A virtual event most commonly known as a webinar is a highly effective way for an organization to share content to a targeted group.
An actual event like a seminar or conference is also a great way for an organization to engage with its target base.
It’s the merging of the two that actually provides the most optimal solution to organizations allowing for a higher overall ROI, larger attendance and in the end the dissemination of information across a larger base in a way that the attendee can choose. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet the hybrid event.
Although this can be a scary proposition to new clients in the events market, trust me it brings the best of the two worlds together to give clients what they are inevitably looking for-higher attendance. The benefits of the hybrid event span across a number of areas and once clients are able to see this they are the ones asking for this format for subsequent events.
Will They Come?
A huge concern for clients is the cannibalization of physical event attendance when offering up a virtual option. Although there are not any concrete figures on what cannibalization may look like, in 2011 the second Hybrid Event study conducted by ROI for Engagement and the Virtual Edge Institute found that when virtual attendees of hybrid events were asked: “If there had been no virtual option, would you have attended in person?” 93% of those polled answered NO.
From Regional to Worldwide
The great thing about adding a virtual component to your event is that you’re no longer bound by physical boundaries. This means secondary markets like international audience, less invested verticals and those that may be constrained financially become potential attendees. Also keep in mind that all virtual events have an online archive for a minimum of 90 days, allowing your content to continue to be accessible past the live date.
A Numbers Game
Budgetary considerations are the first thing to address when planning any event, virtual or physical. When planning a physical event you have to account for the costs of travel, food, hotel rentals and guest speakers which can add up quickly. The aggregate cost of adding a virtual component can actually increase your ROI, and lower your cost per head through virtual viewership. When considering a virtual event, factoring in your potential (virtual) audience can drop costs per attendee by as much as 75%. See how much you can save on your virtual event with our free event ROI calculator.
My goal at the Streaming Network is to help clients that may be contemplating adding a virtual element to a live event by talking through these key factors as they apply specifically to their mandate, organization and message. A hybrid event marries the best of both worlds and is a unique event every time.
Still can’t decide if a hybrid is right for you? Check out some other key points of consideration here.