Cvent panel finds hybrid events still hot

Repeated anecdotal reports of online meeting fatigue have not knocked hybrid and virtual events off their perch, with speakers at last week’s Cvent Industry Symposium keynote panel discussion affirming high attendee take-up rates for clients who have pivoted.

Event clients of Conference Magic in Australia still prefer in-person meetings, said Denby Collinge, principle – team manager, but the move to a hybrid platform had resulted in medical attendees increasing by between 50 and 100 per cent and the client achieving ROI.

Cvent Industry Symposium keynote panellists included (clockwise from left) Cvent’s Will Katarai, Hyatt’s Maggie Diasinos, Unearthed Productions’s Adam Piperdy, Asian Development Bank’s Chen Zhao, and Conference Magic’s Denby Collinge

Maggie Diasinos, senior global director – sales, Hyatt, added that corporate events in Australia had evolved as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. They were now smaller, spread across multiple sites, streamed online and have seen a large attendee uptick of 200 per cent.

The chain, she noted, had created studios in its properties to facilitate such meetings.

A live audience poll conducted during the panel discussion also garnered a high 77 per cent vote for hybrid events even when face-to-face meetings can resume, reported Will Kataria, director of sales – Singapore, Cvent.

For Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Chen Zhao, head – cyber security operations, virtual events provided a stable platform to broadcast its messages and facilitate meetings. ADB had to pivot a live meeting of 68 finance ministers into a virtual procedure, and plan a key seminar for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) later this year.

Apart from the audiovisual costs, organisers also have to invest more time and input to create separate content and USPs for in-person and online attendees, Collinge commented.

Adam Piperdy, chief experience officer, Unearthed Productions, said multiple cameras were now deployed to elevate the attendee experience by providing “mixed reality like a show”, bite-size content and platforms which allow content access after the event.

Piperdy added that Artificial Intelligence can generate smart data to be used to geo-target the audience with certain advertisers, while Chen pointed out that data analytics that pick up on attendee behaviour was a plus.

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