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Chart of the week: how will future events shape up?

The event industry is changing rapidly. Each week we illustrate how this is happening and what it means for your business.

More than half of event professionals will make their shows smaller once business fully returns, according to an industry poll.

The Event MB State of the Event Industry Survey reports 68% claimed future shows would follow a hybrid model and 51% said their in-person events would be reduced in size – with respondents able to give more than one answer.

Only 16% told the Q2 2021 poll their events would be the same size when they return, while 12% said they would remain virtual, 27% said they would be more local and 18% said they would be shorter in time.

Behind the figures

The digital transformation was put on turbochargers last year when the pandemic forced organisers to face up to a virtual future.

Many have seen the benefits which can be brought through virtual platforms, including increased rates of attendance and an ability to engage before and after an event.

Timothy Skennion, managing director of Derabo Advisory Group, told ExpoPlatform a hybrid event format now offers more opportunities to monetise audiences and sponsors than ever before.

Meanwhile, concerns continue within the industry about how it will be impacted by coronavirus restrictions – especially given the continuing spread of the Delta variant.

The reduced costs of virtual technologies, increased revenue channels and uncertainty over how the pandemic will play out has made a hybrid format more attractive to organisers.

What does this mean for organisers?

In-person events will remain the highlight of the year for the majority of organisers. But creating a hybrid event strategy which includes in-person and digital events can increase revenue and pandemic-proof your budget. Here’s why:

Engagement: Hybrid events allow you to significantly increase audience participation by reaching the right people across the globe – even when the industry is thrown into a crisis such as coronavirus. The greater accessibility offered by virtual events means there are endless opportunities to get more people signing up.

Pricing: Digital has been historically under-valued by exhibition organisers, who now need to re-balance the pricing of digital and in-person in their budgets. This can ensure that in the event of a show being cancelled, a healthy amount of revenue can still remain.

Measuring success: A hybrid event’s success can be measured by analysing post-event data, using technology such as ExpoPlatform. All virtual event metrics  can be captured such as profile views, engagement or directory searches. Physical event scans and in-person meeting data can also be stored for analysis and reporting purposes.

For more on this download ExpoPlatform’s Hybrid Blueprint ebook.