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