The Future of Hybrid Events in 2021

video-conferencing-croppedThe world came to a screeching, near-stop in 2020. For safety's sake, we all had to adapt to a new normal where live events were no longer a possibility.

It’s no surprise that technology has helped event organizers continue to host engaging events for their audiences.

Before the pandemic hit, virtual events were few and far between. Now they've become standard even for sports, entertainment, and professional events.

Translating events into digital environments can be tricky, but ViewStub makes virtual events easy for hosts and attendees. We know what it takes to host a professional virtual experience and have the features organizers need to monetize, promote and create branded experiences hosted on their own website.

Read on for our five predictions for hybrid and virtual events in 2021 and beyond.


1. Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

Even as more folks get vaccinated and case numbers go down, the pandemic isn't over, and live events as they were pre-pandemic won't be seen for a long time to come.

Event organizers have quickly evolved to hosting virtual events. They have overcome the learning curve and are realizing the previously overlooked benefits to live streaming video hosted events.

Over the last nine months, we've seen major progress with virtual events. They are more engaging, gaining higher attendance, and technology has evolved with them.

Virtual events open up new markets of attendees. People who live across the country and the world can enjoy your event without having to worry about traveling. Organizers can now market their events to a global audience for a minimal cost. They are no longer limited to their physical locations and venue capacities. With hybrid events, the reach is now infinite.


2. In-Person Events Will Make a Comeback

hybrid-ticketingNothing can replace the in-person interaction; but, until the pandemic is under control, organizers will need to have options for attendees with different preferences.

Hybrid ticketing will be key to offering flexibility for both virtual and in-person attendance. Organizers will seek virtual technology that can integrate with registration platforms to consolidate attendee data.

As venues open up again, live streamed event hosting will continue to provide a front and center experience for digital attendees. Complete customization of the video player through white label solutions will be an expectation providing a well branded experience for online events.


3. Hybrid Events Will Offer More Attendee Interaction

Gone are the days of live streaming an event from the back of a conference room. The key to success for virtual events is attendee interaction. Above all other factors, networking and engagement were one of the biggest challenges for organizers in 2020.

Despite this, more and more events are exploring new ways of interacting with remote attendees. There are now options to bring them “on stage” during the event for Q&A sessions and other easily-integrated activities.

Virtual attendees are able to interact one-on-one with the speaker, host or performer and include an option to make a donation within their virtual platform.

Another way to create engaging virtual events is to encourage attendees to connect in chat rooms. Chat rooms allow interaction with other attendees and with hosts, providing a space for conversation and appreciation.

Attendees will also be pleased with video-on-demand options that allow them to playback an event they might have missed.

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4. Hybrid Event Platforms Will Continue to Evolve to Meet the Demands of Organizers

We all experienced a saturation of virtual events in 2020. Some were better than others. Organizers scrambled to convert their conferences and professional events, even sports and entertainment-focused events stepped up to the challenge.

But just hosting an event online isn't enough. Today’s planners are looking to improve the virtual experience for attendees. They are planning the virtual and in-person experience in parallel. They are shifting away from the typical Zoom call type of event towards one that immerses all attendees in the experience.

Platforms that focus on the attendee experience, provide effective sponsorship opportunities, and allow full customization will prevail.

Many other specific features have surfaced, such as flexible ticketing. Organizers have pushed technology platforms to offer subscriptions, donation-based tickets, and even season pass tickets for their attendees. We expect to see many more robust features generated out of necessity.

Organizations will use virtual content to drive website traffic. Private label video players that allow seamless branding and customization will be a new channel for marketing professionals.


5. Event Budgets Will Increase to Accommodate Virtual Events

Nobody could have predicted the need for virtual events in 2020 budgets. Many professionals have seen the huge potential for bringing events into the digital sphere, and revised their strategy to invest in content creation and virtual events.

Now that organizers are allocating more of their marketing dollars to their virtual event experiences, they now have a chance to increase profitability. Hybrid event options will offer the potential to once again make the same margin of profits from in-person ticket prices.


In 2021, the Events Industry Will Be Redefined

We believe that in-person events will come back strong, but virtual attendance will continue to remain mainstream.

With hybrid event planning, both in-person and virtual attendees can be engaged in meaningful ways. Planners just need the right mindset and tools.

The transition from in-person to hybrid and virtual events has been jarring, but ViewStub is here to make hosting easier! Check out our solutions for ticketing, marketing, and streaming for virtual and hybrid events today.


About ViewStub

ViewStub is a virtual and hybrid event platform that makes it easy for event organizers to sell tickets to live events or sell access to pre-recorded sessions right from their website. ViewStub‘s all-in-one platform offers ticketing, registration, video streaming and new revenue opportunities for creators seeking to monetize their content and grow their community.