Did you know 58% of businesses say they’re planning for a mix of virtual and in-person events aka hybrid events?
That’s huge — but also totally unsurprising.
The pandemic pivot to virtual events pushed businesses big and small to hold all their meetings, summits, conferences, company offsites, etc. online. And in doing so, they were awakened to the advantages specific to this medium: greater attendance, better engagement, more data points, and higher ROI.
It became clear that everyone pivoting to hybrid events needed to get better at it, and fast. And so, there was a pressing need for knowledge exchange, for expert know-how on best practices and strategies to adopt.
As this is something Zuddl and our partner Entertainment Technology Partners (ETP) are really passionate about, we decided to draw from our combined experience in hosting 100s of virtual and hybrid events for the largest companies worldwide - Microsoft, Github, Tiktok, Kelloggs, etc. - to host SHIFT 2021, a one-of-a-kind hybrid event about all things hybrid.
The most important goal, therefore, as in all events hybrid, was to create a seamless, connective, and engaging event experience for all attendees - regardless of whether they were joining the event which was held in July 2020, in-person at the venue in Orlando, or on Zuddl.
What good is any event without top-tier speakers and sessions? Unhampered by travel restrictions, we were able to bring together prominent industry leaders from across the globe to speak at SHIFT 2021, such as Raymond McCarthy Bergeon, the Digital Experience Director at InVision Communications, and Jim Louderback, GM & SVP at Viacom amongst many others. Our line-up consisted of a mixture of virtual and on-site speakers.
Each session aimed to address challenges and opportunities in different functional business areas, such as sales, marketing, recruitment, and community. Each was a masterclass on engagement, growth, and transformation in a new virtual and hybrid world.
Some of the sessions held included:
Thanks to the star-studded lineup and the topics presented, as well as the ability for attendees to tune in virtually, 75% of those who registered for the event attended it. And the average time spent at the event was an impressive 8 hours!
“I really enjoyed attending SHIFT”, comments Mandvi Jaiswal who tuned into the event from India. “As I work in marketing, it was really interesting to learn from speakers like Raymond Bergeron and Christina Garnett about the opportunities that hybrid and virtual offers, and I also liked the virtual networking session.”
Thanks to Zuddl’s in-platform tools such as Chats, Pools & Q&A, attendees were able to actively engage in a two-way conversation with speakers on Stages, making conversations authentic and valuable. Virtual attendees were able to access the tools on the platform, while in-person attendees were able to use the same tools via our mobile app so the attendee experience was synchronized. All tools aimed to make each attendee “see” that they were part of the audience, and feel included and valued.
We also used Zuddl’s Gamification feature to encourage attendees to take part in different activities throughout the event venue, such as at Expo Booths.
The result? Engagement throughout the event was at an all-time high.
Thanks to ETP, our event partner, we were able to livestream a fully produced high-definition broadcast to attendees around the world.
ETP audio and video technicians ensured the best quality by equipping the venue with an LED wall, two broadcast cameras, lighting and sound controls, downstage monitors, and a teleprompting system. The team provided stage management assistance and audio-video control as well, enabling the smooth switching of speakers (live and virtual) and screens during Shift. The end result was an immersive, high-quality, real-time event experience.
People are social creatures, so we knew it was critical to facilitate interaction between attendees, regardless of whether they were at the venue in Florida or joining the event virtually from India. Zuddl has a variety of features that we used to bridge the offline-online divide, and connect attendees with peers from marketing, sales, people operations, etc.
SHIFT 2021 was a path-defining event for hybrid events.
Attendees were able to learn how to stay ahead of the curve by leveraging the indomitable business opportunities hybrid offers: greater reach, inclusivity, higher participation, and better value. And industry leaders speaking about their experiences with hybrid was instrumental in understanding how it can drive value for different use cases. This combination — a commitment to bringing people together for a larger purpose, and imaginative hybrid methods to achieve a goal — is increasingly important in our tumultuous times.
“As we emerge on the other side of Covid, it’s clear that hybrid is going to play a pivotal for businesses of all sizes and no matter the industry because of the benefits and convenience they offer. Through SHIFT, Zuddl and ETP are proud to have highlighted the exciting opportunities that hybrid offers, and facilitated indispensable real-world guidance on putting it into play. The need of the hour is for marketing and event leaders to adapt quickly or run the risk of falling behind.”
Entertainment Technology Partners (ETP) is the parent company to a global collection of independent brands in the events and entertainment industry including Event EQ, Pixl, and LMG.