Almost two years have passed and it seems that the pot of gold of our people-centered industry has finally resurfaced – the face-to-face meeting. Events might not look the same for a while after we return in-person, but digital tools will definitely help event organizers overcome their remaining challenges.
How events changed in 2021
The pandemic has affected the sector to such an extent that service providers themselves were bound to catalog their offers in line with three event “labels” – virtual, hybrid or in-person. Therefore, this has created an underlying need to digitally transform the events industry and has been putting the choice of the right platform and technology on a higher stage. If you’re not quite up to speed yet, get to know how event technology will shape events from 2021 on.
Beyond doubt, event technology has clearly shown us its power for industry recovery and will surely continue to fit the bill for societal issues and new health & safety protocols – for instance through contactless event check-in and capacity control. However, it’s equally important to grasp the needs of an increasingly omnichannel audience that will also take center stage in 2022.
Will virtual and hybrid events go away in 2022?
A LinkedIn survey of 1,800 meeting professionals predicts that many organizers of in-person events have intentions to deliver a “digital twin” event, meaning that one or more online components of the same event will be broadcasted to remote audiences. And the most curious thing of all is when we realize that a person who’s attending the event in-person, can enjoy the simultaneity of attending an online session of the same event.
The research also found that 42% of organizers will continue to seek virtual event production services for sustainability reasons, reducing the need for transportation, one-time use of plastic and other consumables often found at live events.
So, although we don’t have a crystal ball, we can give you a bit of insight and assume that virtual and hybrid events aren’t expected to fade away in 2022. Whether for their capability to reach a wider audience, to offer greater affordability ROI, to deliver data-driven insights, because of its liability to create meaningful attendee experiences or even due to environmental concerns. After all, sustainable events have contactless and paperless interactions.
Hybrid as the viable route in 2022
One key benefit of hybrid events is that they make it easier to deliver a superb line-up than ever before, allowing organizers to bring in worldwide guest speakers that would have been beyond their reach with a mere in-person event. This strong, virtual component can be scaled to take in many more attendees than your venue alone ever could. Indeed, exploring the global reach of hybrid events is a must-follow trend in 2022.
Another reason why hybrid events will thrive in the events industry is because of their longer lifespan, leading many brands to extend their message beyond the event itself. With digital registration it’s possible to repurpose event content into post-event campaigns to retarget attendees remotely with extra content or to open up the event to more people in an inclusive way. For instance, for people who may not have been able to attend the in-person experience.
Did you know that the beamian streaming platform allows both private and public video sharing? Learn how to choose the best live video streaming for events.
In brief, hybrid events – by their digital nature – offer event organizers more sophisticated ways of measuring event ROI and also the opportunity to engage target audiences long after the event has ended.