As we move into 2021, the hybrid event is the go-to format for engaging customers. But there are still a lot of misconceptions flying around about hybrid events and virtual events. We’ve busted 20 of those myths wide open to guide any savvy event manager through the maze of digital event planning.
Myth #1: Hybrid Events and Virtual Events are the Same.
Hybrid events have a virtual aspect which can often be significant. But they have an in-person factor too, which might be a live-streamed event, a showcase or product demonstration with some people attending or interacting face-to-face.
Myth #2: Hybrid Events Have Lower Attendance
In fact, 65 percent of event managers in 2020 said the attendance was the same while 23 percent actually saw attendance increase.
Myth #3: Businesses Don’t Want to Invest in Hybrid Events
93 percent of businesses are ready to invest in hybrid or virtual events.
Myth #4: Digital Events Take Too Long to Plan
With fewer in-person attendees, there are usually fewer overheads and more focus on finding the right virtual platform and technologies. This makes planning pretty simple in comparison to some live events.
Myth #5: There are Already Too Many Virtual Events
87 percent of in-person events were canceled in 2020, so never worry that your event is unnecessary. Consumers are thirsty for engaging online content.
Myth #6: Event Managers Prefer In-Person Events
Not true. 97 percent of event managers believe that 2021 is going to be the year of the hybrid event.
Myth #7: Virtual Events are Only Relevant During the Pandemic
Virtual and hybrid meetings and conferences have opened up a world of inclusivity and accessibility. You can work with people all over the world, however, they or you need to work. That will always be relevant.
Myth #8: Big Bosses Don’t Like Virtual Events
Over half of all CEOs believe that in the future, all their events will have at least one virtual component.
Myth #9: Blending Digital and Face-to-Face Audiences Never Works
The numerous successful hybrid events of 2020 and early 2021 say otherwise. It’s all about finding engaging ways to entertain your guests, whether they’re virtual or not.
Myth #10: Engaging Attendees is Harder Digitally
Remember, your guests want to be there. Give them what they came for, make it fun or gripping, and keeping their attention virtually is harder than it is in person.
Myth #11: You Can’t Monetize a Hybrid Event
Creative marketers can offer space for advertising, charge for attendance where appropriate, offer different levels of attendance i.e. pay more to get more, plus a “donate now” button or similar technologies for nonprofits combined with a rousing speech can all help bring the money in.
Myth #12: You Don’t Get New Faces at Hybrid Events
In fact, as hybrid events have a huge digital element, you can invite people from all over the world. Make the right accommodations and anyone with disabilities who might struggle to get to an in-person event should be able to come to your hybrid event, making you suddenly more accessible and inclusive.
Myth #13: People Will Only Come Digitally
There will always be people who prefer face-to-face contact. If your event is safe and well thought out, those people will attend in person.
Myth #14: People Will Only Come in Person
Conversely, some people think that if they plan an in-person aspect of the meeting or conference, then no one will attend virtually. As we saw in 2020, that’s clearly not the case. A huge 75 percent of event managers planned and executed hybrid events to great success.
Myth #15: People who Attend Virtual Events Will Never Come to Future In-Person Events
Once you go virtual, you never go back, right? Wrong. Virtual attendees who you excite with your product or service are more likely to attend face-to-face meetings in the future.
Myth #16: Virtual Attendees Just Switch Off
Keep them engaged with polls, Q and A, chat functions—get creative!
Myth #17: Speakers Don’t Want to do Virtual Events
They do! It’s all most of them can do at the moment, so take advantage of their desire to work. The savvy event manager should refresh their address book at every opportunity.
Myth #18: You Don’t Need to Acknowledge a Digital Audience
Treat your virtual attendees just like regular attendees—just don’t try to bring them a coffee.
Myth #19: Networking is Too Hard Online
The internet was built for networking. Get a digital business card or just use the chat functions of your virtual platform to make those all-important connections.
Myth #20: It Takes Too Many Staff Members to Run a Hybrid Event
Recording or live-streaming an event professionally, plus organizing an appropriate virtual platform with the right accessibility options; that sounds like you need a full team, right? That’s why as an event production company, we partner with many enterprises and nonprofits to maximize your resources and budget and create a hybrid event that your attendees will talk about all year long. Get in touch to find out how.