The world is a different place, and while many businesses adapted to hosting online events, many are now considering whether this should be an ongoing endeavour. In this article, we’ll be looking at the disadvantages of online events, and why it is wise for a business to take a hybrid approach.
There are all sorts of online events. These have come about for various reasons, but they serve a valuable purpose. Before we get into the disadvantages and hybrid approach, let’s look at the advantages of online events...
- They connect people despite geographic limitations, which also means people needn’t travel to attend.
- It allows you to continue to host events that otherwise cannot be held due to lockdowns or restrictions.
- It can cost less and be easier to organise.
- It allows for greater attendance (since there are no venue limitations).
- You have access to better analytics when reviewing the event (like lead sign-ups and monitoring engagements).
- Improved ability to share information and handle the audience when it comes to sharing details.
With so many positives, you may be wondering why businesses don’t just carry on hosting online events. But the thing is, there are a couple of significant setbacks, and relying on virtual events can actually create distance between you and desired audiences. Let’s investigate this further.
Disadvantages of Online Events
The disadvantages of online events include:
- A competitive market, since so many businesses are hosting various events in online spaces.
- Attention spans are waning, and with that comes the possibility of ‘attending an online’ event that really just sits in the background on your screen or while you’re busy with another activity.
- You can’t fully engage people in a first-hand lived experience through online events. There are only so many ways you can try to leave a personal and personable impression with online events.
- People are craving experiences after being in unexpectedly extensive lockdowns and adapting to online events for all sorts of purposes, from personal screenings of weddings, to work meetings via Zoom.
- Sponsors are more inclined to get involved in physical events, and it’s easier to give gifts and sell merchandise at these too. There’s greater visibility and impact than online features and promotions.
- Longer events don’t perform as well when hosted online.
- Networking isn’t as easily done in online spaces as they are in person.
- It isn’t as easy to ‘wow’ your audience online.
Hybrid Events for the Future: Be Online and In Person
So, what’s the solution? Well, a little bit of both. That way, you’re able to enjoy the benefits of online and in-person events, without taking on the disadvantages of online events alone.
Content can and should be captured at all of your events, no matter the format. This way, you can create relevant clips of content for your channels that live on beyond the event itself. Don’t think that is only available to recorded online events - there are endless creative ways to record and share content from all your events.
Online events can take all sorts of forms, from webinars to live presentations and virtual shows. Careful though - just because it’s easy to set up and share, doesn’t mean you should put less effort into it. In fact, a poor online event can harm your brand’s reputation and perception, so tread carefully.
In other words, hybrid events ensure that a business is able to get the west of both worlds by bridging the gap between them. You can host virtual events and live events where appropriate, or you could just do them both in one. The best option will depend on the nature and purpose of the event.
To pull off a strictly hybrid event, where you offer attendance both online and in-person, you’ve got to ensure the event is engaging. The technological aspect should be seamless - not simply hitting record on that ‘live’ button. The people watching online should also feel as though they are there and actively involved. This will require a professional videography team who can prep and plan accordingly so that the audience journey is a planned out strategy. Connections need to be front and centre. On the marketing side, you also need to ensure that you’re capturing attendee details to the best of your ability so that you can engage with them after the show. By offering online and in-person coverage, you’re also getting a greater ROI, since there’s greater attendance, reach, and scalability.
That said, there are absolutely times where a private in-person event should be held. In these instances, it creates an air of exclusivity and a not-to-be-missed show that certainly has its place as well. Again, this is not to say that you can’t gather clips for content that will feed into your marketing plans.
Host a Hybrid Event
Ready to get set up and host the hybrid event? The Nexa team is at the helm and ready to help! Let us know what you have in mind, and we’ll take care of everything necessary to bring it to life.