Thinking about putting on a hybrid event? Not sure if attendees will feel safe in taking part in in-person elements right now, or worried about the potential workload? While putting on a hybrid event can be challenging, our recent survey can help you check in with the rest of the industry and prepare for your event.
These past months, thousands of hybrid events have utilized Whova’s hybrid event platform to help manage their events. Whova has reached out to them and their participants including thousands of organizers and attendees alike and collected over 900 responses about their thoughts on and expectations for the hybrid format. Here’s a quick look at some of the results from our free report:
Question #1: What’s the earliest time for people to start attending in person?
Despite more and more attendees being vaccinated, we were surprised to find that nearly half the attendees don’t feel comfortable moving back in person before the year’s end. The majority of both organizers and attendees listed January 2022 as the absolute earliest they would be comfortable with in-person events, although a few more optimistic organizers do plan to have in-person attendees this September.
If you are going to hold an in-person event, you’ll have the most attendees willing to attend sometime early next year, though the gradual move to back in person may start closer to autumn of this year. Some courageous attendees say they would be open to attending in-person events even now, but we believe safety comes first 🙂
Question #2: What do you want organizers to provide as a remote attendee?
On the other side, we also asked attendees what was important to them when they attending a hybrid event remotely. While we initially expected smooth streaming to be the main priority for remote attendees, over 75% of attendees listed video replay as their biggest concern.
Hybrid attendees don’t seem to be content with things going back to the way things were in person; they know that they still might have to miss some sessions, and they expect the same accessibility they had at purely virtual events. Moreover, remote attendees are especially likely to have to miss sessions throughout the day, due to scheduling conflicts, time zone differences, and at-home distractions among other reasons, meaning that being able to return to a session after a fact is going to be a bigger priority than streaming in the moment.
Attendees also have high expectations for remote engagement and networking, with over 60% listing participating in Q&A as a priority and around 55% mentioning networking. While it’s easy for engagement and networking opportunities to come up naturally in person, make sure you’re planning remote-specific networking sessions so virtual attendees can connect with each other without feeling left out.
Question #3: By 2023, after the pandemic is over globally, will you still attend events remotely?
Once the pandemic is completely over, things can theoretically return as they were, but many attendees don’t seem to want them to. An overwhelming 93% of attendees said that they were open to continuing to attend events remotely even once it’s completely safe to return in-person, showing how important the benefits of hybrid and virtual events, from reduced costs to saved time, can be for attendees.
This also means that understanding how to organize a hybrid event is a skill that very well might stay useful well after in-person events are completely safe.
Questions #4-8: Just ask!
Because of space constraints, we’ve put together a full report with survey results and analysis for all eight questions in a free downloadable PDF.
If you’re interested in hearing more from fellow organizers and hybrid event attendees alike, just contact your Whova account manager. If you don’t have an account manager, request a live demo so an event consultant can share the report with you.