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Why Hybrid Events Should Continue in 2021

As the world begins to return to some semblance of normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be all too easy to believe that remote events will soon be a thing of the past. However, rushing straight back into a world of in-person events may not be quite as good an idea as it first seem.

We've talked a lot in the past about why event planners should embrace virtual events platforms. The return of physical events doesn't change that.

Hybrid events such as the ones we have seen popularized over the course of the pandemic may have felt like a way to ‘make do’ and work with the situation in the best way possible, but there are plenty of reasons why they could continue to benefit events planners and attendees as the pandemic comes to a close. 

Here are just a few of the reasons why events planners should continue to embrace hybrid events during 2021!

Increase Overall Attendance & Extend Reach

Even with lowering COVID-19 cases and the global vaccine rollout, we’re still likely to see precautions taken when it comes to holding large-scale events. 

For example, in an effort to make social distancing (which experts say we should continue to practice over the next year in order to keep ourselves safe) easier, many events may run with reduced attendance. This includes personal celebrations, such as weddings and baptisms, but will affect commercial events, too – festivals, conventions and concerts, etc. 

In the case of the latter, there’s no reason why those missing physical attendees couldn’t be made up for with the sale of digital attendee tickets, which will allow viewers to watch concerts, festivals and panels/talks at conventions and conferences remotely! 

While these tickets won’t allow guests the full scope of the in-person experience, it will allow attendees who cannot travel to an event or simply wish to avoid the added costs of in-person attendance (hotels, transport, etc.) the chance to enjoy the event itself. They will also likely be priced slightly cheaper, making these remote tickets more accessible. 

There are certain solutions born out of COVID-19 necessity that could prove popular once the pandemic is over – the chance to remotely enjoy an event from wherever you are is just one of them. 


Reduce Costs Associated With In-Person Events

While a high-quality hybrid event might still incur some costs – venue hire, technical costs, etc. - the cost will still be reduced without in-person attendees. 

Costs such as the running of bars or refreshment areas, staff costs (security, ushers, etc.) and often insurance costs can be avoided by having the event take place remotely. This will work especially well in the case of musical events, such as concerts, recitals and other performances, or personality-led events, such as conferences and educational talks. 

Reducing these costs will also allow planners to spend more money on ensuring that the event looks great and goes off without a hitch, as well as allowing more room for a profitable return once tickets are sold. 

Of course, the best way to reduce cost is to always work with a professional hybrid event management company like us here at Jumbo.

No Sacrifice On Social Aspects

In the age of social distancing and mask-wearing, the social aspects of in-person events have already been heavily watered down – how much of this will continue into 2021 and for how long, we’re yet to really find out.

However, if there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that socialisation can certainly be made digital and, in many cases, can be just as much fun. With hybrid events, remote viewers/guests can communicate digitally during the event, proving that remote events don’t necessarily lead to an isolated experience!

While digital communication will never be quite the same as the communication that we can enjoy in-person, we’ve certainly come to learn that it has its own benefits. 

Relive The Experience

In-person events happen just once. With hybrid events, organizers can include digital copies of the events with a remote ticket or offer them to in-person attendees for an added fee. 

Not only is this a great way to encourage the purchase of remote tickets by including this extra added benefit, but it will also allow organizers to maximize their financial return on the event, even after it has happened. 

Protection From Cancellations

While all sources seem to be pointing to an imminent return to normality, the reality of COVID-19 is that it remains entirely unpredictable. Even with the vaccine rollout, nobody can be entirely sure that in-person events will not face cancellation due to COVID-19 ever again. 

By preparing to include a hybrid remote aspect to your event ahead of time, you are also ensuring that taking the in-person event online will be a much smoother process in the eventuality of a cancellation!

This is because you will already have the means set in place to take your event online – for example, cameras, broadcast systems, online booking, etc. 

The old saying goes that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail – and in the age of the Coronavirus pandemic, this has never been truer. 

Conclusion

Overall, while we all want to see a return to in-person events, the use of hybrid events over the last year has revealed that they come with many benefits of their own! 

Hybrid events offer better security in the event of cancellations, added revenue streams after the event, the chance to extend your event’s reach and – of course – a safer way to allow your event to take place. 

As we move forward into the ‘new normal’, it makes sense for events planners to look at the many financial and logistic benefits of hybrid events and to bring this new kind of function into the post-COVID world with us!

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