February 18, 2021
As we all look forward to restarting in-person events this year, we know the timeline is still uncertain. Allow attendees and exhibitors access to your show if they cannot attend in-person and expand the lifecycle of your content with a Hybrid event.
As states begin to reopen, there are still many restrictions you will have to consider when planning your event due to COVID-19, specifically when it comes to travel. Even as flights begin to fill up, there are still many individuals not comfortable flying, or who are still restricted based on their geographical location. Aside from travel, there are also many new regulations in place even if you are given the option to have your event in-person. Here are a few reasons a hybrid event can help you bridge the gaps as we navigate through our temporary new normal:
Offers Increased Accessibility and Flexibility
People are moving towards their new comfort zones, so be sure to accommodate your attendees any way you can. The attendees who live within driving distance are more likely to attend your event in-person, but for the majority of attendees that require long flights (or even international travel), you should consider an accessible online option. A mix of in-person and virtual makes a hybrid event a great option. Not only can travel restrictions hamper attendance, but in-person event regulations can have an impact as well. Attendees may not get as much face time as anticipated, so the ability to go back to their hotel room and make the connections they did not get to make in-person will give them options. The flexibility a hybrid event provides is also ideal since restrictions are changing daily. By offering a hybrid event, attendees will still be able to take advantage of the benefits they would receive by attending your event remotely, especially if they must change their plans last minute
Creates a Built-in Back-up Plan
Having a hybrid show can provide flexibility for you, if for some reason you have to cancel your in-person event. The software to bring your event 100% online will already be implemented, including your online directory, exhibitor showrooms, sessions, and more. This way you can repurpose your data, making it easy to turn your hybrid event into a virtual one and saving you time and money.
Allows Attendees and Exhibitors to Connect While Social Distancing
Now more than ever, the power of technology is essential for people to connect. Whether you have attendees social distancing at your in-person event, or attendees attending your event virtually from their home office, chat can be used to keep everyone connected. The safety of your attendees is your top priority, so offering a way for them to direct message will make them feel like they are still getting the networking opportunities they usually find at your show, while not putting themselves or others at risk.
We don’t know how long these travel restrictions and new in-person regulations will be in place, but we do know that you can still put on a successful event if you have the right tools. Offering both an online and in-person option will keep your attendance up, provide your exhibitors with the value they are looking for, and keep your overall audience happy and healthy.