I’m sure for some who have been in the digital event space for some time, many of the findings from the B2B Marketing Trends: Are You Ready for Hybrid Marketing Events? The report shows that the needle hasn’t moved much since the last catastrophic event (for those who remember 2008) that caused the physical events and meeting industry to pivot to digital overnight. If this is your first experience with a pivot of this magnitude, we know for many it was brutal going from being a master of in-person event design and execution to digital overnight.
What the Forrester study shows is that most experienced the same level of challenges and hurdles while seeing benefits in increased reach and attendance, serving different time zones/locations, and being better able to collect analytics and data on participants’ interests and content consumption. Interestingly, in over a third of the studies, respondents cited the benefits of achieving a lower carbon footprint, increased content engagement, AND increased ROI as top benefits.
The study was taken after the first wave of Covid and looked forward, based on the recent experience, to what challenges were expected moving forward as it relates to hybrid, virtual, and in-person events. More than half of the respondents cited creating virtual experiences that were different than webinars and predicting the mix between who would attend in person vs remote participation.
More than a third also indicated that incorporating digital in their in-person programs, reskilling their teams (for more digital execution), putting attendee value ahead of company goals, and demonstrating ROI of hybrid events as ongoing challenges.
With over half planning to do something hybrid going forward, we think an ongoing series on the topic of hybrid events will be helpful as the physical event and meeting architects are going to be joined at the hip together with the digital experience designers to drive the overall program performance and results!