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Different types of events

With all of the changes in the events industry over recent years as a result of COVID-19 and various technological innovations, it’s understandable that you may be confused about which event style is right for you. There are three main ways to run an event; live, hybrid and virtual. While all three options are great solutions to drive meaningful connections, each have their own strengths and weaknesses which may or may not suit your intended audience and budget.  

Running an event to internal audiences is a great way to foster a positive company culture, strengthen team bonds, announce changes that may be occurring within the company, reinforce company values/goals, and reward hard work. Similarly, external events aimed toward people outside of your organisation are a great source of PR and word of mouth marketing, and allow you to showcase or announce new initiatives/products/locations while partnering with sponsors.

Before COVID, events were predominantly run in a face to face setting, in venues of varying sizes, and with live speakers and guests directly speaking to attendees. The introduction of stay at home orders meant there was a shift towards virtual events, whereby attendees connect into the event via a platform such as Zoom, or for an extra wow factor, a completely virtual AR event platform. We recently worked with DJ Tigerlily in her performance for the Australian Open Closing party, which was run completely online through their Metaverse platform to create this very thing.

Live events

Live events are great at encouraging engagement and participation between attendees, and will tend to generate more excitement from audiences, and attention from media outlets. That being said, virtual events typically have greater reach because people can attend the event from wherever they’re located (including their comfy bed) and are generally cheaper and more sustainable to run because of reduced labour, venue, hospitality and travel costs.

The recent easing of most COVID restrictions, combined with the continued reluctance of some people to travel, means that hybrid events are currently enjoying their moment in the sun. A hybrid event is simply one that has both in-person and virtual components. These events are great as they offer the best of both worlds in terms of reach and attendee engagement, and it means your speakers or attendees can still participate regardless of isolation orders, or travel restrictions. If COVID's taught us anything, it's that you've always got to be prepared for the unexpected and Hybrid events provide the flexibility to be able to cater to your speakers and audience, regardless of external factors.

Hybrid events

Hybrid events can be structured in a number of ways, either as a live event that's streamed to your virtual audience, or with your virtual and live audience/speakers interacting. The event structure should be determined by the event objectives, ideal audience takeaways, audience size and spread, and of course, budget.

We've talked a lot about the different ways you can host an event, but of course, there's also multiple event types - corporate, fundraising, networking exhibitions and expos, workshops and festivals to name a few. The right format for the type of event you're hosting will largely be determined by how to best engage your audience in your message or product, along with the audience's needs, demographic and location. For example, a festival may be held in a live setting as physical events allow for more social interaction, which is generally a must have for festival attendees. In comparison, a panel may be hosted virtually to allow for international speakers and viewers to join in the event.

Regardless of the type of event you're hosting, or its size, we suggest you always start with clarifying the outcomes you'd like from the event, and then sorting that list into event must-haves and event nice-to-haves. This will help you clarify the type of event you should host to get the best audience reach for your budget.

Examples of some of the questions you should consider when planning your next event include considering whether your goal is to allow your attendees to form stronger connections with each other or, do you simply want your event message to reach the maximum number of people possible? This question will help you determine the type of event and ideal format. Once you’ve ascertained the aim of your event, you can start the budget analysis, including making allowances for the right venue, technological partner, theming, food and beverage and travel.

Virtual events

For virtual events specifically, you will need to decide whether you have an appropriate space to record/stream it or if you will need to hire a purpose built space such as our studio in Chippendale. You will also need to consider how users will access the event for example, will you have a custom microsite to track registration data and run the event through? Will attendees need to register in advance? Will the post event footage be sent to viewers?

There is no perfect way to host an event and it will entirely depend on the above factors and decisions. If you are still feeling overwhelmed with the various event options, please get in touch with our team today and we can discuss which event hosting option and type we think would most benefit you.

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