Virtual events were growing in popularity before the pandemic; the sector was valued at approximately $78 billion in 2019. However, when the events industry was forced to adapt because of the lockdown restrictions and all events moved online, virtual events became the new normal.
Many people are now asking themselves will this trend continue? Well, 72% of people expect to attend more or the same number of online events even after in-person events return in full.
In 2022, virtual events are set to remain popular throughout the year. The events landscape has changed as people have had to adapt to challenging and unprecedented circumstances. With this innovative new infrastructure in place, virtual events are more efficient to host than at any time in history. But with in-person events possible again, how are these new virtual event possibilities going to change the events industry moving forward?
What Is The Future of Events?
The truth is virtual events are here to stay. Challenges posed by the pandemic forced event organisers to adapt to virtual events, however, despite the return to in-person events there is an existing infrastructure available that makes hosting events virtually more efficient than ever before. Attendees are also used to logging into a hosting platform, such as Zoom or Teams, to enjoy a virtual event.
More than 70% of marketers had no virtual event strategy before the pandemic. In order to get the industry moving again after grinding to a halt, businesses had to research and implement a solution fast and the answer was software that helped host virtual events. After seeing this boom in business, these software companies are going to try and pivot their product to stay relevant post-pandemic. The rise in what many people are saying is the future of events means they will still be used across many events: hybrid events.
If you’re an event organiser, the question on your lips is probably are hybrid events profitable? You not only have to invest in an event venue but the software required to host attendees online. However, studies show 60% of companies that use virtual event software secured a return on investment within 6 months. This shows that the future of events will have a digital edge despite moving away from restrictions caused by the pandemic.
How Hybrid Events Work
Nearly 75% of event planners are transitioning from exclusively in-person events to virtual or hybrid events. Before virtual events, obstacles prevented many companies, prospects, and communities from connecting. Whether it was geographical or financial, unfortunately, circumstances often meant that not everyone interested in an event could attend. However, hybrid events increase the accessibility of the event as well as improve connectivity.
If you’re wondering how hybrid events work, the simple answer is they’re a mix of in-person and virtual events. You get all the essential parts of why live events work: the audience, content, and in-person interactions while improving how attendees can interact with the event and connect with other guests, no matter who they are or where they are.
One of the biggest benefits of hybrid events is how they encourage engagement. Through the seamless integration of technology, you can create a better experience for guests by allowing them to participate and interact more. For example, a hybrid event may offer an app for attendees to download that allows them to submit questions to speakers on stage.
Every hybrid event should prioritise its live and online audience. The point of hybrid events is whether someone is attending online or in-person, while they may have a different experience, the quality won’t differ whether they’re watching on a screen or sitting in an auditorium. However, it’s not only being able to view the event virtually that hybrid events offer.
For example, Austrian Wine, a wine seller that also hosts events for wine enthusiasts, often uses hybrid events. One of the most popular events they’ve organised was for wine tasters where the guests could connect with winemakers online to find out more about the wine or place an order.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
- Increased Reach – Adding a virtual element to your event increases its accessibility. You can reach a whole new audience who may not have been able to attend previously.
- Improved Engagement – Creating an online space for attendees to connect and interact with the event improves engagement.
- More Environmentally Friendly – Giving people the option to attend your event online, reduces the number of people travelling meaning hybrid events are kinder to the environment.
- Enhanced Audience Experience – Hybrid events can enhance the experience attendees have in several ways. As well as improving interactivity, guests could also easily access schedules or floor plans for directions around the venue through an app, for example.
- Secure A High ROI – After the pandemic may have forced you to invest in online event software, now we’re returning to normal, you don’t have to forget about these tools. Hosting hybrid events can help you secure a high ROI by creating a better audience experience for everyone attending.
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens Event Venue
At cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, our team is constantly looking for ways to improve the experience guests have at events. From hybrid events to large in-person conferences, if you’re an event organiser, choose a unique event venue like us to unlock the potential of your event.
Call our team at Franklin’s Gardens today on 01604 751543 or visit our contact page to enquire further.