• Mo Malele

The Future Of Events Is Hybrid

Covid19 has changed everything forever and the longer this madness continues the more normalized it becomes as we forget what life was like before Covid19. I mean I can’t imagine that I used to leave the house without a pocket size sanitizer, now I have one perpetually in my car. Working from home used to be taboo and extremely frowned upon, so much so it could negatively impact your career in a company, but now most companies have embraced it with some committing to continuing to work this way post Covid19. There are many such examples of how life has changed irreversibly and in some cases for the better. This change is not restricted to the way we live our lives but also to the manner in which business is conducted – service offerings have had to change as the business world strives to evolve with the times.

The marketing and events industry is a classic example of the evolution I speak off, this is an industry that has changed forever. As a pre-dominantly below-the-line marketing and events agency we focused mainly on face-to-face events and brand activations, Covid19 was the catalyst for us to pivot to digital platforms but still maintain our rich heritage of customer centric brand activations and events. Having made this pivot it has become obvious to us that events and activations will never be the same again, that from here on in there will always be a digital component to any event or brand activation, even if it’s a live event/activation. Our belief is that moving forward events and activations will take on a hybrid approach with a mixture of both online and offline elements being employed to formulate an event/activation that caters for customers who want to connect online as well as those who want to attend physically. Music festivals, lifestyle markets, exhibitions, trade shows, etc will move to employ a hybrid approach where customers can purchase tickets for the virtual event or the physical event or both. This not only makes financial sense because it creates an additional revenue stream but also protects the business financially by ensuring they have a back-up revenue stream to the physical event, and if there is one thing the events industry has learnt it’s the importance of having sustainable revenue protection in the event that the live event can’t continue due to external forces like a global pandemic or a local epidemic.

We commenced work on Hybrid Events for our clients in 2020 and have seen that the model works, thus we intend to continue on this path for the foreseeable future as we see the benefits for all stakeholders involved (brands, customers, suppliers etc). Therefore in 2021 and beyond, depending on how matters unfold with the pandemic and lockdown, expect to see more digital events, a sprinkle of live events as well as the emergence of hybrid events and brand activations.

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