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How Are Brands Blending In Hybrid, Live Event Formats To Cater To Audiences From Different Segments?

Over the past year and a half, people were confined to the safety of their homes. Right from offices to schools, everything turned online.

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The concept of hybrid events is gradually acquiring the centre stage. It talks about those events that are held with limited or no audience. The experiences created in such events happen in a live format, and the entire show is streamed live for the masses to watch. The beauty of hybrid events is that they are not restricted to the audience sitting in front of the performers, speakers or artists. It transcends across boundaries, making a single event available to a global audience.  

What is the reason behind their popularity? Over the past year and a half, people were confined to the safety of their homes. Right from offices to schools, everything turned online. Even events took the virtual route. However, with almost all tasks happening online, people stopped enjoying these events. The audience missed the feel of an offline show. In addition, many felt a lack of engagement in the new alternative. Even as banquets and halls began to reopen, there was a limit on the number of attendees. This is when hybrid events came to the rescue. It brought back the fun and excitement of attending an experience and at the same time ensured everyone’s safety by following the norms of fewer people at the location.  

Today brands across sectors are leveraging this new format to meet the expectations of their diverse audience base. Here are some benefits of blending a live event with a hybrid structure -  

Free of boundaries:  

The most highlighting feature of this modern mix is that these events run seamlessly. For instance, the Web Summit, one of Europe’s prized tech conferences, was held by blending the live and hybrid formats. The event had around 70,000 people attending in person, whereas over 80,000 individuals joined remotely. Since many brands have their workforce and audience spread geographically, such events allow them the opportunity to bring everyone under one roof without tarnishing the feel of good old events. 

Ease of attending:

This format is preferred by the viewers as well. Indeed, the charm of offline events cannot be forgotten. The joy of getting dressed and stepping out to watch a performance is unmatched. However, keeping in mind the social distancing guidelines, hybrid events are highly scalable. As the COVID restrictions are slowly taking a back seat and varied aspects of everyday life are gaining momentum, live events are slowly re-entering the picture. However, with limits on the number of attendees, hybrid events ensure that no one misses the event. It gives the audience the chance to attend at their convenience.  

No loss of information: 

Hybrid events can be easily recorded. Some large scale events have a full-fledged production setup allowing organizers to record and edit the show before releasing it. Any information that is shared or discussed during these events is retrievable. For most corporate events, this feature is a boon. Brands do not have to worry about their experience vanishing once the event is over. Their target base can re-visit the entire show by simply tapping a few buttons on their devices. Such event formats not only prevent the loss of information but also expand the longevity of the show. 

Enhanced convenience:  

Organising a purely live format event is not a child’s play. For it to be a success, there needs to be perfect coordination between all its segments. Right from logistics to the vendors, everyone needs to be in sync. However, the entry of hybrid events has changed the face of how things are done. For instance, music artists are reaching a multitude of fans using multiverse shows to harness the power of both real and virtual combined environments. The use of technology is enabling them to interact with enthusiasts up, close and personal while allowing them to cover an expansive landscape in an immersive fashion. Additionally, it is also helping them create global audiences and democratize offerings equitably. 

Keeping these trends in mind, it can be said that hybrid and live blended event format is just the innovation that was needed in the post-COVID era. With technologies like AR and VR making rounds, the idea of such events is here to stay. 

The author is Amit Relan, Co-producer, Woot Factor Events.


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