Digital & hybrid events
Digital and hybrid events are currently experiencing a boom; thus, this form of events is not new. The question is, how can event formats be adapted to the digital era?
The MICE future
Digital events are not the only future of the MICE sector (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) but indeed a part of it. They can substitute real events and make all themes and trends accessible to the public.
Using new chances
Digital events offer a number of advantages and new possibilities for event organisers who so far ran their events offline.
Digital event management
Event management takes place digitally since a long time. The expectations from events are growing and with them also the organisation expenses. Without the suitable solutions as well as the digital event management know-how this is not manageable.
The world turns digital
Digital events are currently experiencing a boom. Due to this trend towards digitalisation, the event sector faces new challenges. By entering the virtual world, in spite of cancelled events, participants can be reached and messages delivered. Digital events are not only an emergency solution, they will accompany us for a long time. It follows that event formats need to be adapted to the digital possibilities.
The digital event
A digital event is one to which the target group can participate virtually and regardless of the location via desktop or a mobile appliance. The stage, the speaker or the speaking rounds are broadcast in livestream, so that the audience can participate in a user-friendly manner, from home, from the workplace or from anywhere else. The online visitor needs to register first and, at times, pay a fee, then he/she receives a link or login data to participate. Through chat functions as well as survey modules, the participants can contribute interactively without being at the location in person. Later on, the contents are often made available as an on-demand offer.
The hybrid event
Besides purely analogue and digital events, in the last months a new format has come to establish itself. This has indeed a great potential for the future and the events sector will make use of it in the long-term: hybrid events. Here, parts of the events are streamed live and combined with digital interaction.
Digital Event Manager
Digital events offer a number of advantages and new possibilities for the event organisers, who so far ran their events exclusively offline.
Participation regardless of the location
Thanks to the digitalisation of an event, the limitations set by time and place no longer apply. The participation regardless of the location is a great advantage: in this way speakers, participants as well as exhibitors from the whole world come together.
Reach and leads
With real events you reach many participants, but the great advantage of online events is the higher reach – they are lead magnets. Visitors can participate also with a small budget (if the purchase of a ticket is required) – from their workplace or anywhere else – given that there are no travel and hotel expenses. Through the higher reach, also the number of potential leads increases, which can be accurately tracked.
Precise success measurement
The Return on Investment (ROI) of the whole event or the individual participation can, depending on the software solution in use, be calculated and assessed (e.g. number of unique users, number of visitors per session, which speaker reached most viewers, which exhibition stands were visited, how often and for how long, etc.).
By recording single session, the event can be re-experienced almost identically. All presentations, materials and advertising messages are independent from time and place and accessible to everyone with an Internet connection. A further benefit of virtual events: the experience for the participant can always be repeated through the recordings on demand.
Saving of resources
By planning and implementing digital events, it is also possible to save many resources: print material (production, postage, warehouse, distribution, waste disposal), catering, event technology, exhibition stands, posters, advertising banners, pop-ups, decoration material, travel costs, etc. Depending on the digital format, also location rental expenses can be saved.
Sustainability is an important topic in the event sector. Through the digitalisation of events, many resources can be saved and contribute to the construction of a sustainable event sector. In doing so, however, the sustainability of the consume of digital resources cannot be neglected (consume of electricity for data elaboration, streaming, etc.).
Physical events are oriented towards engagement. In virtual conferences, such engagement is a little bit lower. Live streaming of presentations, podium discussions, workshops, social events, surveys, Q&A sessions, additional material to download and live-chat opportunities are just some of the solutions available.