We’re all eagerly awaiting the comeback of offline events and the face-to-face human interaction that comes with it. According to research conducted by Fieldlab Events, 94% of the 30,000 surveyed in the Netherlands look forward to attending a business event again. But will in-person events have the same set-up and feel as they did prior to the COVID pandemic?
We can’t rule out the possibility that offline events come back with additional safety measures, at least temporarily. The wearing of face masks for example, is likely to stay for a while, something which 80% of event attendees don’t see as a problem. Additionally, many individuals will welcome the fact that event venues will place more emphasis on cleanliness and sanitization of spaces and objects. We’ll likely see hand gels and wipes stay, as well as more intense cleaning of event spaces and creative catering set-ups.
Hybrid event elements are here to stay. It’s a great way to reach a broader audience, costs the participants less time in terms of travel, and lowers the barrier to joining an event. The critical factor in hybrid events is the experience of online participants; putting a camera down and streaming the speaker is simply not enough. There must be an engaging way for the online audience to participate and interact with the speaker and the rest of the audience.
The idea of Hub & Spoke hybrid events is a great idea; there is one hub from which the speakers and optionally a part of the audience are based, which then broadcasts to other spokes- smaller hubs of attendees in different cities. This way, the audience is divided across multiple locations, reducing travel time and allowing for a broader audience whilst still being able to join each other physically for workshops, discussions, and networking.
A great example is Venture Café’s The Happening, a global event we co-organized that was streamed to and from 10 different locations across 4 continents, with 30 sessions spread across 20 hours. The event discussed the future of work, and it was a great way to get insights from different cultures and regions, as speakers were present in the 10 different locations and broadcasted around the globe.
Lastly, offline events should be recorded! At the very least the speakers or panel discussions. This way, those that couldn’t attend or didn’t feel comfortable attending physically are able to enjoy the content they signed up for. It’s also a great way for an organization to build their content and presence on social media platforms.
Get in touch!
As always, we’d love to discuss your next event! We’re passionate about events, have lots of experience, and want to help make your next event a success. Feel free to get in touch with us via Events-Bureau@venturecaferotterdam.org.