Virtual, hybrid and paperless in-person events and why you should embrace them

Whether to promote a business, enable networking or attract sponsorship, hosting events is a powerful marketing tool and an integral part of modern business.

When lockdown cancelled most in-person events, the world moved online for conferences, trade shows and even quizzes. The need to socially distance ushered in a new wave of apps and web platforms, as businesses had to provide services remotely. Where events required an in-person element, hybrid models were adopted to balance virtual and physical attendance.

Even as restrictions begin to lift, the demand for mobile apps at in-person events has stayed high, as well as the popularity of virtual and hybrid events. So, why has the world embraced these event solutions and why should you?

Mobile Event Apps

Events which have a mobile app are more environmentally friendly, convenient and COVID safe than events which rely on paper to run.

According to software donation platform Charity Digital, ‘the concept of the paperless office has remained a constant since the 1980’s’, so in-person events, which regularly supply printed booklets and sheets to attendees, have been lagging behind for some time. The environmental cost of this much waste paper is considerable; if 1000 attendees are each given 10 pages of content, according to packaging solutions provider Ribble, those pages equate to a 45ft tall tree.

Likewise, using the same microphones, handing out resources and shuffling through multiple sheets of paper is inconvenient and can promote the spread of illness. With a mobile app, attendees need not come into physical contact with each other or the same objects so any risk of infection is greatly reduced. Having all the necessary resources on one device also makes finding documents easier and less stressful; attendees can even submit questions for speakers through the app, rather than waiting to share a microphone.

Even as restrictions begin to lift, the demand for mobile apps at in-person events has stayed high

Virtual Events

Virtual events were already gaining popularity before lockdown made them essential. There are significant financial incentives of hosting and attending events remotely, but they also promote sustainability and diversity, perhaps explaining their lasting popularity as restrictions ease.

Events held remotely, by definition, prevent people from meeting in person, so it is practically impossible to spread illness when attending. Furthermore, the cost of hosting and attending an event remotely is significantly lower than doing so in-person. Virtual events do not quire hotels, a venue or any costs associated with physically accommodating attendees. Whilst this saves capitol, removing the need to heat and light physical locations also saves energy and as attendees do not need to drive or fly to a virtual event, this prevents a potentially massive carbon footprint. The COP26 summit produced 102,500 tons of carbon dioxide according to CNBC (more than the annual emissions of 8,000 UK residents) with most emissions coming from international flights.

Additionally, a recent study from the University of Texas’s ‘Nature Sustainability Journal’, found that virtual events promote diversity. The lower cost of virtual events opens them up to professionals with less disposable income, while eliminating the need to travel makes them more accessible to parents with young children. The study found that the participation of women in particular improved, with up to 253% more women attending virtual conferences than in-person, with that figure rising to 344% for academic and postdoctoral events.

Hybrid Events

As the name might suggest, hybrid event combine aspects of virtual and in-person events depending on the organisers’ needs. Whilst hybrid events can potentially share the same benefits as their remote or physical counterparts, they stand out particularly for their flexibility and potential to increase attendance.

According to social media content curator Taggbox, 96% of virtual attendees surveyed at an event would not have attended if it had been exclusively in-person. By additionally accommodating remote attendees, organisers can appeal to those who cannot attend as well as those who have not yet decided. Trade media platform BizBash even found that 23% of organisers saw physical attendance increase after running a number of hybrid events.

With uncertainty over future restrictions, hybrid events offer peace of mind for organisers because of their potential to pivot. Depending on how they are organised, hybrid events can switch to fully virtual if restrictions worse, or fully in-person should the organisers wish.

Virtual events, hybrid events and event mobile apps are effective way to improve sustainability, convenience and attendance whilst ensuring your event is restriction proof.

All In The Loop creates virtual, hybrid and in-person event solutions while providing an unrivalled event management service. Supporting thousands of events in over 45 counties, All In The Loop delivers an outstanding event experience with unique events technology. Whether your event is virtual, in-person or somewhere in between, their versatile mobile apps and virtual event platforms can be tailored to your requirements.

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