Hybrid Flexibility

Being flexible will be the most important trait for the next 12 months as we all hope that stability returns to the corporate events market.

Person working during COVID
Ars Electronica Festival for arts, technology and society offers a ‘Home Delivery’ service of virtual and interactive seminars. The 2021 hybrid event takes place in Linz, Austria, and at more than 100 locations around the world

The one thing that corporate event organisers have learned recently is that the show must go on. Their need to train, motivate and reward their employees is still there, although the medium through which this is delivered has changed. Events have migrated online and for some this works perfectly well while others fall short.

The whole purpose of an event is to create interaction and build relationships. However, from behind the aperture of a webcam it just doesn’t have the same impact. Fractious internet connections, ‘you are on mute’, and a work life recently lived out on Zoom means online events will wane. Wane but not cease.

Accountants must also be having a heyday as they realise the potential cost savings of hosting events online. Why pay for travel, subsistence and DDR or 24 hour rates when you can stream and record your online event and share it with every single employee in your organisation?

HR conversely are pressured to rebuild company cultures lost through 15 months of online communications. Worst still is instilling company culture to new recruits who have never even set foot in the office and have only met their teams online.

We’ve seen over the last 14 months that some events genuinely work better online such as classroom-based learning, conversely an awards dinner doesn’t. No fist punch and no slap on the back is the equivalent of a wedding without the dancing.

Studio event spaces
Hybrid or blended is the way forward and venues need to be up to speed with their packages. Hybrid events bring a certain amount of delegates together, the event is streamed online and recorded enabling a wider audience to listen to the entire content or edited highlights.

The benefits are huge and there is less reliance on all speakers being in one place at the same time as they can be pre-recorded or streamed in, or better still be present at the event. Delegates who were previously invited to the event but may have been periphery to the content can be invited online instead of being a more costly in person attendee.

There’s also a school of thought that some delegates would be better dialling in due to their rank in the company potentially leading to a new slant on ‘company politics’!

Some venues have already built studio style event spaces and readily offer hybrid as part of their portfolio. Alternatively a hybrid set up can be dropped in as and when required (however, instillation and derig is a costly business). Speak with your preferred AV company or go broadcast quality with Platinum Productions who have mastered hybrid.

For sure, venues who are actively promoting blended or hybrid events are setting themselves apart in a volatile market place where flexibility is a must. Our business networking is all the more important and while we can’t shake hands face-to-face, shaking hands online remains an important part of business relationships.

People working during COVID


Andrew White is MD of Triggerfish Communications, a specialist in helping heritage venues and leisure attractions build awareness and market share in the business of events. www.triggerfish.co.uk

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