The past few months have been full of incredible learning and innovation for the events and hospitality industries; companies have been finding new ways to do business and promote their business during a global pandemic. Bars have been offering takeaway services, fashion designers have been holding shoots via Zoom, and in-person events have been translated into digital form.
It’s been great to see how people and companies have adapted, and there’s no denying that the events industry has seen the benefits in their new-founded ways of working. Whilst nothing will ever replace in-person events, some elements of digital events have proven to successful for event managers and will most likely be seen more often from here-on-out.
With the new insight gathered in the last few months, venue managers and event planners are returning to their way of working with a deeper understanding of how live streaming can benefit the outcome of an event.
We spoke to Fora, who have recently launched their Hybrid Events service:
Hybrid events, this seems to be a new ‘buzz’ phrase, but what exactly are they? Well, Hybrid events are events which are part live / in-person, part digital. So, for example, a workshop might be held at a venue, with the presenters leading the session and a live audience also in the space taking part, but the event is recorded and live streamed to participants located elsewhere.
Arguably the most obvious benefit of streaming to another location is the ability to increase audience reach. No longer limited by the capacity of a space, an event that was once limited to having 50 physical guests can be live streamed to thousands. What is more is that these guests can be located anywhere in the world. Geographical boarders are completely removed to allow you to invite people from other countries, who may not have been previously able to attend due to cost or travel implications. It also allows for people who would usually be unable to attend due to other commitments. Parents who need to head straight home after work to look after their children can tune into the event from the comfort of their own home, whilst keeping an eye on the little ones.
Attracting new followers:
There are loads of live streaming options in terms of broadcast platforms, which is something to be considered if you are looking to attract new audiences or increase your social media following. Streaming can be directly connected to your Facebook Live or YouTube which again increases the potential reach of your audience. In adopting a clever communication plan you can really look to increase your followings and interaction with viewers outside of your network, using targeting marketing to incite new users to follow and tune into the broadcast
Falling under this idea of attracting new followers, this process can be a great tool for understanding potential client base. When broadcasting via social media there are certain analytical tools which can allow you to understand the profile of the people tuning in. This will allow you to access who the content appeals to, opening your understanding of client bases you might not have considered before.
Whilst content can be broadcast elsewhere in real time, it can also be recorded to watch at a future date. This can again be a great resource for social media channels such as YouTube but also makes great content for newsletters and follow up emails. If planning future events or if your event included product / service, recordings can be used as a sales tool when talking to potential customers.
The cost of an in-person event for hundreds (maybe even thousands) is HIGH. The price of the venue hire for that many people alone can be crippling, you then have to think about catering costs, staffing costs, AV and so on. The price creep up quickly and for a lot of event planners, it just simply is not feasible. Hybrid events allow you to reach the desired number of attendees without the added overheads, and can also be a big plus for attendees who don’t have to worry about the travel costs involved.
There is no doubt that Hybrid events have an ever-expanding list of benefits, which is why venues like Fora are seeing such a shift toward these kind of events. COVID 19 has been a big blow to the events industry but has also given the chance for many to reflect and experiment with digital event elements. Workspace company Fora underwent a massive learning curb when they switched all their own in person events to digital and found that it was such a success, they are introducing Hybrid events across their portfolio London and Reading based venue’s. As well as offering their standalone in person venue hire packages, they now have the option to add on streaming services. An expert AV team will be onsite running the digital side of things whilst their Event Management and Concierge teams ensure the hospitality of your in person guests, ensuring that all parts of your event are delivered to their high Fora Standard.
Fora have released a New Standards document to outline the heightened precautions taken onsite at their buildings post COVID 19.
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