Hybrid Events: The Post Pandemic Evolution

Covid-19 pandemic forced people all around the world to adapt to a completely different life. To prevent infections, in-person activities and events were suspended, postponed or limited. Now, with the vaccination campaign underway, what will be the new normal?

The MICE sector was largely affected by the economic damages caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Venues had to reorganize themselves, in order to ensure the safety of both staff and guests. Live events were only possible with the highest standards of cleaning protocols, daily rapid PCR tests and contactless solutions. This situation has also accelerated technological development and the emergence of digital and hybrid events. Experts think this trend will be relevant even in the future, when face-to-face events start up again. 

Indeed, there are several advantages related to hybrid events

  • The audience increases since it includes both in person attendees as well as participants from all around the world who virtually join them;
  • The content could be recorded and be now available on several online platforms; 
  • Without geographical restrictions, events are more cost-effective, sustainable and inclusive; they allow better data collection and interaction with partners and guests even after the event, facilitating networking processes and increasing the impact.

Business events and meetings are also concerned by these changes, since they are addressing the recent challenges. Particularly, businesses willing to organise effective events in the pandemic era have to focus on the following concepts: small scale, outdoor spaces, closer contact with nature. Furthermore, in order to reach a wider audience, they must be organised in hybrid format with the adoption of technological instruments. Moreover, considering the uncertainty of international travels, investing in hybrid conventions is necessary to accelerate the recovery of an industry that is suffering a loss in revenues of $ 820.7 billion.

While in the pre pandemic era 71% of organizers declared they weren’t interested, currently 65% of them are considering holding hybrid events. Of course, event marketers need to be aware of new challenges, such as how to maintain the audience engagement or how to run virtual events by effectively exploiting digital platforms. 

At Twissen, we observed that organisers and guests are eager to attend face-to-face events, which implies that virtual solutions do not have the capacity to replace human contact. However, players of the travel & tourism industry embracing hybrid alternatives will have the opportunity to increase their audience and visibility, as well as the events’ impacts, while integrating in-person meetings with online solutions.