The New Normal: Hybrid Formats as the future of trade fairs and events
The future standard for trade shows and events is the hybrid format – at least that’s how it appears due to the many face-to-face events, where the option of digital participation is much more important than before the pandemic. Moreover, there are good reasons why the hybrid format will continue to establish itself even after the pandemic.
Here you can find out what is important when planning hybrid events and what organizers need to bear in mind:
Good reasons for "hybrid events"
One of the most relevant reasons for both companies and organizers is the cost factor. Virtual participation is much more cost-effective for companies than on-site participation. A virtual booth is not only more affordable and less costly, but you also save the costs for booth staff, as well as for travel and loss of earnings.
The number of participants is no longer limited by space, so events can potentially reach more people and require less intensive support. Hybrid events are also more environmentally friendly, as fewer participants have to travel to them.
Today, trade shows and events are therefore more location-independent and you can tap into new target groups.
At the same time, digital participants are also less cost-intensive for the organizers, but they still finance the on-site event through the participation fee. What further increases the potential audience is the fact that events can not only be attended or viewed live, but are also available on-demand afterwards. Interested parties can thus, if they wish, even access the content at a later date for a fee.
What is in store for event organizers in terms of "hybrid events"?
In a nutshell: Event managers become video producers.
In the future, event organizers will have to fulfill a dual role; they will be both event managers and producers of video content. This means that they will also have to face completely new requirements with regard to events. For example, the quality of the moving image offered and the sound to be transmitted will become a very important criterion for digital participants. Here, it is crucial to use a technology that accompanies the entire path of the content throughout the event, instead of relying on a service provider who only takes care of the transmission of the content.
Once the technical infrastructure is in place as a prerequisite, the actual implementation of the hybrid event becomes very straightforward, as all the technical handling of the video streaming is done by the technology partner. The only important questions that organizers should then deal with are of a purely planning nature: Which platform can map the entire video workflow in a target-oriented manner? Do other requirements have to be met, such as DSGVO compliance? Should the event also be available on-demand after the livestream? Is there a studio from which livestreams are broadcast or does a video team walk through the exhibition hall? These considerations are important because the content acts as a touchpoint for visitors before, during and after the event.
It's all about the right partner
The higher vaccination rate ensured more on-site events in the summer of 2021. At the same time, the number of places was usually severely limited. The form in which on-site events are held was and continues to be dependent on the current pandemic situation. For this reason, more and more event organizers are relying on an accompanying livestreaming event.
The success of a hybrid event therefore depends to a large extent on whether the technical implementation runs smoothly. For every event and every trade fair, it will therefore be all the more important in the future to consider how the information from the event location can be prepared and presented to the viewers at home. The implementation possibilities are versatile and there are no limits to creativity. The most important task for event organizers is to adapt and expand their online offerings accordingly. The best starting point for a successful event is always the choice of a good technology partner.
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