Hybrid means more than a personal event with streaming. Discover what the events of the hybrid era looked like and learn from the six predecessors.
The hybrid Think of 2019. It’s September 10th and a Steve Jobs theater is full of excitement. After a few minutes, Tim Cook takes the stage in front of a multicolored Apple logo and a crowd of 1000 bars.
Over the next half hour, Apple’s CEO will launch one product after another. Apple Arcade and Apple TV generate applause. A new iPad and an updated Apple Watch. The latest iPhone 11 Pro has pointed surfaces.
Two million people around the world were available to attend Cook’s presentation, which represents 99.95% of the total audience. At home and in the office, they clap, clap and laugh, just like the people in the Steve Jobs theater.
It has been the focus of hybrid events for decades: a face-to-face meeting, a trade show, or a virtual conference to increase power. But the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited the fires of innovation.
The hybrid opportunities of the future provide meaningful integrated experiences for both virtual and physical participants. They combine the irreplaceable magic of the personal with the incredible reach and vision of the virtual. They will personalize the experiences for individual visitors instead of printing the same cookies.
To find out how powerful hybrid opportunities can be, we’ve listed six of last year’s best examples.
When Texas opened in early 2021, there were event planners from around the world. Would the sector have new staff? Would they have experienced hybrid events? How do they keep visitors safe? Texas promises a glimpse into the future of events and enjoys the exclusive attention of everyone.
It didn’t take long before an organization started planning: Empower 21 announced a hybrid event from February 22 to 23.
It was one of the first hybrid events powered by a single hybrid opportunity platform. Previously, hybrid functions were a mosaic of personal and virtual solutions. But with the help of Bizzabo, 21 physical and virtual participants were able to register and participate in 49 sessions, from lunches and panels to important information and workshops. Through better integration, personal participants were even able to connect with their virtual colleagues.
Empower 21 was not just a personal event sent directly to an online audience, like the Apple event. It created a unified, internal and virtual audience. Participants were able to communicate, communicate and share the same experience. This is just one example of how hybrid events reconstruct concepts.
In the spring of 2020, everyone knew it would be a long shot. Conference after conference was virtual and all physical events were postponed until at least 2021.
But Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is not an old organization. It is the largest association and meeting industry in the world. If there was an organization that could safely report personal events, it would always be so.
They announced a hybrid version of the WEC Grapevine, which they described as “two possibilities, planned and at the same time with a remarkable take-away – to restore our charm”.
In practice, this means a five-day personal conference in Texas with a premium digital experience. They presented 23 simultaneous sessions and five general events for 1,739 participants. Of the total, 608 people visited in person. The results were phenomenal, with a 93% satisfaction rate.
TwitchCon has spent its life testing titles and panels across a variety of product segments, including a performance at Blink-182 in 2019 and dozens of betting tournaments at the event. While they have returned to the personal element in 2020, they are preparing to return to a hybrid in 2021.
Some opportunities work the same way they work in person. For example, a participant can record the same information from a sales strategy conference, at home or at the cinema.
But what about wine tasting?
This is a problem that has plagued Austrian wine since the first pandemic. In November 2020, they looked like they were organizing their first hybrid event: a live wine tasting in Moscow.
They welcome 160 professional visitors to taste 195 Austrian wines and give winemakers virtual access through pre-recorded introductory videos and live video chat. Respondents’ responses were extremely strong for a global event: 78% said they are “very satisfied” with their experience.
In April 2020, the German government banned all major events until the fall. For Europe’s biggest video game, Gamescom, this was a problem as it was scheduled for August 22-29. Like many traditional events, they limit their offerings to virtual events and host over 50 million. unique users from 180 countries.
But they are not only virtual.
Gamescom recently announced that it is working again, announcing a hybrid event “with planned local and digital elements”.
They invest in specialized areas to enable external and digital social cable systems to minimize unnecessary contact. In fact, they are launching a new online B2B platform called Gamescom Biz.
As an event that has built its reputation on in-person events, it is extremely exciting to see them come back in person with the best virtual opportunities.
Junction started as a single hackathon in Helsinki, Finland. The Finns would go to the capital to test the technology and demonstrate their latest inventions. Junction has spawned local centers over the years and the main event has become popular.
In 2019, 1,500 developers and designers from all over the world gathered for a three-day hackathon. The 2020 knot is expected to be even bigger, but the COVID-19 pandemic has frustrated it.
However, a global hacker community won’t last long. The Junction team immediately began planning a hybrid event that could bring together a global network of hackathons to create personalized experiences.
They had 30 local hubs hosting their own hackathons and competing for 14 global challenges. Although the participants were hundreds or thousands of miles away, they still had a familiar sense of community and belonging.
The future of the hybrid is 1 + 1 = 3
The pandemic has sparked the flames of innovation and transformation. Doctors now diagnose patients via video call. Students learn online. Diehard Office supporters find comfort and productivity in remote working.
Although Apple demonstrated the formula years ago, today we are starting to see the potential of hybrid events. As we progress, we can expect hybrid opportunities that create unique virtual and personal experiences in a way that is bigger than just a live event.
The predictions of hybrid experts indicate that as more companies switch to hybrids, innovation and inventions will only increase. Whatever happens, we think the next generation of events will be more than either of the two options that preceded it.