Hybrid Events – a temporary trend?

While many event industry experts are convinced that Hybrid Events are here to stay, the hybrid model isn’t a sustainable option for many in the industry, especially venues. While many managed to successfully reimagine their offerings to meet the needs of the new event formats, let’s not forget that their primary source of revenue comes from booking spaces and selling food and beverage at events. Both options become limited with hybrid experiences that tend to have reduced in-person attendance.

Event organizers also seem to struggle when it comes to monetizing the virtual part of their event. How much are people willing to spend to attend events online? How much is the virtual experience worth? Are there ways to include sponsors to help increase or help off-set event revenue? And no to mention that hybrid events may incur additional expenses for organizers including AV production and the need for a virtual event platform to deliver the online experience.

Finally, behind each in-person event organized there is not only a venue, but also hotels, restaurants, and many more local businesses that benefit from having event attendees stay a few days. Events are a major driver for the economy and local governments will make sure to extend their support to encourage face-to-face events to return in their city as soon as time permits.

While in-person events become smaller, the overall experience will become even more important. The challenge will be to market these experiences as unique and high-quality events to convince attendees there will be a lot more in store onsite than online.

We will see a tendency towards:

  • Intimate events with few attendees
  • High quality networking and the possibility to have a conversation with every participant
  • Meaningful conversations thanks to more time per attendee

Conclusion

Many expect 2021 to mark the return of in-person events, and we are no different. We need to prepare our venues, our teams and our processes to ensure we deliver the most memorable face-to-face or hybrid event experiences. The event industry has been waiting for this moment, and while we may have some obstacles in early 2021, it will come, we will event again.