The ever-changing landscape of events in 2022
It was exciting to see the success of ‘Get Local’ held at the ICC in Sydney, in February 2022. The event aimed to get the business events community back doing what they do best: connecting, engaging, and meeting person-to-person. This was certainly achieved and done very well.
As we head further into 2022 and the new Omicron variant spreads, we wonder what the future for events and living with COVID-19 holds.
We are seeing some hesitancy in early delegate registration for events, as people appear to be waiting to see what is going to unfold. So, we are anticipating a late event registration rush just before an event. We are also seeing a reduction in overall sponsors’ 2022 budgets, so it is important to have creative and attractive sponsorship packages and to approach sponsors with as much lead time as possible.
Whilst organisers are therefore starting to consider ‘going hybrid’, the choice of platform and provider needs to be considered carefully, otherwise hybrid can be a very costly extra.
HYBRID PLATFORM CHOICE
There is a multitude of hybrid platforms of significantly varying features and prices in the marketplace. It is therefore important to drill down and list exactly which features you will use and want to provide for your attendees, speakers and sponsors during your event.
It can be costly from both a resource and dollar perspective, to set up a hybrid platform for your event. So, if only some, but not all the features in a certain platform are going to be used, there may be an alternative solution that is more suitable for your event.
HYBRID PLATFORM CONSIDERATIONS
Some questions to consider:
- What is the goal for your viewer engagement?
- Do you want everyone to see each other and chat audibly during your event?
- Will you use functions such as chat, discussion, polling, breakout rooms etc?
- Do you need extra features, such as:
- Virtual booths for your sponsors
- Speaker bios and photos
- A ‘library’ of abstracts, etc?
- Given the additional cost of a hybrid platform, should in-person and virtual attendees pay the same registration price?
PROS OF GOING HYBRID
- Delegates who may be hesitant or unable to fly, or whose organisations will not allow them to fly, can still participate in the event.
CONS OF GOING HYBRID
- Choose your platform carefully! A platform with a lot of features that you may not use can be expensive in addition to your onsite audio-visual needs.
- Remember your virtual viewers and think of creative ways to make sure they are fully included in the hybrid event, ie, interacting with attendees, speakers and sponsors that are sitting in the conference room.
DELEGATE BOOSTING FOR IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE
During your pre-event marketing activities, you may wish to detail the venue’s and your COVID-19 policy and plans to reassure your potential attendees that their health and safety at the event, is your priority.
Considerations for this may include:
- RAT tests provided for attendees to take before entering the event
- Masks provided for use if the attendee desires
- Hand sanitiser stations
- Self-scan name tag kiosks
- Individually packaged food and drinks or, if having a buffet, hotel staff serving event attendees to minimise touch points.
Get in touch with www.catalystevents.com.au to find out how we can assist you in planning your next in-person, hybrid, or fully virtual event.