Socio has announced the EventHack Hybrid Games, a 10-week hackathon that brings together 72 industry leaders, marketers, and journalists to square off and compete for the ultimate hybrid-crossover solution.
As restrictions on large gatherings eventually begin to ease, the industry anticipates organizers will pivot to a hybrid event model, which combines a smaller, in-person audience with a virtual audience. Event organizers will soon need to adopt solutions for attendee engagement, networking, sponsorship, as well as other strategies that work for both attendee groups.
“Socio’s goal in hosting the EventHack Hybrid Games is to help lay the groundwork for the future of events—which will rely heavily on hybrid-event strategies, and inspire event organizers to take their events to the next level during these exciting times,” said Corey McCarthy, Socio Chief Marketing Officer. “I’m looking forward to seeing all of the innovation inspired by the crowdsourced ideas from the top event experts over the next 10 weeks.”
The EventHack Hybrid Games is an evolution of Socio’s EventHack 2020, which brought together 16 event industry leaders in April to hack virtual event solutions.
“The original EventHack was designed to help event organizers through a very dark hour,” McCarthy said. “What started as an ambitious idea has morphed into a full-blown EventHack Community that comes together regularly for thought leadership, education, and virtual meetups. For the Hybrid Games, we’re taking it to the next level by upgrading our own production quality, and weaving in some fun surprises that you won’t want to miss.”
The EventHack Hybrid Games will launch today (September 17) and run every Thursday through November 19. Four squads will compete each week—two for Team Virtual and two for Team In-Person. The Virtual Team will approach the hack from a virtual-first perspective, and their ability to make it work for in-person events. The In-Person Team will hack from an in-person event perspective, and figure out how to include virtual attendees. Each session will uncover four hybrid-crossover solutions that Socio will turn into a comprehensive playbook on hybrid events.
Judges will evaluate the hackers on three criteria: real world applicability, innovation, and hybrid-crossover strategy. A live audience will also vote, and the top four squads on each team will compete in the finals on November 19.
EventHack judges include Adam Parry of Event Industry News, Keneisha Williams of Black in Events, Ashton Pike of BizBash, Viveka von Rosen of Vengreso, JT Long of Smart Meetings, Arlene Shows of Trade Show News Network, Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball & Co, and more.
The hackers represent organizations including Microsoft, Netflix, Heinz Marketing, IBM, Pinterest, Meeting Professionals International, Salesforce, SITE Global, iSocialFanz, Dahlia+ Agency, SoolNua and more.
McCarthy will co-host the series with Will Curran of EndlessEvents. Curran’s team will work behind the scenes running tech production. Nick Borelli of Borelli Strategies was involved with the event design, and veteran television producer Terisa Whitted is helping bring everything to life.