Our hybrid event manifesto

We believe in the power of events.

We believe physical events will return and will return strongly. They bring a chance to focus, to self-improve, to contribute, to reconnect with colleagues/friends and meet new ones.

If anyone tells you that a virtual event can bring the same benefits and value as a physical event then save a few niche examples, they are lying to you. If anyone tells you that you can give your sponsors the same experience virtually, they are lying to you. You have to get creative…

Winston Churchill is widely attributed to have said that you should “never let a good crisis go to waste”. It may have been Rahm Emmanuel but that isn’t as sexy or impactful and this is the events world where appearances are everything so we’ll just stick with Winston. One thing this crisis has shown is that virtual has a role to play in your event mix but in enhancing rather than replacing physical – I’m talking about Hybrid events.

Hybrid events mean the physical event is augmented by a virtual experience for delegates unable to attend in person. That gives the event organiser the chance to offer the event experience to delegates and partners unable to make the physical event or target delegates who would never have been able to attend. In addition, it gives insurance for a delegate having to suddenly self-isolate due to COVID symptoms that they can still experience the event even if this happens on the morning of the event… the same login as the app they already have needs to let them into the web platform.

We don’t believe in mimicking the physical events with graphics that look like the very first version of Grand Theft Auto or The Sims. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the Death of Joy”. Gimmicks like avatars, talking bobbleheads, and fake 3D environments aren’t our world. These get in the way of functionality and flow so instead we provide a great experience without resorting to expensive tricks.

We built our hybrid platform governed by the following key rules –

  • Complete synchronisation between all activity on the app and the web (message, chat, favourites, agenda)
  • Make login and access quick and easy. 80% of problems are login so we make this seamless and easy
  • Like our apps, our web experience is branded and customised to the event rather than being a container when the event is secondary to the tech platform
  • Immediate access to real people supporting virtual attendees so problems can be dealt with straight-away
  • Analytics but not Stalkerytics. We’ll give key metrics like the number of messages sent, who requested data from a sponsor, who requested and sat meetings BUT we will not track everything delegates did. That’s an invasion of privacy.

We believe in events and see technology playing a huge part in their future. It’s our ambition to provide you with the best possible use of technology to ensure your events are successful this year, next year and for many years to come.

Philip Mayling
Co-Founder Venu-IQ

Also published on Event Industry News

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