The possibilities for hybrid events in 2022 and how brands can stand out in a crowded virtual events space

By Luke Brown, Managing Director, Event Management at Bray Leino

The possibility for hybrid events in 2021 and beyond is truly limitless. The events industry has reached a point where organisers have been compelled to blend both digital and physical audiences. 35% of Bray Leino Events’ global clients are already planning to continue their hybrid event journey going into 2022. 

Brands that pivoted their events and marketing towards hybrid models have now reaped the rewards of in-person relationship building and engagement while also capitalising on the flexibility and inclusivity of virtual elements. Some people may still not feel comfortable attending large-scale events or be medically vulnerable, and hybrid events present an opportunity for brands to create memorable experiences while the industry continues to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

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Just some of the scenarios that hybrid experiences can bring the best of both worlds:

Bespoke virtual showrooms – demo your products or software solutions in a hybrid showcase, save time and save costs on shipping equipment and bulky items to a trade show. Transport prospective customers to a personalised tour of your manufacturing facilities and immerse them into your brand values!

Brand building and employee bonding – encourage employees from multiple offices to collaborate, come together for quarterly results meetings or wellbeing and social activities

Brand launches – you may have a select list of VIPs that attend an in-person event with footage and full information available in a brand portal that works alongside a livestream of brand experts who can answer direct questions on how the product adds value to their business 

Green benefits – Many brands now also want to take advantage of lessening their environmental impact and meet CSR by offering online alternatives to visiting a trade show and flying in

Large-scale media events – it’s no longer truly necessary to bring together journalists from across the globe to receive the same information! Details can be tailored depending on the sector or higher-tiers having access to interview brand spokespeople and additional media briefings

On demand content – if an attendee is unable to make the physical event for whatever reason, the content can be accessed online at any time in a virtual branded space with the option to ask questions of organisers or sales and marketing teams  

Scalability – solutions like Bray Leino Events’ VX Lab mean ROI and costs are driven down by scaling down the live event budget and increasing online presence. Faced with natural disasters which have serious impacts on international travel, hybrid events mean brands can benefit from significantly less disruption to business and trade

Hybrid means different, not lesser

Hybrid experiences should not become an ‘us vs. them’ where physical attendees gain more than virtual ones – but welcome a sense of togetherness across all attendees. This can be encouraged by interactivity such as Q&As with a virtual audience asking a studio panel questions that can be moderated to filter out any irrelevant chatter.  

Brands can gain insight from valuable data and metrics that when compared to stand visitor scanners can tell a lot more detail about how engaged each visitor is with your content, what formats or sessions worked best or which faced higher drop-off and use this data to better tailor future events. These metrics can feed into wider marketing and communications plans when looking at content or favourite topics of discussion amongst your brand’s audience. Your success can be determined by how engaged your audience is – be sure to ask them directly for post-event feedback to see which elements are more successful than others for your audience. 

What VX Lab can offer

A virtual experience that forms part of a wider event – totally immersive, 3D and bespoke to your brand. Visitors can explore your brand’s online environment as they choose where and when they access your content.

Take a look at the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai – one of the latest brands to use VX Lab fully integrated into the UK events programme. The creative and digital team at Bray Leino Events is designing, developing and hosting a fully immersive UK Pavilion environment that combines both 3D 360º views of all the key areas with interactive hotspots where visitors can explore specific zones and access relevant information. 191 countries are taking part in the hybrid global event and VX Lab is helping ensure that the UK Pavilion is one of the top 5 attractions that guests choose to visit.

If you’re thinking about how to maximise your event success in the last FQ of 2021 or into 2022, we’d love to hear from you here at Bray Leino Events – a trusted partner in hybrid events. 

Luke Brown, MD, Event Management, Bray Leino

Luke has delivered hundreds of live events, experiences and campaigns across the globe – working with some pretty high-profile contributors including Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, Prime Ministers and Presidents, to name but a few. Luke leads the Live Events Team, developing new and innovative solutions to wow audiences. www.brayleinoevents.com

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