Hybrid Events: Rise of the newly evolved cyborg version of virtual events
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
According to Forbes, the demand for virtual events up by 1000% in just one year since Coronavirus. This may be attributed to the excellent knack of virtual event solutions companies and somewhat a stroke of very good luck that has skyrocketed their annual revenues for 2020 off the roof. To make the pot even sweeter, it is expected that virtual events will grow nearly ten-fold over the next decade from $78 billion to $774 billion by 2030 according to Grand View Research.
Though it might seem very enticing to say that it is going to be smooth sailing these companies, it can very be far from reality. Introduction of Covid-19 vaccines in record time by Operation Warpspeed, one of the biggest achievements of the Trump Administration in the U.S might just be the Achilles heel to these companies where the majority of them are headquartered in. Once vaccinated, there arises a sense of safety and newfound courage which may or may not encourage major companies and organizations to think twice before going with fully virtual events rather than host them as they did physically before the pandemic. Anyway, that is not a bold risk virtual events companies are going to take knowing that economies around the world are walking on thin ice; and this is where hybrid events will jump in as the saviour to throw in a lifeline to virtual event companies.
To understand what Hybrid Events really are, one must know about their predecessor, Smart Events. Before the pandemic, several major large scale events across the world deployed solutions that use reliable technologies like IoT based RTLS (Real-time location systems) and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) hardware like beacons and sensors to obtain tangible analytics and reports instantly on-demand to assess the performance and success of their events. This would include features & reports like time spent by visitors at a certain booth, indoor navigation for everyone across the event, AI-based business making which would facilitate visitors & exhibitors meet the right people and have successful networking opportunities and much more. When the pandemic struck, even Smart Event companies had to develop their own virtual platforms or use already existing virtual platforms to conduct their events. But there was a silver lining just waiting for them where they could integrate Smart Events with these virtual event platforms to ultimately create Hybrid Events. This would mean the best of both worlds where a single event can be conducted both virtually and physically simultaneously or over a period of time once the pandemic wanes.
To keep up their reputation and steady revenue, adopting Hybrid Events technology might just be their saving grace for virtual event companies once the world steadily starts coming back to normal. In conclusion, as any polls, studies or researches would suggest, only time will tell how well these companies will stand the test of time over the coming future and also how much of a success story Hybrid Events would become.