The CDC has declared that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors in large groups without a mask. With 39.5% of Americans fully vaccinated, at the time of this writing, and the economy seemingly back open for business, many organizers are exploring shifting back to fully in-person events. However, hybrid does have a place in the future of live gatherings. Here are four reasons why the hybrid format remains an important and valuable approach to your next meeting.
- Communicate Empathy and Flexibility – Forward-thinking companies realize that asking or requiring everyone to attend an event in-person is not being empathetic to employees’ various needs, attitudes, and situations. Hybrid events offer employees flexibility in choosing how they want to engage with a corporate event. Offering employees a choice in their meeting experience goes a long way in their happiness, comfort, and overall productivity.
- Greater Reach – Sometimes they are just unable to attend, even if they do feel comfortable traveling and being in crowds. Perhaps they have a big client meeting or it’s their busy season. For event organizers, having some departments attend in person may not be as important or have as much value as it did before the pandemic. By offering a hybrid option, organizations can still reach those who can't attend in person. When communicating, make sure remote attendees understand they will have an experience that is catered to them. Create virtual attendee-specific sizzle reels, welcome messages, and virtual-only Q&As with keynote speakers.
- Post Event Value – Since putting on a hybrid event means producing and capturing content for virtual audiences, that content can be re-purposed and extended, providing value long after the event has ended. Those employees who couldn’t participate live, can engage with the content on-demand post-event. This content can be edited to become a new training curriculum, industry trends, customer stories, and key takeaways to name a few. When employees engage with this content post-event, organizations will reap improved knowledge retention and foster the desired behavioral changes.
- Insurance – The pandemic has shown that you need to be ready for anything. While the trends are currently positive, by planning a hybrid event, organizers can be better prepared for any ‘black swan’ situations that may be unexpectedly lurking around the corner. A hybrid event is much easier to shift to a fully virtual one without the stresses, extra costs, resources, and late nights associated with a full pivot from in-person to virtual.
Giving attendees a say in how they experience meetings can improve overall satisfaction and retention. Event content lives on post-meeting and improves the recollection of important information and insights.