The world has witnessed and been forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to start working virtually from home. For the event industry, this is the time when a so-called “virtual event” arises and becomes a part of our “new normal” lifestyle. Now every business company and event agency is trying to build a virtual world (sometimes called virtual event, sometimes using a buzzword like “Metaverse.”) and host the event online so people can join from anywhere at any time. Then we got the vaccines and more knowledge to return to the physical world. The in-person event is supposed to be back, but this time in a new form called “hybrid event.”
A hybrid event is a form of event that hosts physically in the real world along with an online platform. The goal is to share the experience between the on-site and online locations. The answer is easy because you can. But “can” is not enough to kick off your project. Do you need to figure out how hosting a hybrid event will give you in return? That’s one of the critical questions you need to answer yourself first. Because without this goal, you’ll be lost along the way.
Today we will talk about what factor should be your event ROI goal and how to measure it correctly. So you won’t be confused at any steps while hosting the hybrid event.
We suggest you look at this step in the big picture, not too specific. For example, you might want to gain attendees if you’re doing it to increase the company’s reputation. In a case like this, the quantity of in-person and online attendees is your primary goal. Here is the list of our suggested ROI you should focus on, categorized by what you want to achieve by hosting an event.
These 4 are only our basic suggestions. Your ROI goal can be specific, like brand awareness, qualified leads, membership, etc. These things are based on what industry you’re in.
Let’s say you already have your ROI goal for the event. Now it’s time to set the metric to measure your results. First, you need to break the ROI down into a bullet list.
For example, your event is free-to-join with a budget from the sponsor, but you need to prove that your event strategy can increase engagement rates more than the others. In this case, you need to check how many people have joined each session, how long they have been in each room, and which feature is the most popular, to name a few.
Or another case, the revenue. Suppose financial is the main key factor of your event. You need to count the ticket sales and the budget you’ve got from each sponsor, booth booking fees, and donations (for some kind of event). And not just the income; the expense is the factor to calculate for this kind of ROI.
Business matchmaking works well in both in-person and virtual events. And you can measure everything from how many people are joined to how many mentor sessions are booked. How long are the discussion hours? Do they exchange their contact information for further business discussions? Every action can be measured as your KPI if you know what you want to look at in the first place. In addition, knowing where people are and which features are popular among the attendees helps you know where to invest/focus more when the next event comes.
The challenge of KPI measurement in the hybrid event is that you must be able to track everything on both in-person and virtual platforms in real-time and at the same time. And you can’t perform this task very well without the professional tech-based software specifically designed for the event (writer’s note: Happenn can do that).
You may still not be sure if hosting the hybrid event is necessary for your business or not? Well, some exciting statistical information might help us convince you that this is the next generation of the event industry (I hate to say this, but I have to admit that we evolved this fast because of the COVID-19 outbreak). Here it is.
“62% of event organizers will continue to plan hybrid events even when in-person events are normalized. This is based on the survey conducted by the Event Manager Blog. The 2022 hybrid events will further showcase their true potential.” – Skift Meeting
“81% of event organizers say that networking capabilities are a key contributor to audience satisfaction of hybrid events.” – BigMarker
“72% of corporate sponsors are interested in participating in hybrid events.” – BigMarker
“7 months after the event, 86% of B2B companies perceive a positive ROI on their hybrid events.” – MultiTV
“71% of event organizers want to retain some virtual elements even if things normalize and open up again. Therefore, 2022 will see a rise in hybrid events.” – vFairs
The hybrid event trend has taught us one important lesson. Changing doesn’t always mean leaving something behind and getting only a new one. For example, we have seen the rise of virtual events in the past few years. Now the in-person event is available to come back, but we, all the people in the event industry, also learned that we still can use the good points of virtual events along with the traditional in-person event. And we’re happy to see this happen.
When the time comes, we, Happenn, would like to be a part of your event’s success. If you’re looking for a professional tech-based event platform to maximize your ROI and engage your event experience. We’re always here to make it happen.