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Hybrid meetings are not new but for most event planners, they have virtually (pun intended) taken center stage. And to that, we say embrace the change. Our in-house team of professionals (sales, event and guest experience managers, catering staff, and AV experts) continue to help event planners understand and master the elements of hybrid meetings with one, unanimous conclusion:  hybrid events are here and you have nothing to fear.

Hybrid events entered the scene with some hype — and some hyperventilating. For event planners that relied solely on in-person gatherings in a pre-pandemic world, adding a hybrid component had them grappling with Live VERSUS Virtual, but the reality is Live AND Virtual (hybrid) events create an incredibly interactive solution.

Virtual will (and should) never replace In-person meetings,
but the benefits of hybrid meetings are notable:

•  Increase reach and audience — hybrid meetings can attract attendees who otherwise would not attend in-person. In one study, 96% of virtual attendees stated they would NOT attend the live event if there was NOT a virtual component … but of this same group, 27% who attended virtually said they WOULD consider attending in-person after experiencing the event online!

•  Increase audience engagement — adding a virtual layer to your live event creates more engagement options. Virtual audiences actively use their mobile devices and desktop computers — they talk, share, buy, question,  comment, and enjoy the event experience remotely.

•  Increase sponsorships and vendor options — hybrid meetings allow participating vendors to welcome a broader audience, too. That’s good for exposure and lead generation! Adding a virtual layer allows both live and online sponsors, livestreaming, and event apps with or without targeted advertising.

•  Boost data collection — hybrid events can offer data collection that helps evaluate program content, participation and interest levels, booth traffic, and ROI. All of this audience tracking helps planners determine the size and scope of future events.

•  Create a Content Archive — virtual components allow you to record, repurpose, and reshare digital content. This not only creates a valuable archive, but also sets the stage for future event marketing and audience engagement.

GWCC Virtual Option1

Engagement is key

Let’s be clear: a virtual aspect can never fully replace in-person gathering, but a hybrid event can seamlessly integrate and engage both audiences, balance participation, and create a productive, proactive experience. Successful hybrid events put the audience experience first by reminding us that both audiences want the same things:

• Engaging, relevant content

• The ability to easily connect, network and grow

• Simple but exceptional event experiences

Hybrid meetings put an event into high gear

— and believe it or not, they’re easier to host than most planners think. We have a motto at the core for every event hosted at Grand Wayne Convention Center — “Make Good Memories” — and with our hybrid capabilities, we’re helping event planners do that for even bigger audiences, both in-person and remotely.

We’re here to answer your questions and help you make good memories. Contact one of our Sales Managers and tell us what you have in mind.