There is no ‘why’ in hybrid

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Over the past 20 months the event world has changed more quickly and more completely than any 2019 prediction suggested it might. What better time then, to talk Top Tech for Exhibitions.

With input from the likes of Showcase AVi, Conference Compass, Hubs 101, Exposure Analytics and Eventscase, we look at how ‘texpertise’ can help organisers foster the very best response from the show floor.

Hybrid is the key post-pandemic and across these pages experts dig into the detail, highlighting the difference their solutions can make, in every dimension.

1. Showcase: The changing face of technology in events

Not that it’s new news, but live events are back and nobody knows this better than Showcase as in the past two weeks they’ve been in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Amsterdam, where they have created five hybrid events. The events themselves were Housing 2021, Autumn Fair, Glee Birmingham, Money 2020 and World Retail Congress Summit.

Like everyone, Showcase hadn’t done an in-person event for over a year, not that they’ve been resting, virtual and hybrid events have kept them occupied, but in that time as you can imagine technology and its uses have changed.

Dave Harding-Lyle comments: “Technology never sits still and has always played an important role in what we do at live exhibitions. Before the pandemic we embraced innovative solutions for such roles as: designing sets and stages, building exhibition stands, event sound & video and printing. That hasn’t changed, we still actively research the best and most creative ways to execute these elements, but what has changed is the role of live streaming – in particular at hybrid events.”

With the return of in-person events, many thought that the importance of hybrid events would diminish, but that is not the case. It seems that the virtual offering and the technology that goes with them is now an increasingly important part of live exhibitions.

In the past, hybrid in particular was associated with the audience members, now it’s the speakers. At the five in-person exhibitions that Showcase created in September, they all included a live stream element. At Housing 2021, speakers were streamed in to the live stage, meanwhile at World Retail Congress Summit key speakers were streamed in. This new interest in virtual/hybrid being part of the live exhibition world has led to Showcase expanding their digital department and hiring Matthew Wilson as their dedicated Digital Manager. 

Live streaming makes sense when it comes to speakers, the benefits are on both sides. The organisers can attract a wider collection of key speakers, who in turn are not put off attending because of travel restrictions.

This new role for live streaming does not alter the fact that there is still a need for excellent project management and a skilled team operating the technology. Showcase has always put organisation and planning at the top of their list. A good thing, as at Housing 2021 the recent Secretary of State for Housing was running late, so had to be streamed in with only minutes to spare. A relief then that Showcase understands that technology is only as good as the person operating it.

Dave Harding Lyle states: “ We always want to go the extra mile for our clients, be that introducing new technology, planning ahead or as we are doing at the moment offering £1,500 worth of free rental furniture to any client who commissions us to design, build and deliver a feature area. It’s also a way to celebrate the return of live events.” 

https://weareshowcase.com

2. The possibilities of hybrid exhibitions are endless with Conference Compass

We are at the brink of what’s perhaps the most exciting moment in the history of the event industry. After a long period of restrictions for traveling and large gatherings, event planners are now looking to organize in-person events again. Most have learned how to run their events successfully online and will use this newly acquired knowledge in their strategy moving forward.

By combining the best elements of online with the best elements of in-person events, there will be a leap forward for event engagement. Hybrid events combine the superpowers of online and in-person events to create better experiences. The possibilities of hybrid events are endless, and our industry is at the very start of discovering those.

Some hybrid events will aim to include both online and in-person attendees at a single unified experience. Others will create dedicated programs for each audience, with some overlap, for instance, for keynotes and Q&As. Yet other events will split the program in time, with a dedicated in-person event followed by an online “deep dive” a week later.

At Conference Compass, we have supported over a thousand in-person events with our mobile event apps and hundreds of online events with our virtual event platform. Many of our customers have plugged their AV equipment into our platform for instant engagement around their studio sessions, creating many of the first hybrid events. 

Moreover, we have been a trailblazer of event apps for 11 years. We aim to revolutionise the world of events and the way attendees experience in-person & hybrid exhibitions and conferences. We built our powerful hybrid platform that has integrated live-streaming capabilities and comes with a native mobile event app and online web app with a well-designed, interactive, and user-friendly interface.

Conference Compass’ hybrid platform enables event professionals to engage their communities year-round by bringing their content to life and seamlessly uniting on-site and online experiences. This is done by providing access to all content, including live streams and on-demand recordings. Extremely responsive and easy to use, our hybrid platforms give users complete control over their events. Users can tailor-make their platform and push real-time updates with a well-built content management system.

Our hybrid platform provides instant access to real-time analytics, downloadable reports, and session evaluations. The access to the platform is secure for all of its users, and it could be custom-made and used on any device. Our sustainable technology solutions are the keys to unlocking productivity, efficiency, and event ROI. And this comes with amplifying reach, depth, and human connection in one hybrid platform. 

3. Eventscase: What do brands look for when exhibiting at a trade show?

Event sponsorships are the top choice for organisers to monetise events. In fact, 29.7% of all organisers admit that sponsorships are their main source of income from virtual events (EMBlog).

Managing Sponsor Expectations

As Mike Butcher, Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch says: “We really try to work with sponsors to achieve their goals, while at the same time, maintaining editorial independence. A lot of these sponsors don’t just want to have a sponsor sticker slapped onto an event. They want to do something that has a real conversational element to it.”

So by communicating with your sponsors, you can create tailor-made sponsorship packages. These discussions will also help eliminate any false expectations that your sponsor has from you and your event.

How To Sell a Valuable Sponsorship Opportunity? 

The average rate for virtual and hybrid event sponsorship packages is $8,456, according to markletic.com.

Acknowledge that you are offering tremendous marketing value to your exhibitors. But don’t forget, your main focus is providing the event-goers with a valuable experience. So let that be the driving force behind your event planning and exhibitors selection.

Best practices when managing exhibitors in a trade show

  • Ask the exhibitors to update their information, such as the company logo, description, etc.
  • Remind exhibitors to upload downloadable files (brochures, presentations, etc.) that website or app users can access.
  • Use the Eventscase platform to integrate the exhibitors’ product with the 1-2-1 meeting scheduler since this would make booking online meetings with exhibitors more intuitive.

If you are a current customer of Eventscase, you can see more best practices and tutorials on how to best manage your exhibitors on the Eventscase Knowledge Base.

Conclusion

Virtual and hybrid events may make it seem hard to find sponsorships. But it is good to remind yourself that sponsors only want one thing: access to your audience.

Exhibitors want to see value for their brands on each touchpoint of an event and, with Eventscase, organisers can maximise their exhibitor’s experience and provide them with insightful data.

The Eventscase platform offers marketing and management tools specifically developed for trade shows. With it, organisers can

  • Create different types of exhibitor stands
  • Establish exhibitor categories
  • Create a registration form for exhibitors
  • Add exhibitors (one-by-one or in bulk).

If you are a current customer, contact your Project Manager to activate the Exhibitors Area. If you want to start today, signup for a free trial at https://eventscase.com

Contact us:

enquiries@eventscase.com

4. hubs101

The only event app on the market built by an event management company with more than ten years of experience, with hubs101, you can create the ideal event for attendees, exhibitors, and organizers, thanks to its comprehensive functionality with all components needed for a successful conference.

hubs101 guarantees the success of an event when companies and business partners promote their brands on it. That is because hubs101 offers all event attendees matchmaking services that may direct them to the exhibitors corresponding with their interests. The AI-powered service will first screen through available data and then recommend sessions to attend, speakers to meet, and exhibitors to visit, with matching affinity displayed in order.

It saves event-goers time and trouble by narrowing down the choices of sessions, speakers, and exhibitors and focusing on the ones that match event-goers interests. As a result, it propels networking with relevant connections and reaching business agreements at events.

hubs101’s AI-powered matchmaking is not the only thing that makes an exhibitor successful. All event-goers get real-time data and analytics to track their progress and adjust as needed throughout events. Total visits, clicks, and downloads are accessible on the exhibitor dashboard, among other data, which exhibitors can also break down by demographics, such as job level, industry, company size, and geolocation.

With the analytics, exhibitors can see whether their content engages the target audience at the expected level. If something goes wrong during the event, exhibitors can address it early on and avoid missing KPIs in the end.

Besides the two unique features, exhibitors also enjoy an all-in-one online event platform that streamlines essential functions. On hubs101, exhibitor’s contacts, content, and sessions are integrated into booths to make it easier for visitors to interact with exhibitors, click on links, download content, and add sessions to their in-app and external calendars.

hubs101 ensures an obstacle-free communications tunnel between exhibitors and visitors so that both can interact with one another as at an on-premise event. Now that Corona has led the event industry onto the path of digitization, hubs101 aims to provide an online event experience that is not only comparable to on-premise events but also excels in parts that on-premise events cannot achieve.

Contact:

Ariel Wu, Product Marketing Manager, ariel.wu@hubs101.com

5. Exposure Analytics is a multi-award-winning spatial analytics business specialising in footfall and occupancy data for the events and live space industries

With nearly 50 years experience in the events industry and over 3,500 events measured with our systems, Exposure Analytics are no doubt the market leader for measurement within the events industry. Our sensors have been deployed globally for some of the world-leading agencies, organisers and global brands winning us multiple awards along the way.

Our live dashboard presents key statistics that give a clear picture of the effectiveness of your activity both in real time and as summarised post event data, the dashboard can be accessed anywhere in the world and the information can be easily extracted to be used in tandem with other data sets you may be collecting.

Some of our statistics include:

·        Real-time capacity measurement (with the option to include threshold notifications and or traffic light system)

·        Detailed visitor engagement statistics

·        Detailed statistics on passing visitors/eyes to market

·        Visitor dwell times (To the activation/event as a whole and individual areas or products)

·        The conversion rate of passing to engaged visitors

·        Real-Time flowchart showing visitor trends and routes of choice

·        Heatmaps

·        Flowcharts

If you would like to learn more about our systems and how we can help you understand attendance figures and visitor behaviours, please get in touch.

6. Customise your environment down to the smallest detail with EXVO from AllSeated

The majority of the virtual event landscape are apps that broadcast content. The experience is passive consumption with text chat and feels more like a conference call than an event. In addition, events like trade shows aren’t able to really provide value to stakeholders. A year without in-person events compounded the negatives of these types of engagement which caused unprecedented user fatigue and losses in revenue.

Allseated EXVO was designed from the start as an engagement engine driving the return on objectives for planners’ goals. EXVO provides an intuitive attendee experience that fits a large variety of virtual and hybrid strategies. EXVO provides a software platform specifically designed for the events industry, allowing participants to do most of the things they do at an in-person event in an immersive 3D virtual environment.

Think of EXVO as an in-person event’s digital twin. With hundreds of virtual copies of real venues from all over the world and thousands of objects that can be easily used to customize designs, the only limit to what can be created is your imagination. All these options make telling the stories of your brand through themes and positioning sponsors and exhibitors incredibly impactful.

In EXVO, attendees move freely through a venue in an interactive, self-guided experience. They can network with exhibitors, sponsors, peers, and new connections with ease. Whether exploring the trade show floor, watching a presentation, listening to speakers, browsing exhibit booths, or networking in the hallway, connect and share face-to-face with real people. Choose where to go, who talk to, and what content to consume in a customizable, fully branded, monetizable, 3D virtual environment.

Customize the environment down to the smallest detail. EXVO offers a variety of venue model, floorplan, small room, and speaker stage options. Add digital branding options throughout a venue including live or on-demand media activations, multimedia hosting, and sponsor signage. Integrate client-provided content including live stream, video, and slide shows. Include 1-on-1 conversation, group chat, and instant messaging. Understand participants with real-time critical data. Gain lead intelligence and help improve future events. The platform offers a user-friendly interface and 24/7 live chat support.

Backed by more than 8 years of close collaboration with the events industry, EXVO is built by events professionals for events professionals. EXVO brings the in-person experience to virtual and hybrid events. Learn more. Visit Allseated.com.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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