Days to Weeks: The True Potential of Hybrid
Does a hybrid event’s prolonged lifecycle translate to better engagement?
Actual article date: Aug 6, 2021
Hybrid events have been the talk of the town lately, with many outlets citing its various capabilities. Amongst the benefits mentioned, the significantly extended event lifecycle is definitely one of the more prominent advantages it holds against previous formats. But, what do the organisers exactly stand to gain from a longer event, and how does one go about implementing it?
Then: Live Events
To better grasp its potential, we must first understand the roots that shaped hybrid formats to be the way they are today, starting from live events. Being the norm for over decades, live events have championed with their irreplaceable face-to-face interactions that many attendees seek, so much so that no technology has been able to substitute it.
However, live formats had a jarring flaw which only surfaced in recent times after the virtual transition. Activity levels for physical events were discovered to occur in ‘short bursts’, where the main experiential elements only began when the attendee arrives onsite. In contrast, the periods before and after the event are much more dormant as compared to the vibrant and bustling event phase.
This flaw was ‘overlooked’ and was actually more of a non-issue, as the main point of events were, unsurprisingly, the event itself; people mainly wanted to meet, interact and forge new bonds in-person, and the status quo had seen no need for technology to rear its head into the game.
Now: Virtual Events
However, unforeseen circumstances had disrupted the age-old trend, and virtual soon took over as the de facto format for events. It is here amidst the transition that its enterprising early-adopters figured out that they could now curate engagement strategies that actively occupied their attendees before and even after the event.
With events hosted online, attendees could now have around-the-clock access to an engagement hub chock full of relevant and engaging content even before the main event started. Despite the amount of content, however, the level of experiential engagement pales in comparison to live events, as all interactions were done through clicks and keystrokes rather than actual handshakes and gestures.
Soon: Hybrid Events
Hybrid is thus the industry’s attempt to harmonise the benefits of both formats; by tapping onto the irreplaceable engagement of live events alongside the convenient opportunities of a virtual platform, organisers can create an unrivalled event experience that truly captivates their attendees beyond the actual live duration.
This can be done through a plethora of variations, but the most encompassing method would involve:
- A pre-event phase where attendees, aided by a smart digital engagement hub, can interact and discover other highly-relevant participants and event content, which enables them to get a headstart on their negotiations and content discovery beforehand.
- An agile and intelligent event phase that monitors for top trends during the event via real-time analytics as well as any constructive feedback that the organisers can implement in a short notice.
- A post-event phase that consolidates the highlights of the event’s sessions, accompanied by discussion outlets that enable attendees to recollect their experiences and follow up with their connections virtually.
As elaborate as the current theories go, only one thing is cerain: hybrid only comprises of a single word, yet many modes can define it; only time will tell which hybrid models will be the most sustainable as the industry’s trailblazers pave the way for the future.
However, If this article peaks your interest on the topic of hybrid events, you can sign up for our NEW book where we detail on the bountiful opportunities that hybrid format hold. It’ll be released on the 10th August, so do look out for an email from us then!
Have any burning questions about how you can prolong your event’s engagement? Curious about the other benefits of hybrid formats? Speak to our Hybrid Specialists at Jublia by simply emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also chat with us on Linkedin or message anyone you know at Jublia!