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Hybrid Events & 365 Platforms: The 2021 Trends To Watch Out For

Written by 
xoconseil
4 minutes
17/01/2021

How Covid-19 brings about a global business model revolution.

Let's start with a question. Imagine you knew about this global pandemic and its consequences 3 years ago. What would you have done differently in your business?

COVID-19 hit the events industry especially hard, but we came together and adapted, evolved and learned. Event tech companies, such as Swapcard, Hopin and StreamYard, grew at record speed in 2020 and new forms of events were born.

While virtual was the key word in 2020, hybrid will be the go-to event model as we head into 2021 and small physical gatherings become safer.

The Problem With The Pre-COVID Business Model

The cost of lead acquisition was high and not always worth it for exhibitors. They used to pay for their booth, travel, accommodation, salaries of their team and the time they invest in an event, but there was always a risk that they could walk away with only a few leads at the end of the week. A bigger booth doesn't necessarily mean more leads and a bigger ROI. The price exhibitors used to be charged for their attendance at the event was therefore not linked to their performance, and was not always linked to the value proposition.

Tomorrow's Business Model - The 24/7 Platform

So where can the events industry go from here? Only towards the 365-day online experience: an event platform, accessible by mobile and web, that is not only used during the few days of a live event but serves attendees all year long. Users of the platform, such as the kind built from the ground up by Swapcard, will find old and new content in the form of sessions and roundtable discussions, media, exhibitors' marketplace, networking opportunities, chat forums, marketing material, industry trends and news, learning opportunities and the possibility to exchange with a global community of peers.

The online platform takes on 3 different roles:

  1. The media: Sharing news and trends in the industry
  2. A community: Bringing people together and creating space for them to meet, network and exchange
  3. A marketplace: Facilitating transactions between exhibitors and buyers all year long

However, the idea of an online platform does not replace the value or importance of the physical event.The physical event can still occur annually in this new business model. It will bring together the whole online community in a hybrid format - some virtual attendees, and some in-person attendees, with great networking opportunities, a physical and virtual marketplace, and accessible content for both audiences.

Your Annual Event Needs to go Hybrid: The Event Format of the Future

A hybrid event incorporates components of virtual events with a physical event. Some of the many advantages include:

  • Reaching a larger, more global audience - in general, 3 times more than at an in-person event. You'll have attendees on-site as well as digitally connected from all over the world. The beauty of a hybrid event is that it removes physical barriers and financial investment to attending, so more people will R.S.V.P. "Yes"!
  • The mix of on-site and online attendees creates a larger pool of potential leads for exhibitors, meaning potentially greater revenue for you, the organizer
  • Amplifying your speakers, sessions, and event content through your virtual platform, ensuring greater visibility for all your stakeholders
  • Giving attendees and exhibitors the best of both worlds: in-person and virtual experiences
  • Repurposing existing event content for future marketing and knowledge sharing material
  • Lowering the costs of event production because you no longer have to cater to everyone on-site
  • Adapting to changing circumstances will ensure your business model is durable and stable, no matter what the future brings!

A new business model means a brighter future that's better for the planet and more profitable for everyone involved. New revenue streams, more opportunities for attendees and exhibitors and a true feeling of community is what makes this new business model work.
Want to find out how you can take your event hybrid and create a profitable, year-round online community platform? Contact Swapcard to get started.

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Written by
xoconseil
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