How Hybrid Events Cannibalise Your Delegate/Attendee Numbers

Dr Hannibal Lecter from the movie Silence of the Lambs – 1991

Hybrid events take your normal, face-to-face event or conference and add a virtual online component, essentially complimenting one with the other. While you have the physical on-site event with delegates attending, you also have people logging in and attending virtually, be it through live streaming or via on-demand sessions hosted in your own branded pay-per-view site after the event.

Most would agree that one of the biggest concerns in the Events Industry when it comes to Hybrid Events is if they’re going to cannibalise the delegate or attendee numbers, slowly killing off the event.

The reality is that Hybrid events DO NOT cannibalise your numbers… it’s a myth!

Recent research conducted by the MPI Foundation found that

the fear of ‘potential cannibalisation of the face-to-face events appears to be largely unsubstantiated’. In fact the ‘data suggested that face-to-face attendance actually increased or remained flat’.

Think about that for a moment. Live streaming your event or recording it and offering it on-demand at a later stage won’t mean a drop in bums-on-seats; it could mean the exact opposite!

We have seen cases time and time again where our clients live stream a couple of their keynote presentations over the course of their event and find that not only can they charge a fee for virtual delegates to watch the presentation, those watching online now have more reason to attend the following year because they understand and see what they are getting themselves into.

If given the option most people opt to attend face-to-face events over virtual attendance. People who choose to attend virtually do so because of necessity. If they have no choice they may choose to give your event a miss altogether!

After all its commonly known  in the B2B conferencing side of the events industry that 50-90% of those that you market to or call will never attend your event, why is that? It’s not because they don’t see value in hearing from your speakers or the fact that you’re speaking to the wrong people.

It’s largely to do with the fact that our delegates and attendees are time poor people. They also have to operate within obvious constraints of their budgets. Everyone knows companies are constantly trying to do more with less.

Gone are the days where you pick up the phone and the person on the other end registers a group of 25 people to attend an event off the first call. It’s more likely that they will listen to your pitch and then compare your agenda to the 5 other possibilities that have come across their desk that day, even before they submit it for sign off from their boss.

There is only so much time and money people have to physically attend events these days. If you’ve been in the industry any length of time I’m sure these facts come as no surprise.

Cisco recently said that 76% of executives watch business videos at least once a week, including 40% who view them daily. If you need a reason to at least look into an on-demand video strategy for your event that’s a pretty compelling one.

Now is the time to capitalise on a video strategy and evolve your events. Early adopters in Australia and New Zealand are already reaping the benefits of extra income, higher engagement, delegate or member loyalty and bigger communities built around their events.

All it takes to move forward is a plan of action and a fantastic streaming partner that will share their experience with you. Costs can be covered by the usual means – Sponsorship and registration fees or even subscription to your own branded video portal as well as Pay-Per-View options.

Webcastcloud’s Event Services team have delivered hundreds of Hybrid events in Australia and around the world. We take pride in helping you to get your content online in a quick and cost effective way.

We can give you numerous examples of clients that have now added hybrid events to the way they do business and can help you settle on the best online content strategy moving forward, giving you the options that work for your business – Live streaming, on-demand or Pay-Per-View.

We understand what it’s like to be in the events industry because that’s what we do!

Want to explore the possibilities? Give us a call 1300 882 362 or +61-2-8318-3624, visit our website: www.webcastcloud.com.au, email sales@webcastcloud.com.au or connect with us on LinkedIn

 

By Nigel Amyes

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