Dave Harding-Lyle, strategic account director at Showcase details how his company is preparing for a hybrid future.
How many times have we all been told “you can’t have your cake and eat it”? Well I’m pleased to say that when it comes to hybrid events, you can.
With everything our industry is going through, the ability to have an element of live with the approved number of delegates in person at your venue, combined with a live stream for your virtual audience, is a tempting proposition.
This could go some way to explaining why we at Showcase are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of enquiries for this type of event. Recent hybrid events that we’ve secured include: Local Government Association, McCarthy Stone and BlueFort Security, with many more in the pipeline.
As we all start getting back to another form of normal, clients are taking advantage of the new guidelines and beginning to appreciate the benefits of a hybrid option. The opportunity to have a real live audience is something most of our clients are craving, hence the increase in hybrid’s popularity. We were ahead of the curve on this one, as our experience told us that this shift was on the horizon, so we made sure all our ducks were in a row.
Obviously for hybrid you need a venue, which ideally should act as the live stream studio as well as hosting the event for your chosen audience.
We have two London-based hotels that provide us with both of these facilities, which makes for a more efficient, user-friendly experience for all involved. The fact that they are hotels means that the invited guests are treated to some amazing hospitality, which is never a bad thing.
Being hybrid means that you will have a virtual audience, so that requires an online platform and preferably one that recreates the live experience that the in-situ audience is enjoying.
Our bespoke platform, EVENT@ does that, alongside our ability to create engaging content.
We created it especially for the events industry, based on research and discussions with our clients. EVENT@ is available at an entry level model to which clients can add their own bolt-ons, so making it a truly bespoke offering.
How successful was the event, who liked what, who left early? With the live audience segment of hybrid that’s easy to gauge, but not so with the virtual audience.
The good news is that our platform tracks the virtual audience’s movement whilst on the event, tracking what they have watched and for how long, as well as giving vital information about the delegates themselves such as geographical location and job role.
The even better news is that we have created our own event specific software EVENTalytics, which turns all this information into post-show data that is easy to read and accessible.
EVENTalytics then gives event professionals what they really want, analytics of the data, presented in easy-to-adsorb reports, top level graphs and tables rather than lines and lines of raw data.
These enlightening professional reports can then in turn be presented to sponsors and stakeholders, enabling them to see their return on investment as well as being used to secure future event sponsorship.
I truly believe that hybrid events will have a permanent place in the events calendar improving the event reach into international attendees and new markets for client events.
Meanwhile, the live element gives you the opportunity to make the invited audience feel really special.