Covid-19, the need to interact despite the obligation to stay at home, and the necessity of continuing to work using digital tools, when unable to go to the office, have certainly been the circumstances that have accelerated digitalization in recent years.
From calls with colleagues to real conferences, today, more and more often, we begin to associate the digital option with events. So much so that one hears more and more talk of the digitalization of events, a term used to describe the transformation of traditional events into virtual or hybrid events using digital technologies. And that means that events are moved online and can be accessed remotely through digital devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones.
The digitalization of events can include live streaming of events, the creation of interactive virtual experiences, the participation of people from different parts of the world, the use of social media platforms for event promotion and participation, the use of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality to create an immersive experience, real-time data collection and analysis, and much more.
Often, the most feasible solution is to organize a hybrid event that combines elements of physical and virtual events.
What are hybrid events?
Hybrid events aim to create an integrated experience for participants who attend physically and those connected remotely through digital technology.
In a hybrid event, there are two different modes of participation: physical participants are present at the event venue, while virtual participants join the event remotely via digital devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones.
They can offer numerous advantages and represent an event that combines the best of both worlds by combining physical and virtual aspects to create an engaging and inclusive experience for all participants.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Organizing a Hybrid Event
Organizing a hybrid event can offer numerous advantages, but there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Among the benefits of organizing a hybrid event, we can list:
- Increased participation: organizing a hybrid event allows for a wider audience reach, as participants can join the event from anywhere connected to the internet;
- Reduced costs: organizing a hybrid event can be more cost-effective than organizing a completely physical event, as there are fewer costs associated with logistics, security, and set-up;
- Flexibility: hybrid events allow for greater flexibility in event management, as participants can join remotely, and there is no need to adhere to the physical capacity limits of the event;
- Monitoring and measurement: hybrid events allow for real-time data collection and analysis on the event’s performance, enabling monitoring and measuring of the event’s effectiveness.
Like anything, organizing hybrid events can have disadvantages as well:
- Difficulty in management: organizing a hybrid event requires special attention to managing the various modes of participation and ensuring that all participants are adequately involved;
- Technological complexity: hybrid events require the use of digital technologies to manage remote participation, which can be complex and require careful planning;
- Possible technical issues: hybrid events may be subject to technical issues, such as connection disruptions or latency problems, which can affect the quality of the participants’ experience;
- Differentiated user experience: virtual participants may have a different experience than those physically present, which could affect their perception of the event.
In short, hybrid events can offer numerous advantages, but they require special attention in their planning and management. It is important to balance the advantages and disadvantages and consider whether organizing a hybrid event is the best solution to achieve the desired goals.