Exploring Return to Life Innovation Strategies for When In-Person Events Return

Kristen Carvalho |

Female attendee attending a hybrid event from the her home office waving at another attendee that is onsite at the eventCOVID-19 has plummeted the entire world into isolation. In the last year, remote working and events have entirely dominated the limited socialization of the globe. However, humans are social creatures. Remote events and get-togethers will not remain the dominant form of entertainment.

Eventually, more in-person events will return. Albeit, marketing teams will need to adjust to the novice ways of life innovation strategies when in-person events return. This article will discuss the ins and outs of what marketing teams should expect as the world prepares to welcome a safe environment for in-person events.

What Will the Future of Events Look Like?

The global pandemic has not conjured a new form of event-hosting. However, it did prove the need for and stressed the implementation of virtual events. Overnight, virtual events catapulted from a plausible and actionable experiment to the main event in socializing and entertainment.

This push proved to the world that virtual events are the way of the future. Instead of meandering around the idea of how virtual events will work, marketing teams needed to take action.

The show must go on, as they say. And, it did.....gloriously.

video camera setup in an empty auditorium

During the shutdown, businesses, marketers, and event planners worked together to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and figure out how to make life and entertainment continue as we know it.

Now that we are looking toward getting back to meeting safely, in the same room as our fellow humans, what will future events look like?

The best marketing minds predict that the future of events is not exclusively virtual or in-person but hybrid. Much like the world has integrated cellular technology, virtual assistants, and remote working into our everyday lives, hybrid events will also prosper.

First hybrid event held at Marina Bay Sands Hybrid-Broadcast StudioImage Source: WIT

Having a hybrid event means that aspects of both physical and virtual experiences can offer advantages to those at an event and those choosing to experience the event from another location. 

Imagine experiencing and participating in a conference taking place physically anywhere in the world, without leaving your home or office. The bounds of potential for networking and exploration within a field of study or interest through hybrid events are limitless.

How Can you Turn In-Person Events into Engaging Virtual or Hybrid Experiences?

There is no denying that the world is going to be forever changed by the global pandemic. Hosting in-person events will likely never be as simple as it once was. Yet, that doesn’t mean you cannot develop engaging virtual or hybrid experiences, making your event even better than it was before.

Here are the best ways experts ensure you can turn your in-person events into engaging virtual or hybrid experiences:

Run Every Aspect of the Event on One Platform

The culmination of bringing together all your information for an event in one platform, whether your virtual or in-person directions, schedule, or access, offers solidarity, strength, networking, and unity. You want to have one centralized, mobile, and digital location to give everyone involved in the event a place to go that will answer all their questions. That will give everyone the access and innovation they need to feel included, both virtually and in-person, whatever way they choose to attend your event.

Create Interactive Sessions

Ensure your event provides opportunities for both virtual and in-person attendees to interact with your content. You can utilize tools such as live polls or Q&As to keep your virtual audience engaged with meaningful interactions. Also, consider using a mobile app specifically for your event that both in-person and virtual attendees can use to interact with each other. Creating interaction amongst your audience is a great way to combat the constant distractions your virtual audience faces and to unify your disparate attendees from wherever they may be.

Event professional looking at virtual and hybrid event engagement kpis on their mobile phone

Foster Engagement Between your Live and Virtual Audiences

Another great way to keep your audience engaged is by fostering interactions between both your live and virtual audience. One of the easiest and most effective ways to achieve this is by implementing breakout sessions throughout your event that groups both virtual and in-person attendees together. This creates real interactions between both types of attendees making your entire audience feel more connected to each other. It also provides your attendees with a great opportunity to network with other industry professionals.

What are the Most Innovative Event Marketing Strategies to Implement in the Wake of Covid-19?

Marketing teams have many changes coming down the pike when in-person events return, and while the prospect is exciting, it can also be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are some innovative event marketing strategies to implement in the wake of Covid-19 to help marketing teams in this unprecedented pursuit:

Co-host the Event with a Partner

Hosting your event with a partner is a great method for marketing your event. Now, instead of you solely being responsible for audience generation, your partner shares in that responsibility. It also opens up your event to both your audience and the audience of your partner. For instance, both you and your partner can set attendance goals driving both teams to target their ideal customer profiles to help drive a quality audience that aligns with both of your strategies.

Event marketing team in a conference room designing their virtual and hybrid event campaign

On top of providing you with a larger audience, co-hosting your event with a partner can also provide additional expertise to your audience. This brings more value to your audience as it offers more areas of expertise than you could alone. After the initial event you co-host with your partner, you both will have a framework for future virtual events either of you can host.

Utilize your Existing Web-Presence

A great way to enhance the marketing of your event is through your already established online presence. This can be through your website, social media, an event website, retargeting ads, email campaigns, or any other online format you've established an audience through. You can add a simple section onto your homepage that leads to your event landing page as an easy method to start cross-promoting.

Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Event

To expand on this, you could also begin writing articles about your event to leverage the power of content marketing for your event. On top of creating articles, you can also talk about the opportunities present at your event on your social media as well as promote the articles you write. Leveraging your existing web-presence provides a great method of marketing your virtual event as anyone online can attend your hybrid event instead of only those near your location.

In summation, marketing teams exploring the return to life innovation when in-person events return are on the precipice of a whole new world. There is so much excitement through the designs that will happen through virtual and hybrid events in the coming years.

For more information or direction in creating your virtual or hybrid event, contact Aventri and watch your event come to life!


Aventri's Virtual & Hybrid Event Guide

This Post was Written by Kristen Carvalho

Kristen Carvalho joined Aventri's Marketing team in November 2013. Over the last 4 years she has been a part of the content and events team, and is now the company’s Director of Events & Content Marketing. She is responsible for the company's event...

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