Is the term Hybrid holding us back?

The AIME Knowledge Program session started by proposing to remove the term hybrid from our event vocabulary altogether! Why?

Author: Deanna Varga       

Is the term Hybrid holding us back?

The AIME Knowledge Program session started by proposing to remove the term hybrid from our event vocabulary altogether! Why? Because some would argue that having content designed for a face-to-face event delivered online, is not doing anyone any favours. Approaching event design from a ‘hybrid’ perspective, may not allow room to focus on the very different needs of a virtual versus a face-to-face audience – and then time to consider how to monetise those needs.

With two very different audiences in play, face-to-face and virtual, we asked, ‘what is the true value of a hybrid event?’ Are they really what our audiences need, want and, importantly, will pay for?

Experienced event professionals have been pondering the topic for two years and how they can monetise their online content, especially with non-members and non-traditional event participants.

Jodi Phillips, Event Coordinator, Statistical Society of Australia, who attended the session, was motivated to think about the monetisation of content assets their organisation already has: “We liked the idea of the subscription model for non-members. The session made us think that there’s potentially a third revenue stream we hadn’t considered.”

In an earlier webinar on the same topic held prior to the AIME Knowledge Program, Atifa Silk, Managing Director at Haymarket Asia, and Razlan Manjaji, Head of Global Events at South China Morning Post urged event professionals to experiment, exploring creative ways to build a post-event content strategy. One of the many suggestions included packaging content into deeper and more insightful reports that are made available only to members, contributing to the paid membership value.

Further, a similar sentiment on the digital experience was echoed at the AIME Knowledge Program. It remains important to invest in talents and the technology platform, as failure to do so may sometimes be worse than doing nothing.

Top tips from the Australian panel to consider when monetising virtual events and if hybrid events are right for you:

  1. Do your research! – Know the audience
  2. Sometimes it is worse than doing nothing… a poor digital interface leaves a lasting negative impression
  3. Leverage & Repurpose: Integrate existing content into online learning modules via a learning management system (but remember the shelf life of the content)
  4. Consider paid subscriptions for non-members and non-attendees
  5. If you are digitally integrated… stop being a sheep and find innovative solutions for your community

If Hybrid isn’t the way forward what is? Here are the terms the session came up with: Dual Events, Blended, Mixed and Fusion experiences.

This AIME Knowledge Program session was moderated by Adjunct Associate Professor Deanna Varga, Founder and CEO, Mayvin Global; with speakers Melanie Wilson National Manager, Conference and Events, RACGP and Stephen Noble, Manager, Asia Pacific, The Conference Company. The Asia Pacific webinar session with Atifa Silk, Managing Director at Haymarket Asia, and Razlan Manjaji, Head of Global Events at South China Morning Post was also moderated by Deanna Varga.