The demands of the pandemic forced us all into new ways of living our lives, from ordering groceries online to wearing masks to attending Zoom meetings in shorts and flip-flops. One of the biggest challenges for event planners was how to hold events safely. The answer was the hybrid event: partially live and partially virtual.
Now that more people are feeling confident about resuming their old way of life, at least for now, many are asking, does that mean the end of hybrid events?
The answer from most experts seems to be no, for several reasons.
- No one is sure what will happen with the coronavirus in the future. Variants keep emerging, cases ebb and flow, and a few jurisdictions are even beginning to reinstate mask mandates.
- Even if caseloads remain low, many people are still not comfortable with attending crowded indoor events, so offering the option of a hybrid event can help boost attendance among this group.
- The long lead-time required to stage most events means that many event planners are hedging their bets. If COVID-19 cases spike, the conference can still proceed by leaning more toward the hybrid side.
- In the event of a recession, which some are predicting, travel and conference costs are often the first items on the corporate chopping block. Hybrid events can still proceed for far less cost.
Of course, some events must take place in person: garden shows, used book sales, music festivals, and product demonstrations, for example.
But many others—even weddings—can take place with a mix of in-person and digital attendance.
There are several positive aspects of hybrid events:
- There’s no limit to the number of possible attendees.
- Travel, geography, and venue size aren’t limitations.
- They’re more sustainable, i.e., generating less pollution from unnecessary travel.
- Attendee data can be gathered and tracked in real time, yielding more insight.
There are also some downsides to having fewer people attend:
- Some attendees won’t pay as much for a hybrid event, impacting revenue.
- Virtual participants miss out on the synergy, networking, and energy of meeting face to face.
- The virtual component requires extra planning and investment.
Regardless, event planners say the hybrid is here to stay.
Whether in person, virtual, or a hybrid, the Historic duPont Building in downtown Miami offers the perfect venue for any event. Contact us today to find out more!