If there is one thing we learned with regard to business meetings in 2020 it’s that adaptability is key. The most successful companies over the last year are those that pivoted away from all in-person events, weathered the storm of all-virtual events and settled in to a happy new reality known as, Hybrid Events.
The embracing of Hybrid Events as a realistic substitute for the in-person conferences of the past is a relatively new concept. But a quick look back to life not so long ago tells a very revealing story about how business meetings and conferences were produced pre-COVID, throughout 2020, and how these Hybrid Events will look for the foreseeable future.
A little over a year ago the world went on lockdown. Offices closed. Employees stayed home. Everything moved on-line including; in-person events, meetings and conferences. In the span of a few weeks everything we did that consisted of being face-to-face with other people ceased to exist. In it’s place we found ourselves becoming more and more acquainted with apps like Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and more.
For businesses the switch to virtual for day-to-day meetings wasn’t nearly as abrupt as the change everyone faced when it came to larger meetings and conferences.
Thankfully it seems we are beginning to turn a corner and as we return to a version of life that more closely resembles our Pre-Covid world it is accompanied by the reality that there was a significant silver-lining to all this grey.
Many of the virtual tools we relied on over the last year suddenly showed themselves to be quite useful. So much so that now, as we return to ‘normal’, the question has become, how can we combine the best of both worlds into a unique event?
It will come has no surprise that Hybrid Moon has been utilizing the Hybrid Events model for quite some time. And not just because our names are so similar, but it is an important facet of what we provide to the marketplace. Over the last 18 months Hybrid Moon has had the opportunity to create, design and produce some truly revolutionary Hybrid Events for a variety of clients.
NetOne Grand Champions
One of the most entertaining Hybrid Events, Hybrid Moon produced this year was for our partners at NetOne. NetOne is a global network of security firms and every year they reward their most outstanding employees with the designation of Grand Champions and with it a reward vacation to a beautiful tropical location.
But as with everything else in 2020 our partners at NetOne were faced with the reality that the 2020 Grand Champion event might need to be canceled or at minimum modified. Instead of allowing a little thing like a global pandemic to slow them down, NetOne circled their wagons and brainstormed ideas on how they could produce an event that would live up to the excitement of their trips from previous years.
One of their first calls was to our production team at Hybrid Moon. Together we helped them turn their hopes for a Hybrid Event into a reality. We identified the aspects of previous trips that were still possible and we got to work building a unique Hybrid Event that their Grand Champions would remember for years to come.
For one they decided to still reward each Grand Champion with a trip, but instead of having everyone attend the same vacation at the same time they gave each Grand Champion the ability to select whichever vacation destination they wanted from a list of 8 options.
For one aspect of the Hybrid Event we helped them produce a series of Travel Tip videos to guide the Grand Champions as they planned their reward vacation. Each video tackled a different aspect of travel planning during COVID. Everything from travel insurance and passports to sunblock and crocs.
Larry the Cable Guy
In the past conferences often included special performances by popular bands or comedians. In an attempt to keep that part of the experience alive and incorporate it in this Hybrid Event we worked with NetOne to hire one of the stars of the Disney ‘Cars’ franchise as well as one of the founding members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Larry the Cable Guy. Our producton crew traveled to Larry’s home in Nebraska, set-up a remote camera kit and then produced the show virtually for all of the Grand Champions to see.
Your Hybrid Event
The reality is that eventually we will be given the all-clear sign to return to work in a way similar to how things were in 2019. But companies large and small would be smart to acknowledge that even though the pandemic will one day be in the rearview mirror the impact will be felt for generations.
Years from now we will look back on this moment as a time in history when the way we approach large events and gatherings changed in many ways for the better. Think about the benefits of virtual meetings. Think further about the aspects of in-person meetings you miss.
Now think about the beautiful convergence of those two worlds and that is a Hybrid Event.
Reach out to us via our contact page for more details on how we can help turn your meeting into a Hybrid Event Solution.
For more information on the impact Hybrid Events are having on the marketplace check out these articles from Forbes and the Alaska Journal.