Hybrid conference events are the future of conference centers. According to Statista, 57.7% of companies surveyed expected to increase their budget for online events in 2021. Additionally, in 2022, Markletic found that 71% of organizations with 5000 or more employees had hybrid events in their portfolio. With a massive wave of acceptance across industries, the importance of incorporating hybrid technology into conference centers is clear.
How, then, can conference centers leverage hybrid events within their programming? This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know, including a definition of hybrid conferences, benefits, and best practices.
- What are Hybrid Conferences?
- Benefits of Hybrid Events for Conference Centers
- How do Hybrid Events Work? Best Practice for Hosting
What are Hybrid Conferences?
A hybrid conference refers to any conference that includes both in-person and remote attendees through the incorporation of IoT technology. They are a merger of in-person events and virtual-only events, combining the best features of both to achieve a holistic, mixed experience — hence the “hybrid” descriptor.
To achieve a hybrid conference, organizers need to harness a potent mix of IoT technology. These may include a dedicated hybrid event platform, appropriate cameras & audio equipment for speakers, and reliable convention center internet connectivity to ensure stable access for virtual attendees.
Benefits of Hybrid Events for Conference Centers
In an increasingly connected world, hybrid events offer accessible, intuitive ways for conference centers to extend their reach and increase their business. Here are a few of the specific benefits of hybrid events for conference centers.
Broader Worldwide Reach
Conference organizers go through painstaking measures to deliver the best event possible for attendees. From industry-leading speakers to highly beneficial networking events, attendees leave conferences with increased knowledge and valuable new connections. Unfortunately, due to the physical proximity of conference centers, the reach of in-person events is inherently limited.
Through hybrid events, the reach of conference centers becomes limitless. Networking, speakers, presentations — all become accessible worldwide with hybrid events. With expanded reach, a conference overcomes geographic limitations and expands brand power, potentially leading to more diverse in-person conference attendance down the line.
Alongside broader world reach comes expanded event engagement at large. Modern IoT technology allows organizers to give real-time event updates on dazzling event screens. For hybrid conferences, these screens can even further connect in-person and online attendees.
Organizers can send out real-time surveys about industry topics to all hybrid event attendees for a comprehensive, diverse data-set. Screens can also show highlights from both online and in-person sides of the conference, and allow for communication & calls between attendees hundreds of miles away.
Greater Event Anticipation
With hybrid events, organizers can greatly increase engagement & anticipation during pre-event roll-outs. Online sign-ups for hybrid conferences are sharable and low risk for attendees, spurring greater attendance numbers to further promote high sign-ups conference marketing. Additionally, with an inherently online component, attendees may feel more inclined to interact with virtual posts and promotions at large.
Easier Attendee Follow-Up
Conference attendee follow-up is key to improving future events; surveys can give organizers valuable feedback on speakers, event organization, and overall event experience. Due to the frequent need for travel during in-person conferences, however, it can be difficult to track down guests for feedback post-conference.
Hybrid conferences offer extensive new ways to reach attendees post conference — for those that attended both in-person and virtually. Organizers can reach virtual attendees as soon as a conference finishes by giving immediate survey CTAs through hybrid conference platforms. Meanwhile, organizers can entice in-person attendees by offering free access to filmed and online conference content as soon as they fill out a survey.
How do Hybrid Events Work? Best Practices for Hosting
Hybrid events work by combining engaging in-person events with IoT technology specifically designed for hybrid events. When hosting a hybrid event, it’s essential to skillfully leverage this technology in order to satisfy all conference attendees. Some of the most important pieces of technology for hybrid events include hybrid conference platforms, webcasting equipment, and reliable internet access.
Dedicated Hybrid Conference Platforms
To successfully launch a hybrid event, organizers need to ensure intuitive event access to all attendees, regardless of how they’re attending. The best way to do this is through a dedicated hybrid conference platform.
Hybrid conference platforms offer a holistic means to integrate all attendees into one unified event population. These platforms include intuitive chat sections for interaction during presentations, online event registration, personalized agendas, engagement features such as polls & word clouds, and more. To streamline your hybrid event, leveraging a platform is key.
High-Quality Webcasting Integration
Most hybrid platforms will offer a means to stream, or “webcast” conference presentations and speakers. In order to provide a high-quality stream, however, conference centers need appropriate, high-quality video & audio equipment.
These may include cameras that can stream in 4K (4,000 x 2,000 resolution), lavalier microphones directly pinned to speaker clothing, or even iPhone cameras depending on an event’s needs & budget. For a more complete guide to webcasting, check out our blog on the topic.
Reliable, High-Bandwidth Internet Access
Whatever equipment or platform you choose to support your hybrid conference, the most essential technology to tie it all together is a high-bandwidth, reliable conference network solution.
Hybrid events need strong internet access twofold; firstly to ensure all in-person attendees can consistently access internet-enabled activities, and secondly to ensure there are no gaps or interruptions for virtual attendees. Either way, hiring a trusted convention center WiFi provider to install a network at your venue is essential.
Support Hybrid Conference Events & IoT Technology With Hospitality Network
Hybrid conference events offer substantial benefits for organizers, attendees, and conference centers alike. To successfully host a hybrid event, conference centers need the appropriate technology — altogether backed by reliable internet connectivity.
Hospitality Network offers powerful internet network installation for businesses across the hospitality industry, including conference centers. Our team works hands-on with your team to pinpoint the best plan for installation at your venue. Request a consultation today and start taking the steps to support hybrid events.