The Hybrid Conundrum

We chanced upon an interesting read in the Financial Times. Here’s the TL;DR

  • Post pandemic events and conferences are more likely to be hybrid events than fully digital ones
  • The hybrid conference model is sold as a covid-friendly way of holding an event.
  • Hybrid events require all the planning of an in-person event plus the tech requirements of live streaming which can be ramped up should the in-person segment be cancelled.
  • Seth Godin, marketing expert, remarks that conferences may use “false control” measures while running the risk of “burning time , attention and trust”
  • Here he refers to the use of technology at events to create interactive elements in place of meaningful in-person interactions. 
  • While hybrid events seem practical for now, the lack of affiliative social engagement (the preference for the connection when people share live experiences like responding to a punchline or music together) that creates “you had to be there” moments is a missed opportunity.
  • Conferences, business panels and work-related events remain in crisis with decline in sales, cancellations and ever changing conditions.
  • Do we run the risk of planning events with the in-person element considered as an afterthought?  Online and virtual first?
  • The quality of hybrid experiences are hard to control given the planning, technical complexities and content curation. 
  • So, the key question is if a hybrid event remains valuable after the live segment is over.
  • Great events and moments of connection depend on drawing an audience together who are experiencing similar emotional reactions and intellectual insights at the same time.
  • Barring the ability to execute an event with high production value for both live and digital components should one consider simplifying the goals and targets for your next event.  Sometimes, less is more.

What do you think? 

Adapted from the Financial Times

Photo credits: Einerhand and Product School on Unsplash

Event Service Professional

Nayra Events

“Nayra Events is very much a family business. 

I may be the one leading in terms of design but the team is made of mostly family members – like my husband and dad – who are responsible for the execution. A strong support system and understanding are very important to ensure the idea turns into reality.

We have no favourites as every event has a story of its own. However, I think we will never ever forget 5th April 2020 – when the Government announced that there could be no more solemnisations after 7th April, just before the Circuit Breaker. 

Imagine the chaos among our clients who were supposed to get solemnised that week! Instead, we scrambled to put up something for all of them on the 5th and 6th. It was a mad rush, but seeing how emotionally thankful these clients were was really worth it. We are just glad that our role helped to put a smile on their face during that stressful period.

Covid has really changed the way events are planned and managed. We had to pivot from managing big events to small events in higher quantities to cover our operating costs. It’s still hard to predict what’s coming during this uncertain time. But what’s for sure is that we have to accept and adapt to the everchanging situation so that we will not be left behind.

Nayra Events thrives on minimalistic design and styling. We hold to the ‘Less is more’ rule as we like our setups to look clean. This allows the form and materials used to stand out and show their individual beauty.

We are still new in the industry and are still learning. One thing is for sure: we are always exploring and experimenting with new ideas so that every event is unique and has a style of its own.”


Nayra Events

Event styling, mostly for weddings

Photo credit: Nayra Events Website


How luxury event planners have kept the show going

The show must go on and even with Covid-19 restrictions in play, brands and luxury event planners have found ways to create bespoke experiences.

For one, some event planners such as Adagio Events founder Olga Iserlis managed to hold physical events in safe and creative ways.  She organised an event for Audemars Piguet and fashion label Laichan last December at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, where guests could examine watch models and try clothing in small groups in person.  

Other event planners have shifted the focus of their events to accommodate the changes in the scene, presenting alternatives to traditional programmes.  Lucas Yang, co-founder of marketing agency The Inner Clique, realised that his clients were showing interest in business and investment.  The agency started organising online workshops and sharing sessions where potential investors and businesses could come together and experts could provide useful information on these issues.  

And of course, there has been a movement into the virtual domain.  To respond to Zoom fatigue, integrated communications agency Directions Group Inc, created a customised microsite for virtual events and partnered a green screen production studio that supported livestreaming.  

And Alexis Lhoyer, global partner and chief business officer of Chab, said that virtual events and digital broadcasts now take up 80% of the company’s projects.  Chab was compelled to increase the quality of its digital event presentations and put together the Insead Alumni Forum Europe 2021 with a custom-built digital networking environment featuring a virtual dance floor.  

Said Lhoyer, “We should continue to explore how we can be agile with our transferable skill sets to remain relatable in the current situation.”

  • Adapted from CNA Luxury

Photo credit : Adagio Events.

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