Over the past two weeks, we've focused on one of the fastest-growing trends within the events industry: Hybrid Events. In previous blog posts, we identified benefits and some misconceptions that people have in regards to hybrid events. This week as we continue with the same focus, we want to discuss what hybrid events encompass and look at an event we attended and another we produced in the past couple of months. So let's get into it!
What do they look like?
As mentioned countless times before, Hybrid Events have taken a large jump in popularity. Now that worldwide restrictions are slowly being lifted, companies are choosing hybrid events as another alternative to achieving their event goals. Although hybrid events aren't a new concept, they have just become more prevalent. As companies and brands haven't been able to organize large events or host conferences in person, they were forced to enter the virtual world to connect with their clients.
Hybrids can look quite different from one another, there is no set rule on how one should look. It just has to consist of both in-person and virtual elements. For example, many hybrid's have a sizable in-person audience and a virtual audience. This creates almost two separate events in one, increasing the number of attendees and engagement. Other events may opt-out of having an in-person audience but do all of the event planning and organizing in-person, meaning that everyone involved in event execution is on location to produce it. So, now that we know hybrid events don't all look the same let's take a look at two!
49th World Education Conference
We wanted to highlight an event we at Debonair attended, the 49th World Education Conference (WEC) hosted by Meeting Professionals International. The event was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, we were able to participate virtually from Toronto. The event had a significant focus on networking, technology and excellent speakers giving insight into the industry. The hybrid event was taking place in-person at Caesars Forum, where Usher, Penn & Teller, Michael Bush and many others spoke about the future of the events industry. It was truly an incredible experience like none other.
Being able to attend a virtual event of that scale was astonishing. From the networking, live feeds and virtual engagement, it truly felt like we were in attendance. Because WEC was 50% virtual, they coined their own Digital Experience to help attendees understand that this wasn't just a live stream. It was a fully-fledged "WEC Digital Experience." This meant that WEC had many unique experiences.
To start, when signing up for the event, WEC would send a minute-by-minute schedule that could be designed and altered to give you the personal and exact experience that you were looking for. The event also had various live streams and a live television feed that captured every keynote speaker from start to finish, just like you were there in person. One final aspect that we found unique was that there was a 24-hour "Connection and Career Center" where attendees could network, make appointments and even get help with resumes. It created a beneficial and interactive tool for everyone!
To make this event even more impressive, our founder, Dwayne Rutherford, got to be on stage with none other than Usher! What can beat a hybrid experience like that?
Building Diversity Awards
At Debonair, we love attending Hybrid Events, so learning is constantly occurring. But on top of this, we also love helping companies create the best event experiences possible. This past spring, we were fortunate enough to help create the Building DIversity Awards (BDA), a Hybrid Event like none other!
Our Hybrid Event with BDA was a fantastic experience. The event consisted of in-person aspects like speakers, entertainment, and hosts, all recorded and streamed from a live studio. Where everyone involved in the actual production of the event, including us, the planners were on location! We were there in person, making sure everything ran smoothly while being streamed and cast virtually to the audience. It allowed our team to be as creative as possible while following the respected Covid guidelines.
The planning and production of this event were quite extensive as everything had to be done in-person, but for a virtual audience. What we were able to develop and deliver with the BDA was a great example of some of the fantastic events Debonair takes pride in, while helping our clients achieve their goals.
Overall, Hybrid Events are here to stay. They offer a unique opportunity for companies to create an event that can be enjoyed globally and create new ways of engagement using the latest technology. We at Debonair love using Hybrid Events to create unique experiences that attendees have never had. Being a creative, intrigued, and dedicated team to meeting all of our client's needs, we offer unique hybrid experiences for everyone. Whether we are attending Hybrid Events to learn new valuable ways to create engagement or supporting our clients to create an event from scratch, we're always interested in working or interacting with Hybrid Events.