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How the future of the event industry relies on the Hybrid event model
Understanding the current situation of Coronavirus, how the future of the event industry relies on the Hybrid event model and how it is gaining more acceptance.
Human evolution is a journey of constant adaptation. Just in the last millennium, we have survived wars, famines, pandemics and have come out stronger. Today again we are on the brink of a major challenge with the spread of CoronaVirus across all continents, besides Antarctica. Pains being caused by this ‘epidemic’ is beyond measure, however, our survival instinct needs us to quickly adapt, assess risk and find solutions.
When a contagious health catastrophe emerges, the first human response is fear. Fear leads us to stop going to places with a high chance of contraction. Such a behavioral pattern is a death knell for the travel & tourism industry and any business that requires large gatherings. One industry that requires both of these is ‘Events’. People travel long-distances in planes & trains, seen as incubators for spreading a virus, and they are locked amidst large gatherings, with minimal knowledge of where other people have been.
Without going into the topic of the importance of in-person events and why it is the most effective marketing tool, its critical to focus on how organizers are leveraging technology to come out of this situation stronger. Challenging times forces one to innovate and the event industry is setting an example by facing adversity head-on.
“When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge — every adversity — contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.”
― Roy T. Bennett
Across countries, today, enabling in-person meetings appears daunting due to the health & financial risk involved for both the organizer and the participants. However, at 10Times a global channel used by over 50 million professionals to find business experiences, we are seeing an increase in traffic of users looking for in-person professional experiences. There is a clear indication that users are looking and now it’s up to the organizers to step-up and create options for this audience.
At this critical juncture where the event ecosystem is exposed to billions in loss, the one critical question in-front of us is: can technology help mitigate the losses? The answer is a resounding YES and is quickly getting implemented across the globe. Physical events have no option but to become agile and marry the often hated virtual possibilities. Here are some approach organizers are adopting:
Go completely Virtual –
Using live-streaming and broadcasting solutions customized for events, take a physical event to a virtual venue, hosted on the cloud.
Events with a high percentage of the international audience from around the world
Enable Hybrid Event –
A large percentage of potential participants are not able to attend the event due to reasons like CoronaVirus (currently). By enabling a hybrid model during conferences and expos, organizers can open a new channel to drive participation. For e.g: during a live conference, besides delegates onsite, allow virtual participation, along with online-offline networking features.
Events with a mix of the local and international audience
Organizers may also choose to extend their physical event, by adding a virtual component before or after the physical in-person event. Before the in-person event usually works like a trailer, to drive more audience to the main event. After the in-person event would extend the time-line of the event, driving additional revenue.
For example: by enabling an extended day after the physical tradeshow, exhibitors would get more exposure to an audience they could not meet in-person. Additionally, anyone who could not make it to the show can still meet the exhibitors.
While some organizers have proactively taken these steps, some are just waking up to the possibilities. Adopting the hybrid model can be a lifeline for the next few months and a critical source of revenue in the future. All events which are having to cancel should consider going virtual. It would be the right thing to do, allowing the audience to still achieve the end goal: meet prospective buyers & sellers during the conference and stay updated through conferences.
“The future of the event industry relies on organizers’ ability to adopt technology”