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Hybrid Events are Here to Stay

Mar 10th, 2022 by Stephanie Warner
keynote speaker speaking to an audience.

If we’ve learned anything over the past two years as we navigate the ongoing global pandemic, it’s that people still want to host events and gather together. Whether the events are work-related, to celebrate common interests, socially or community-driven, people enjoy coming together to engage, connect and collaborate. The way people gather and plan events is continuing to evolve too. Right now in-person, virtual, and hybrid events are all common and popular event options. We expect event marketing strategies to continue to accommodate all three event types, and that’s why we identified hybrid events as one of the 2022 marketing trends in our Issuu Year in Review

At the beginning of the pandemic, events were largely canceled before the event industry made the switch to all-digital or virtual events and activities. Thankfully we have moved on from needing to cancel all in-person activities or stay fully virtual, but we’ve also realized that digital events offer a huge opportunity to engage with an entirely new audience. In-person events have always required substantial investment for attendees, like hotel and transportation costs, and even the ability to find the time to attend events that can last multiple days. By incorporating digital elements to create hybrid events moving forward, you may be able to increase overall attendance and also engage with attendees who otherwise wouldn’t have had the time or means to participate.

What is a Hybrid Event?

The hybrid event combines elements from in-person traditional events and virtual events together to create an event that people can attend either in-person or virtually through their laptop or mobile. The hybrid event will incorporate keynote speakers, panels, training, networking, and break-out sessions in a variety of ways using onsite events along with virtual tools that can bring together those in person, and those who are remote. Event attendees will have the options and opportunities to live stream keynote speakers, and panelists and engage through chat rooms in a way that they might have once chatted on a convention floor. By adding virtual elements to an in-person event, it enables you to turn the event into a hybrid event. Hybrid events are also a great way to address potential guest attendees who are not comfortable with traveling yet due to the ongoing pandemic. The hybrid event also provides an option for attendees who don’t have the time or resources to join in person but still wish to participate.  

Hybrid events statistics to know

Since 2020, our Issuu team has noticed an increase in event planners, trade shows, and conferences using Issuu for their digital content. We also wanted to research and get a better understanding of the state of hybrid events as we move into 2022 and beyond. 

Here are a few important hybrid event statistics to know:

  • 34% of event organizers expect to invest more in hybrid events in the next few years, according to the event organizers network of Markletic

  • They also found that 86% of B2B organizations see a positive ROI of their hybrid events 7 months after the event date.

  • 84% of attendees would like to always have an online option available to them, so that they can attend any event as a virtual/remote attendee if they choose, based on a global survey of event planners produced by Kaltura.

The pivot to virtual events may have been forced on us in 2020, but now we can see the value of offering virtual elements at our otherwise in-person events. Even as we return to in-person and the larger traditional events, there is great potential in planning exciting hybrid events that help us engage with even more attendees.

Elements of a Hybrid Event

The main elements of a hybrid event will be similar to the more traditional events, but you will need to make sure you are thoughtful in the planning of each element considering you will have both an in-person audience and a virtual audience. In some instances, you will probably offer different elements based on whether the person is attending in person or remotely. 

Most likely all event guests will have access to:

  • Keynote speakers

  • Panels

  • Event website or mobile app

  • Booth experiences 

Other event activities that may be offered to only onsite guests:

  • Mixers

  • Lunch or dinners

  • Event floor networking 

Event elements that you may need to offer in two different types of experiences based on the location of the guests include:

  • Training sessions

  • Breakout sessions

  • Networking events

Hybrid events do require using a few different tools or event platforms to ensure a seamless experience for all attendees. The content you provide the event guests is also an important touchpoint that will apply to all of your guests, such as pre-event packets, welcome guides, event schedules, programs, and post-event follow-up. 

Digital content for hybrid events

You will have to approach some of the in-person and hybrid elements in different ways, but the event marketing materials shouldn’t be one of those items. Instead, all of the conference materials and content can be created in digital formats to be delivered to event guests easily through email, the event website, registration forms, or text messages. Event materials should also be easily accessible for all screen sizes and device types, from laptops to tablets and mobile devices. Avoid sharing clunky and large PDF files that are hard to view on the go and even harder to send out to large audiences.

The digital publishing platform Issuu offers a seamless solution for creating and distributing hybrid event materials. Only on Issuu can you create all types of digital content including interactive flipbooks, motion graphics, email assets, social stories, and more.

Hybrid event materials that you will need and are easy to create and distribute on Issuu include:

  • Brochure

  • Program

  • Travel guide

  • Event floor plan or map

  • Flyers

  • Exhibitor guides

  • Newsletters

All of these materials and more are important content pieces for your hybrid event marketing. From the initial marketing and registration period to the pre-event communications, along with materials for successful events and post-event communications. 

On Issuu you can also into even multiple high-performance assets to use in all of your digital marketing channels. After transforming your program into a beautiful flipibook, create an eye-catching GIF that you can email to all of the event attendees, or share on social media to stop scrollers in their tracks. Embed welcome videos into the event marketing materials for increased engagement. Inspire your event attendees with Facebook or Instagram posts created directly from the travel guide content. Save time and resources by using Issuu for your hybrid event marketing content.

Hybrid event materials to inspire

Find inspiration from other businesses and organizations using Issuu to make their hybrid events a success!

Energy Digital is the top source for accurate, first-class news, comprehensive company profiles, and industry reports on worldwide energy. Their recent Sustainability LIVE hybrid event published this digital Event Guide to bring all event guests together including the event agenda, speaker profiles, advertisers, and all the information needed for the attendees to make the most of their event experience!

Aviation Week Network Events are comprised of conferences, symposiums, exhibitions, roundtables, and webinars dedicated to the aviation maintenance industry. The events provide a unique environment for knowledge transfer, convergence, engagement and shared best practices. Aviation Week events also deliver the most timely and accurate intelligence and content available, combined with interactive sessions and networking opportunities. Aviation Week's recent AeroEngines Europe hybrid event was a huge success and they produced this Post Show Report recap of the conference.

Get started creating digital content for your hybrid events 

As we move forward from the pandemic, event marketing strategies will continue to evolve. We welcome the opportunity to gather in person again, but we still find immense value in connecting remotely and through virtual events too. Hybrid events give options for event attendees while maximizing the event experience. The execution of both the in-person and virtual event elements will be a major factor in the success of the event. Create exciting and professional digital event marketing materials that support both your in-person and remote event attendees. Digital content that is easily accessible, a pleasure to engage with, and informative, will support your event promotion and event communications, and contribute to the overall event success.

Planning a hybrid event this year? Join Issuu to create interactive digital event marketing materials that will increase event attendance.

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