One view of the future of events: niche and hybrid

After the COVID events, there are still many questions about the landscape that need to be answered.

We still offer virtual opportunities, as we hope for next year, when the COVID vaccine comes out in person again, perhaps in terms of virtual content. Everyone has an opinion, including Ben Hindman, CEO of Splash Event Marketing Platform.

Earlier this month, he posed a series of questions on LinkedIn to predict that COVID would end his addiction to massage events and start a “life-size” one. Splash follows Hindman’s article with supporting data in the report “Online, Briefly, and Here to Stay: A Perspective on Virtual and Hybrid Events in 2021”.

Here is the data. Based on a survey of 270 conference professionals in the United States and more than 3,000 attendees from a variety of industries, Splash reported that:

• 43% of companies converted all opportunities into virtual companies and offered more virtual opportunities than initially anticipated;

• 79% of companies already intend to offer opportunities with an online component, while taking advantage of personal opportunities; TO BE

• Less than 7% of event attendees believe virtual events should last longer than an hour.

This latest report from Salesforce, with Dreamforce’s dramatic restructuring this year, feels like a long string of short sessions.

For more information on the results, we contacted Eric Holmen, Splash’s revenue manager. “The future seems to change every day,” he said. “We have a very active group of users around the world and what we’ve heard from them is that the nature and definition of events are changing dramatically. COVID may have accelerated the digital transformation of events in five years.”

Because most events are traditionally planned and managed offline, and how much value is added by events, not necessarily, the digital transformation of events has lagged behind the pre-pandemic. “If you suddenly have to put everything online, be a little strict.”

The scale request. The report contains a series of data highlighting the value of smaller and shorter events, with almost double the number of participants in the event having less than 10 responses, compared to events with more than 100 responses and 55% of respondents on the last minute or less 30 attendees. minutes to wait.

“There will be room for big events,” Holmen said. After all, Splash supports big and small events. “But it’s when big events have small moments that have more value; if you can have a special dinner or a VIP session, not when you have big rooms full of people. Okay, that’s great to learn, but it’s incredible. A great event with the highest value. “You can have this kind of super-niche experience and make it engaging and interactive, without having to travel through the country,” Holmen said.

Holmen also questions the future of webinars, which are primarily webinars. “Virtual events can include a variety of conversations, interesting experiences, engagement, and I think that’s why a virtual event is different from a webinar. I doubt if both major events and webinars will survive the same thing in a year? “

Clearly, long online events are testing the attention of the public. “If possible, try to limit your sessions to 20 minutes or less, and if you have a good conversation, do what you can to make it even more special.”

The hybrid future. “The life cycle has gone from face-to-face events to webinars and virtual events that have slowly improved, and the next chapter is how do we do these hybrid things when we can come back in person, but a really cool digital experience?”

Hybrid means different things to different people: we ask him about his point of view. “Together with others, we tried to define a definition for the hybrid. We view the hybrid standard as a live event that is also broadcast, as has happened in the past. I think it will continue, but it’s more of a TV version. “Live. The ideal hybrid capability combines a variety of digital interactions with real-world options.” Some customers, “Holmen said, offer a virtual package and a personal opportunity on the same topic, but probably not at the same time.”

Why do we care? The Splash report defines the event as ‘resilient but unrecognizable from a year ago, which is almost an understatement. The future may be uncertain, but there will definitely be a future. We’re all trying to figure out what it’s going to be like.

Translate »