Last week in our blog post at Debonair Corporate Events (If you haven't read it, you can here https://debonaircorporateevents.ca/blog/5-benefits-of-hybrid-events/), we focused on the benefits of choosing hybrid events. These five benefits included Increased Attendance and Reach, Flexibility, Higher Engagement, Data and Metrics, as well as the fact that they're far more Environmentally Friendly.
This week we decided to highlight five misconceptions of hybrid events. These are points that we hope to debunk, as well as inform and educate our audience. To start, let's get an understanding of the safety of hybrid events in 2021.
Are Hybrid Events Safe?
Because safety is such an essential aspect of everyday life during a pandemic, there are numerous ways to ensure that your hybrid event stays as safe as possible. Some methods include the size of the venue, the maximum capacity of the event, and making the event entry and check-in as safe as possible. As life transitions back to normality, it's vital that in-person portions of events give our attendees the feeling of safety they need. We can accommodate this by providing space to physical distance as much as possible, entering and exit strategies that will reduce traffic, understanding the size and regulations of in-person events and making sure people feel comfortable being around others again. With heavy focus on crucial aspects like these, will allow for greater success with having a safe event.
Our event planners and designers are officially certified and ready to develop safe experiences. Our team is qualified to appropriately execute events with the "Pandemic On-Site Protocol" training. We're prepared to build a safe, everlasting experience for everyone!
2. But do Virtual Attendees get the same Enjoyable Experience as In-Person Attendees?
A big misconception we find is that people who are attending an event virtually don't get the same experience as in-person attendees. It's hard to beat the authentic experience of attending an event in person due to the interactions, networking and physical experiences. But, we live in an age where the possibilities are endless when it comes to the virtual world. When creating an interactive experience virtually, tactics like virtual networking through chats, live-tweeting and zoom conferences are possible. Other tactics like virtual gamification, which is using technologies to create experiences similar to in-person ones, are another tool to help create virtual engagement. These could be games, polls and other variables to help make an engaging, virtual experience of your event. Strategies like these help capture the moment, increase interactions between attendees and the event, and build an experience like none other.
It will always be hard to match the experience level as an in-person event. Still, the virtual side of a hybrid will always be a place where unique tactics that perhaps have never been experienced by event goers can occur. Imagine creating an avatar of yourself and entering a virtual event where you can connect and network with others, just the same as an in-person event. When we say the limits are endless, we mean it.
3. Is it Harder to Put on a Hybrid Event?
Planning a physical event alone can be a stressful task when little experience is had. Understanding all the critical aspects from rules and regulations, planning locations, food, sponsors, speakers, and numerous other vital parts is just a tiny fraction of what goes into event planning. Adding a second event essentially on top of this that's completely virtual can be challenging, overwhelming and stressful.
This is why it's important to map, create and execute your event plan. At Debonair, we have a strict method of 3D processes that help us achieve the outcomes we want for our clients and all of their hybrid events. Our 3D process has three key steps. These include the Discovery, Design and Delivery of your events. In the Discover step, we build a connection with our client, understand their goals and targets, and make a game plan to help achieve everything they want. Secondly, the Design step focuses on the actual development of the event, from logistics to decor, to technical support. The final step is the Delivery of your event. This is the execution of the event. We help you execute events and put on an experience that will have a lasting impact on your attendees.
4. Is the Quality Worse Than a Traditional Event?
When we recommend hybrid events to our clients, a significant concern that people tend to have is if the quality is up to the standards of a traditional, in-person event. The simple answer we at Debonair can give you is YES.
No matter the event, it's essential that the quality of our experiences is consistently built to perfection. Whether in-person, virtual or hybrid, we want the quality to always be up to our standards. Because the virtual portion of a hybrid event can be delicate and needs a lot of attention, technical support, and planning, it must be of high quality to run efficiently, smoothly, and impact the viewers' experience.
5. Is the Virtual Aspect of a Hybrid Event just a Live Stream?
If this was true, who would ever want to attend a virtual experience at an event?! The virtual part of a hybrid event is FAR from just a live stream through a streaming service. What separates a live stream and an actual hybrid event is the engagement that a hybrid form can create. Live streams are singular and a basic form of communication with an audience. A Virtual aspect of an event is far more. These create meaningful interactions between attendees, event organizers and the event itself.
There can be many ways that interaction and engagement can be achieved virtually, but the bottom line is that you must constantly be giving your audience something to do. Ways to do this could involve interactive virtual tools like polls, contests, quizzes and prizes. These are just some of the many choices.
One of Debonair’s favourite methods of creating engagement is live entertainment virtually. Whether it's local musicians, comedians or dancers, having a live entertainment slot of your event would create another memorable experience for everyone.
Because hybrid events have become popular over the past year due to the pandemic, people must have a strong understanding of their benefits and misconceptions. At Debonair, we see the hybrid trend continuing to grow and push the events industry envelope even further. These types of events can be stressful to put on without a strong events professional. For whatever your event's needs are, please reach out to your friends at Debonair Corporate Events, as we're always happy to help you capture the perfect moment.