Hybrid Events: Expert Predictions That Will Shape it in 2021

Nearly 6,000 event marketers have signed up for (almost) HYBRID to discuss the future of events. This is what we achieved during our second virtual summit.

Last week, thousands of professional marketing opportunities from around the world were launched for our second virtual meeting: (Almost) HYBRID. Speakers from CNBC, Burning Man, IBM, and others were available to share their insights and perspectives on the hybrid future of events.

1. Technology providers will play a central role in the future of events

Bizzabo founder and CEO Eran Ben-Shushan (almost) HYBRID began an informative conversation about the future of the events industry.

Last year, we faced unprecedented circumstances, which is why event organizers want to join forces and share best practices in a way never done before.

Eran’s earliest memory reminded us to accept the future of events. The coming year is a wonderful opportunity to innovate and open new horizons for the event industry. 2021 is about hybrid opportunities. This evolving format combines the best live and digital experiences, while event planners can safely re-introduce the personal aspect that participants want.

2. Promote engagement by shifting your focus to the virtual audience

Dana Pake (MCW Events) and Mark Wilson (Cramer) joined moderator James Kotecki (Infinia ML) for an information session on Hybrid Think Tank. They discussed best practices and examples of how to integrate and experience online audiences so that all participants feel at home during their event.

Our recent report on the evolution of events has shown that public engagement remains the biggest challenge for organizers, even in the virtual world. Event marketers are looking for tangible solutions and examples of how to create an engaging experience for their participants.

3.Learn to engage visitors by putting yourself in their shoes

Alon Alroy, co-founder, and CEO of Bizzabo spoke to IBM Innovation Management during our session with Erin McElroy, Director of IBM’s Digital Innovation Program, to find out how IBM innovates and experiments to engage visitors. Optimize.

IBM is no stranger to events; an average of 4000 personal events are arranged annually. And this year, they decided to put their biggest event of the year, IBM Think, completely online.

One of the major differences they noticed was that nearly 200,000 people attended it, instead of the usual 20-30,000 workers. With such a big turnout, the team had to be extremely creative to keep the game-high. IBM is known for creating engaging experiences that satisfy the public. One of the ways Erin and her team did this was to go out in public and meet in person and professionally.

4.Delight your audience with highly composed and interactive content

Leon Winkler, director of international events at Ubisoft, shared his experience in another fireplace chat: What B2B organizations can learn with Ubisoft about sports and games. Leon shares detailed examples of how the gaming industry is constantly innovating to create fun and engaging experiences for its audience.

Although the game industry has one advantage – that games are fun and engaging in nature – the underlying aspects can easily be translated into events. Leon explains what makes people so excited about games.

“Use that childlike joy: you want interaction, engagement, and touch. Definitely, in the digital world … everything is visual and auditory, but it actually touches and responds to an object your memory.”

The key to creating memorable experiences is to interact with visitors in different ways. Event planners try to recreate their personal experience in a practical way, but Leon recommends that you spend your budget on ways to engage your audience digitally. For example, Ubisoft has partnered with Parsec to stream its games and enable the community to play those games directly on their computers.

5. Encourage opportunities for co-creativity and influence authenticity

Kim Cook of the Burning Man Project spoke with Dan Flynn of Bizzabo to explain the idea of community and the role it plays in a virtual domain during the session How Burning Man Imagining the Future of Community.

Creating a community with a relevant personality is not easy and it is even more difficult to translate the connection into digital. Kim reveals the “waves” that make them so excited to be part of Burning Man. When the face-to-face meeting was canceled, more than 14,000 people volunteered to host the event online.

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