Selecting the Best Event Model for Your Next Production
As the industry transforms in response to the global reopening of venues and the beginning of in-person gatherings, planning professionals face a new, unique challenge; how does one choose the right event model among virtual, hybrid, or in-person designs? In other words, which event model is most appropriate for your upcoming production?
Once void of options, event planners can now enjoy a triad of exciting solutions, all of which share advantages and disadvantages, depending on the situation. We at Quest Audio Visual understand that choosing the best event model is crucial in the planning process.
If you are considering virtual, in-person, or hybrid designs, we invite you to explore helpful points that will help you to make that important decision on where to host your next event.
In 2020, virtual event models were the saving grace of the event industry for obvious reasons as they adhered to proper COVID safety protocol, especially during the lockdown. But as the world begins to move away from restrictions, virtual events will continue to secure their place as a viable event design.
WHEN THEY WORK:
Virtual events are convenient and provide the most efficient and accurate lead generation. Virtual events are also relatively inexpensive compared to in-person conferences and large-scale affairs, making them a valued option for businesses required to adhere to a tight budget.
WHEN THEY DON’T:
Virtual events will fall short in situations where in-person networking and engagement are essential to the success of your event or conference. For example, showcasing a new product requires consumers to utilize senses such as touch or smell or, in a sales conference where trust is best established via face-to-face contact.
This year, the event industry has slowly begun to resume in-person gatherings as COVID case numbers drop and more people become vaccinated. But as the future takes shape, professionals are examining what in-person events will look like after COVID-19.
WHEN THEY WORK:
In consideration of federal restrictions, in-person events are a great model for smaller gatherings where capacity is limited and where attendees, presenters, and exhibitors are local. In particular, festive social occasions, regional conferences, and meetings will benefit from the face-to-face engagement where body language and eye contact will help add context to communication and human interaction.
When They Don’t:
Aside from health and safety protocols that prohibit large-scale gatherings, in-person models may not be the best design where an event or meeting requires travel or when a business is faced with a conservative budget limiting employee attendance.
As companies struggle to recoup fiscal losses, specific industries may not have the time or funds to travel outside their region to attend a face-to-face event. Also, many people are still exercising caution when it comes to their physical well-being.
While not entirely new, hybrid event models are quickly becoming a popular option for planners who want to combine in-person elements with virtual components. Far beyond a passing trend, hybrid designs echo the future of the event industry while still remaining one option among the three.
When they work:
In pairing the technical innovation seen in 2020 with newly lifted restrictions, hybrid event models add a dynamic twist, lending versatility, safety, and convenience for your attendees and stakeholders. Combining virtual aspects with opportunities for face-to-face connection allows for omnichannel communication, increased engagement, and higher attendance at conferences, tradeshows, or large-scale events.
When they don’t:
Hybrid events require a tech-savvy team, a large budget, and tedious planning. If your company does not have the time to prepare for more advanced logistics or the funds to hire a specialized AV company, hybrid models may fall short. In addition, issues such as poor connectivity or the unfamiliar equipment can create more stress and take away from the guest experience.
The choice between virtual, in-person, and hybrid designs can offer planners exciting alternatives for their next production, but it can also cause confusion. When deciding on the most appropriate model to host your upcoming event, you will want to consider factors such as networking goals, budget, and regional COVID restrictions, in addition to personal comfort.