable Future

According to Kim Davis, writing for Search Engine Land, “Some in-​person events will certainly return, but there will be fewer of them, and attendance is likely to be reduced.” Ultimately, the decision will come down to the event organizers. More digitally-​savvy organizers will be more open to continue organizing digital events. On the other hand, those who aren’t so tech savvy will feel the opposite. They'll probably see this pandemic as a nightmare they’re glad to be rid of as they book their event's venue. Neither type of person is wrong, but they aren’t completely right either. Not every person attending their events will share the same point of view. That’s why hybrid events will be crucial to adapt to if the event organizers want to stay relevant and keep their attendance up.

How Digital Marketers can Help

Hybrid events can mean anything from a global live-​stream of an in-​person event, to an in-​person event with certain digital assets or an event app associated with it,” says Davis. That being said, it’s going to be a lot more work for those involved in organizing the event. And they’ll need the help of digital marketers to make the event a success. Digital marketers can help promote the event on an array of digital channels and they also have experience with technical equipment. They can help event planners think of new ways to add digital elements to in-​person events. And they can aid in setting up and running the digital extensions that the client agrees on.

According to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel, millions of adults in the U.S. plan to attend a professional conference or motivational seminar within the next year. If you’re helping advertise an upcoming hybrid event, you should know that the following types of media drove these consumers to take action within the last year:

  1. Social Media Ads: 71.6% of these consumers took action after seeing this type of ad
  2. Direct Mail Ads: 70%
  3. Sponsored Search Results: 69.5%
  4. Traditional TV Commercials: 68.7%
  5. Email Ads or Newsletters: 64.7%

Professional Conference or Motivational Seminar Attendees are also 87% more likely than other consumers to take action after hearing about events mentioned on audio podcasts.

And this is just general information on potential hybrid event attendees. If your client wants to know what types of media they should be using to promote their upcoming hybrid event to their target customers, look up their profile on AudienceSCAN.