As the event industry moves into the digital age, more and more brands are seeking ways to capture audience engagement and garner revenue through event marketing. No matter what the future holds in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual and hybrid events are here to stay, and marketers need to take advantage of this powerful revenue generation tool.
Not convinced? Hybrid events are a lot of work but know that they are worth the effort. Here’s our take on why event marketers need to include hybrid events in their marketing tool belt.
Hybrid Events Overview
Hybrid events are events that contain elements of both in-person and online events. Hybrid events are usually hosted in-person, but the digital components are well-incorporated into the event agenda. From allowing digital interaction at the physical event to live-streaming the event, these types of events come with a range of benefits.
In preparing for a hybrid event, event marketers will usually want to find an event hosting platform that can allow for the event to be marketed, for ticketing processing, hosting of the virtual component of the event, and for analytics and CRM integrations.
Event platforms can synchronize the in-person and the online event portions especially when it comes to event registration, marketing, and ticketing. Therefore, you can market your hybrid event online, sell tickets through the platform, and allow anyone who purchased a ticket to the event to view the online event.
In-person participants get to experience their own unique benefits, of course, like making in-person connections and networking and seeing the event in-person. The emergence of online events and hybrid events has allowed more individuals to attend even when they cannot attend in-person, therefore offering more audience reach, bigger networking opportunities, and flexibility in event programming.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
As mentioned, hybrid events offer numerous benefits. Compared to live events, the hybrid event portion allows for more individuals to attend the event. This might be the case if an attendee was busy with other obligations, unable to commit to the timeframe of the event, or located in a different city.
There are numerous ways in which a hybrid event can be hosted. Hybrid events offer more to participants than some online event styles because it shows online participants that there is an in-person events element, which creates a different audience environment. Therefore, hybrid events allow for more attendee engagement because they can interact with live attendees, in-person presentations, trade show booths, and both the in-person and virtual audience.
Hybrid events create accessibility, especially in certain industries that might remain exclusive or hard to breach. Therefore, hosting a hybrid event is a great way to create excitement around your brand, business, or industry. It offers a glimpse into the brand, business, or industry through a mix of exclusivity and intimacy.
If you are looking at hosting an event during the COVID-19 pandemic, or during another major crisis, then having the hybrid event capabilities on hand makes sense. This allows event planners to be prepared for transferring into the digital space quickly so that your event still goes on even if there are obstructions.
How Hybrid Events Can Improve Brand Marketing
Hybrid events offer brands a new potential for promoting their vision. If you are looking to expand your company’s reach by increasing brand awareness, then you could consider hosting a hybrid event that encourages a select number of individuals to attend the in-person event and opening up the virtual event portion to the masses.
With a digital events platform like Accelevents, you are able to scale with your audience so you won’t have to worry about over-marketing or under-marketing your event. Hybrid events can be a great way to encourage more individuals to seek out your brand when solving problems. It also provides an opportunity to develop your brand as a thought leader in the industry.
Hybrid events can be white-labeled if you want to take advantage of sponsorships. In this way, your brand increases its profitability by lifting up other brands as sponsors. No matter what your marketing goals are, hybrid events can be utilized in this way. Use hybrid events for ROI, for promoting a marketing campaign, for selling products/services, or for turning your brand into a household name.
How to Incorporate Hybrid Events in Your Event Marketing Tool Belt
If you’re just learning about hybrid events, know that incorporating them as a strategic marketing tool is easy.
With all-encompassing event platforms, you can use the full power of a hybrid event platform tool to support your hybrid event. From promoting the event on a branded event website and social media platforms to registration and ticketing, hosting the event, CRM integration, and analytics, the platform takes the brunt of the work and so you can dedicate time to aligning the event to your marketing goals, to the brand’s image, and providing a high-quality physical event experience and virtual experience.
When working with a team like Accelevents, event organizers will also have a dedicated team on-call as far as customer service and IT is concerned. This is unlike common streaming services, which would not be able to help you if technical requirements were to come up. Instead, you have the full support of an event technology team at your fingertips so you can keep your audience engaged and your event attendees can remain supported.
Consider trying a small hybrid event to test out the event capabilities, or shadow a larger hybrid event to see how it works. Hosting a hybrid event takes some planning, preparation for the day of, and setup for the CRM and lead retrieval purposes. Once the event has passed, event professionals will be able to utilize the data collected from the event for lead retrieval and future marketing purposes. Consider a hybrid event for your next marketing campaign!