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Bridging the Digital Divide with Hybrid Events

Online events to date have been successful because of strong relationships built onsite. Those emotional connections to the onsite event stay with us in ways digital events struggle to replicate. Now that more relationships are being built and maintained digitally, we have to work even harder to make virtual and hybrid events memorable and authentically engaging.

It’s becoming harder to stand out and engage with customers in the digital shuffle. We have to find new ways to engage with our markets and partners and become thought leaders, not focused solely on revenues. We have to actively listen and innovate to bring new event experiences and services and remain relevant.

Hybrid And Virtual Events In The Digital Renaissance

Events businesses are economically and socially essential. In this digital renaissance, events businesses have to diversify with virtual and hybrid events to remain connected with their audience. But the online events world is crowded, so we have to raise the bar on virtual delivery to stand out. We can:

  • Bridge this divide between the emotional connection of an onsite event and the relative detachment of online events by understanding attendee preferences and interests.
  • Use AI to recommend services, experiences, connections, and more.
  • Use interactive set ups to increase participation and sharing.
  • Deploy communication utilities that make sense for how our attendees need to network while respecting their privacy as their digital life expands.

New Event Experiences

We also can create new event experiences for our presenters and exhibitors by focusing on their needs. We can:

  • Provide new tools for analytics that show them data we could never collect before.
  • Use AI to match them with potential customers and help build positive relationships.
  • Help with lead capture.
  • Give them perks like a personalized web page to showcase products and services and interact with virtual attendees.
  • Provide tools for them to receive live feedback from attendees or allow fully interactive presentations.

Event Platforms In The New Era Of Events

The new era of events asks us to reimagine what an event looks like and feels like. In the future, events will be a seamless combination of onsite and online content like never before. Event platforms will also add value with ongoing access to content, networking tools, and other resources. This Onsite-Online-Ongoing model will allow us to create curated experiences that make even the digital world feel more authentic.

While we can never fully replicate the onsite experience, we have the technology to elevate the virtual. The new era of virtual events requires as much of a “real- life” event feel as we can muster. We can’t just rely on projecting slides across our attendees’ screens for hours. We have to provide high quality production with natural engagement opportunities. No matter how we combine and layer technologies and benefits, our attendees and partners have to feel like they’re part of something bigger, just like they do in our traditional onsite-only events.

>> Continue reading: Events 2.0: Unleash Your Creative Thinking