After a long (read: seems like endless) year of lockdown, the world is starting to open back up. People are itching to get back to “life as usual” and professionals in the event industry are no different. From CEOs to planners to prospective attendees, there is a push to return to in-person events, particularly in this country, where many states have now opened back up as the vaccines have rolled out.
A majority of people are feeling confident and safe at this point. Venue bookings in many parts of the world are on the rise. In fact, bookings for future stays in American hotels have been above pre-pandemic levels for the first time recently, according to the Skift Recovery Index. Clearly the people have spoken, and they want their normal back.
But as much as we’re all itching for a return to in-person events, there are many who offer the same legal advice, and that is to “plan carefully and review all state and local guidelines before planning large corporate events.”
Why You Should Consider Evolving from In-Person to Hybrid
Travel Bans are Still in Place
This is sound advice, because while people are ready to get back to normal, there are still a plethora of travel bans worldwide, and these bans will no doubt put a damper on event planning.
As an example, many European and US-based associations have a travel ban until the end of the year. And many organizations, both here and abroad, now have a limited travel budget because it was assumed there would BE no travel this year.
How should event planners deal with the juxtaposition between green lights and travel bans?
The Case for Hybrid Events
It may not be what planners and prospective attendees want to hear, but with lingering travel bans out there, your safest bet is to plan for hybrid events.
One of the most important lessons event planners learned this year is that while virtual events do offer their benefits, live events will always remain an important part of an engaging program. As we move forward, feeling our way back to an actual normal, hybrid events, or events that combine both in-person and virtual components, will be an essential part of the event industry.
Besides being a safe bet right now with travel bans, what are some other advantages of hybrid events?
With a hybrid event, you really do get the best of both worlds. Those that can attend in person will, and those that can’t have the opportunity to tune in from the comfort of their living room. This ultimately means more registrants and more revenue.
Hosting hybrid events means you are able to record your livestreaming sessions. This allows your virtual attendees to view them when is most convenient for them. And those attendees who were there in-person but who perhaps want to rewatch a session to learn more are also able to do so. This ultimately offers your attendees more value.
More Sponsorship Opportunities
Hybrid events allow sponsors to get in front of even more prospects. More exposure for their brand means more financial support for your event and organization.
While I wish we could say that we are officially back to normal, the truth is there will be starts and stops along the path back to fully in-person events. Planning hybrid events will give your organization the opportunity to get in front of as many people while also giving you peace of mind.
If you need any help planning your hybrid events, please reach out to us by clicking here. We’ve helped a lot of clients over the last few months plan these types of events and we can make your life a lot easier!
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