Virtual Events vs. Hybrid Events– From a traditional system of events where people gather under one roof to events where people connect from remote places & communication stays intact.
That’s where events come into the picture. Business events like the launch of a new product or promotion of an existing product, celebrating any success, and many others, help people communicate with others and make business connections.
Events always have and will always remain a critical source of communication in the corporate world. However, the thing that evolved is the variety of events.
You might have heard, “Uncertainty ignites creativity and opens new avenues.” The same thing happened when COVID-19 hit humanity, and ambiguity rose on the horizon of our everyday lives. It led people and organizations to look for alternatives, and present yet dormant events came to the surface.
Thanks to the gift of technology, life continued. The accessibility of technology revolutionized the event fraternity, and two major types of events that rose from ambiguity were virtual events and hybrid events.
Virtual events can be defined as events held and hosted online. Among various other benefits of virtual events, the primary use is that it breaks geographical locations.
You can connect to people around the world sitting at the comfort of your home. Virtual events don’t let the physical constraint bind you.
Whether attending an online dance class or cooking class, these events provide you a window to the world to experience different events while sitting on your couch.
Technology has become more affordable, and thus virtual events have become more accessible and safe for people, especially in the global pandemic.
From virtual world tour events organized by Salesforce to virtual runs from San Francisco to New York, virtual events got hold of the communication industry.
For people suffering from loneliness after being confined in their houses for months, virtual events life fan fest have become a lifesaver.
With YouTube announcing its first-ever virtual fan fest to K-pop group BTS organizing its virtual concert, fans are on their toes to enjoy these phenomenal events.
Not only are virtual events more accessible, but they are also budget-friendly and less expensive. Compared to traditional face-to-face meeting events, virtual events are less expensive, more flexible, and innovative.
Hybrid events are events that provide physical and online experiences simultaneously to different attendees. one of the benefits of these events is that they give choices to the interested participants to join the event in the way they prefer.
As hybrid events have physical and online attendees, they have to be more engaging to include all attendees.
The host creates opportunities for participants to feel engaged by introducing activities like polls, discussions, Q&A, live streams, and many others.
Hybrid events generally provide greater reach; otherwise, the online audience may feel left out bored. The host’s effort to connect the audience creates a greater satisfaction and enrichment from the event and creates a lasting impression.
Another add-on of this type of event is that it gives benefits of both virtual and physical events. The physical attendees could attend workshops, conferences, lectures, and other events, while the online attendees could simultaneously engage themselves with other activities. Hybrid events create a dynamic shape for the attendees.
Moreover, hybrid events are also an effective way of cost-cutting. After all, more online attendees would mean less expense on accommodations, like dining, travel cost, etc.
Hybrid events can also help you reach a whole new audience because they also break geographical locations constraints.
As hybrid events give people options, if their experience is satisfactory, it inturns covers the audience into a face-to-face audience, eventually increasing the organization’s return on investment (ROI).
We have recently seen some of the most influential and enlightening hybrid events like Empower21, powered by a single hybrid event platform.
Empower21 was a massive success as it unified the audience to interact and complement their experience. Another example of a successful hybrid event is WEC Grapevine, which the organization described as “two events, planned and executed simultaneously with one remarkable takeaway to move our profession to recovery.”
With a satisfaction level of 93% from the attendees, this hybrid event was also a tremendous success. We can say that hybrid events are redefining the world of events.
We can say that for the event world, COVID-19 was an opportunity in disguise. Innovation and technology changed the scenario of event management. As for the comparison between virtual and hybrid events, hybrid events have the edge over virtual because hybrid events give you more options and formats. The opportunity to participate according to the participant’s convenience and flexibility gives the attendees satisfaction of choice. Hybrid events enable the host to attend both types of participants simultaneously, enhancing your attendees’ experience. Hybrid events offer a greater quality of interaction and communication as compared to virtual events. Virtual events also have their benefits, like accessibility, cost efficiency, etc. However, the most critical factor is “what is a company planning to achieve from this event?” A company should evaluate various factors like budget, greater reach, size of event, attendees count, better way of communication, etc., before selecting an approach for holding their event. Both hybrid events and virtual events have their features and benefits. Therefore a company should assess all pros and cons of both systems and then create a plan for their events.