With worldwide vaccine rollouts, the significant reduction in the Covid-19 cases has reignited the businesses’ desire to nurture human connections through meetings and events. However, the emerging virus variants such as Omicron are deterring the mass in-person gatherings at closed-door venues and force organizations to re-invent their business work models and rethink their B2B event strategy.
In light of the prevailing circumstances, as organizations and employees gradually come to terms with hybrid work culture, the ever-resilient and innovative events industry adapts to an omnichannel marketing strategy featuring Hybrid Events. The twin-powered hybrid model targets audiences and organizations keen on harnessing the benefits of in-person and remote attendee participation.
The flexible and robust hybrid model incorporating in-person and digital participation connects a small-scale physical gathering to a large-scale global virtual audience, driving improved marketability.
A joint survey conducted by sli.do and event industry professional group Global Meeting Industry Day (GMID) revealed that the events industry would likely adapt to the hybrid model that will now define the future of events. The survey findings reported 70% of the respondents from 30 countries voted for the hybrid meetings and events.
Given the fluid nature of virus infection rates and public movement restrictions, hybrid events offer marketers and event planners a practical option to continue organizing B2B events such as conferences, product launches, roadshows, expos, networking and award functions, etc. Thus, organizations contemplating an audience pool expansion with increased market relevance must invest in developing the content, communities, and experiences that drive audience engagement in the most preferred medium.
In this article, we will discuss various factors that contribute to the transition of the events industry to a hybrid model concurrent with the evolving work culture:
High-quality Lead Generation Opportunities: A 2021 Marklectic research reports that 81% of the event organizers believe networking opportunities at hybrid events drive enhanced audience engagement.
Marketers implement robust networking strategies to directly connect with a more diverse and large-scale virtual audience worldwide, propelling high-quality lead generation opportunities.
Hybrid event organizers offer exclusive one-on-one “Meet The CEO” or “Meet The Executive” sessions for VIP attendees and exhibitors. While the attendees gain vital insights and relevant business information straight from the key decision-makers, marketers can leverage the networking opportunity to acquire high-quality leads, fuel their sales pipeline and boost revenue potential.
Improved Conversion Rates: The post-event analytics report contains an extensive attendee database and actionable insights into audience participation trends, including attendance, average presentation watch time, resource downloads, audience engagement through polls, Q&A sessions, surveys, etc. Marketers leverage the comprehensive insights into various event entities to develop a strong lead nurturing strategy that improves the lead conversion rates and eventually maximizes the event ROI.
Increased Marketability: 47% of the event marketers find hybrid events a great way to connect and engage with a global audience, according to a Markletic survey. With the option to overcome geographical barriers and time and budgetary constraints, hybrid events offer a broader scope for businesses to associate with industry heavyweights, thought leaders, renowned keynote speakers, and international celebrity guests, attracting a more diverse global audience.
A reputed line-up and a significantly wider audience pool are a significant draw for global sponsorship investments and quality B2B partnership opportunities, eventually contributing to an improved event ROI.
De-risk Investment: Since the viral outbreak in March 2020, the pandemic insurance cover on corporate events has largely been unavailable or cost-ineffective. Organizations risk a 100% investment loss if Covid-19 resurfaces or any unforeseen factors pose a potential threat to the in-person events.
The Hybrid Event model enables organizations to de-risk their event investment against factors beyond human control, such as a global health crisis, terrorism, political unrest, natural calamities, etc. In the eventuality of cancellation, organizers can always resort to the default virtual component with no last-minute panic.
Mitigate Negative Impact On Environment: A substantial drop in physical headcount, including attendees, sponsors, and keynote speakers, leads to a subsequent decreased resource demand, including travel, boarding and lodging, non-biodegradable event accessories, and non-renewable energy consumption, and eventually contributes to reduced carbon footprints.
Conclusion: In light of emerging Covid variants, while marketers and event planners review their B2B event strategy, the flexible and powerful Hybrid Events are gaining widespread popularity and contest as a practical alternative for marketers and audiences alike. With a range of significant benefits, including high-quality lead generation, innovative business solutions, better conversion rates, and increased marketability, the factors elaborated in the scope of the article position Hybrid Events integral to the B2B event marketing strategy of the marketers and event planners amid a Hybrid work culture.
Article contributed by Mr. Paras Lohani