The truth about hybrid events and what the future holds

We may not have a crystal ball, but after asking 150 event marketers, we now have better insight into the future of hybrid events. If you’re wondering where they’ll be in a few years, keep reading. Hint: they’re not going away.

A new study from Morning Consult found that 91% of event marketers believe hybrid events play an important role in future event planning. The study, commissioned by Zoom, surveyed more than 150 event marketers and planners from various organizations to collect insight into the current and future state of hybrid events. Let’s take a look at some of the findings and what they could mean for your organization.

Hybrid events increase networking opportunities 

Networking is one of the greatest benefits of in-person events, but it’s still possible with virtual and hybrid experiences. Event professionals who are directly involved with planning and organizing events feel that hybrid events facilitate interaction between virtual and in-person attendees very well. All told, 54% of those surveyed support this idea, and 61% believe the interaction between virtual and in-person attendees is the greatest benefit of hybrid events (higher than any other benefit). 

At Zoom, we strongly believe in virtual networking. That’s why our event management platform, Zoom Events, has a new networking feature specifically designed to capture the magic of in-person events and connect virtual attendees with one another. As evidenced by the Morning Consult survey, exchanging contact information and having meaningful conversations at a hybrid event are considered the most ideal possible interactions by event marketers. Our virtual networking tool enables participants to create profiles using images, social handles, and contact details in addition to several opportunities to chat before, during, and after an event. 

Engaging attendees is among top concerns 

The demand for virtual and hybrid events is expected to increase over the next year, which may cause some concern for event marketers who are new to hosting hybrid events. The Morning Consult study cites that 46% of event marketers regularly question whether their event will be engaging enough for attendees, and 55% feel that establishing equality between remote and in-person attendees is the most important aspect of successful hybrid events.

Zoom Events promotes this synergy through its easy-to-use video platform and unique features that allow speakers to interact backstage between sessions, while attendees can access the expo hall and receive a branded experience that matches the live event. We know hybrid events are new to a lot of event planners, so here’s some expert advice from one event pro on how to create a successful, engaging hybrid experience

Technology makes all the difference 

When hosting a hybrid event, it may feel easy to use your current videoconferencing or meeting solution. But a truly engaging and equitable hybrid experience requires seamless technology and a proactive approach to distributing content as well as promoting intentional interaction between attendees. 

The Morning Consult study found that most event marketers are currently using audio/video communication platforms for hybrid events, but not all are equipped to handle the entire lifecycle of event management. This could factor into why event marketers cited the following as some of their greatest hybrid event concerns: 

  • issues with connection for remote attendees
  • the difficulty for remote attendees to access an event
  • choosing the right platform for the event

What’s to come for hybrid events

From technology to engagement, there are a few themes that stay constant with event marketers as they approach hybrid and virtual events in the new year. Take a look at the Morning Consult study to learn what else is top of mind for event marketers and how they view the future of hybrid events. To get started with Zoom Events or speak with our Event Services Team on how you can build your own hybrid event experience, talk with our events team today.

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