We love events of all kinds, but we can’t help but get excited about blended events because they are so dynamic, offering tons of variations and flexible options to create just the right mix of elements to best match any organization, any mission, any conference topic or key attendee base. We also get really excited about blended events because they are the future! The truth is, we love blended events SO MUCH we even wrote a whole e-book on it.
In this piece, we wanted to explore the ways a hybrid conference can help save you and make you more money. No reason to miss out on the opportunity!
Hands down the #1 most common benefit for hosting a blended/hybrid conference, is the ability to grow your audience base. While an in-person event can be limited to venue size, space constraints, and attendees that are located within travel distance – the virtual audience is global. The virtual option also provides a cheaper way for most attendees to participate as well, as their costs of travel are completely eliminated. This in turn makes your event that much more attractive and available for a wider audience to participate.
This is really just a fancy way of saying ‘options’ or ‘tiering’ tickets. Giving attendees the ability to purchase 1-day tickets, multi-day tickets, tickets that access different tracks, speakers, networking or reception events, etc. The idea here is not to limit access to folks who want to experience everything they can in either the in-person or virtual scenario, but rather to provide additional ways for additional people to get involved with a something-rather-than-nothing approach. This also isn’t necessarily the most groundbreaking concept either, but with virtual platforms, the implementation and management of this has become exponentially easier for everyone.
Simply put, sponsors are loving hybrid events! Hybrid events are extremely valuable for sponsors for a number of reasons, with the #1 reason being (no coincidence) an expanded audience reach – sound familiar? The key goal for any brand sponsoring any event is to access a lead pool of qualified customers, and your event provides that. While the traditional booth offers visibility and an opportunity to engage with people, it is also limited to people who actually see the booth. In the digital space, however, the options and opportunities for sponsors to engage on a more direct, personal, and deeper level are provided through the various platforms, modes of event communications, and more. Further, these opportunities extend to before, during, and after an event, eliminating the experience of the breathless sales rep, trying to engage with every person they can in the short window the physical event is live. This creates a much more effective and friendly environment for everyone involved in your event, and a true win-win scenario.
Let’s face it. Not everyone is an extrovert. By adding a virtual component to your event you are now allowing people that are less social to more comfortably engage with your brand, message, speakers, and other attendees. Not to mention that now event your In-person attendees can experience the valuable live event components they are seeking, and view the on-demand content at a later time. Chat rooms, message boards, live Q&A sessions, all offer trackable opportunities for your attendees to easier and more efficiently interact with the event. As you can see, by adding a virtual component you are able to enhance the user experience for all.
Data! Data! Data!
Pigging backing off of the increased engagement value is the byproduct of that engagement – DATA! By bringing people into a digital platform, event pros are now able to access valuable analytics that can help to shape an event and the user experience going forward. What sessions are people visiting the most? What content is being downloaded at the highest rates? What ticket tiers are people purchasing most often? What are common comments in the chat rooms? What sessions can be eliminated due to low engagement? All valuable insights that help to make an event more impactful for the attendee, while saving money, and increasing revenue opportunities for the event producer.
Curious to learn more about how this can all be applied to your next event? Toast of the Town has helped dozens of businesses save money on event production by an average of 20%, and increased event revenues by over 50% consistently. Contact our event pros for strategies that can work for your next conference.