While in-person events continue to make a comeback following the pandemic, it is no secret that the industry has evolved with the advent of hybrid events. Many planners have found that in-person events enhanced with advanced technology to facilitate remote attendee participation are fast becoming a go-to strategy to help extend event reach and inclusivity.

Research also supports the growing importance of and demand for hybrid solutions. Our Planner Pulse survey recently revealed that planners believe at least 25 percent of their upcoming events will utilize hybrid formats. Hybrid events break down barriers for attendance and set the stage for expanded audiences, greater collaboration, event innovation, and diverse conversations.

But hybrid elements aren’t just for large events. They are actually incredibly common for small meetings. Combining the right technology tools and on-site support allows you to manage small meetings more effectively and efficiently. With solutions such as wired internet, rental laptops, cameras, larger displays, enhanced sound and the appropriate platform, small meetings can be more engaging and inclusive for all participants.

Connecting virtually began out of necessity during the pandemic but is now an expected option by meeting attendees. Encore has been creating and producing hybrid events for more than 70 years bringing in-person and remote attendees together as well as creating technology enabled in-room experiences. To continue our goal of creating events that transform during the pandemic, Encore supported nearly 9,500 U.S. hybrid meetings over the last 12 months. While the desire to return to in-person meetings, both large and small, is clearly strong, hybrid meetings will offer attendee engagement benefits for the foreseeable future.

The Encore Spring 2022 Planner Pulse Report surveyed approximately 1,000 event planners and showed that 50 percent have adopted a hybrid approach and 73 percent will or may continue to incorporate virtual attendees within in-person events. It also indicated that three out of four events will include an in-person audience. This, along with the expected increase in business travel this year as projected by the AHLA State of the Industry report is further indication of a more positive trend for both in-person and hybrid events.

There are a number of positive signs for the return of in-person events and continued growth for hybrid events, and Encore has the expertise, technology, and people to partner with you to bring your event’s vision to life. We believe in the boundless possibilities that exist when people connect in person or through a hybrid platform. Discover the countless ways you can create engaging, accessible events with the best hybrid in-room and platform solutions on the market. Need help finding the right solution for your events? Contact an Encore professional to determine what works for you.

What will meetings and events look like following the COVID-19 pandemic?

For everyone in our industry, that’s certainly been the question on our minds. And while it’s easy to say “I don’t know,” the meetings and events industry as a whole is too important to accept that as an answer – 10 million jobs worldwide directly depend on it.

Instead, PSAV and our family of companies, along with our venue and industry partners, are looking to help get the live event industry, event planners, and our teams back to work and begin the road to recovery. In order to do so, meeting safely will undoubtably be our top priority.

With nations and individual states slowly releasing stay-at-home orders, now is the time to envision what our return to live and hybrid meetings will look like. As risk and health are two key considerations for businesses and associations, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures will remain an essential part of making people comfortable with gathering again.

But we can’t go back to “business as usual” right away. An anticipated phase one recovery for our industry likely represents smaller meeting sizes in alignment with evolving government guidelines.

How will meeting safely in the early stages of recovery look?

Working alongside our venue partners, PSAV has designed a series of meeting formats, equipment packages, and recommendations that address how to reduce risk, increase confidence, and promote well-being within the meeting space.

Our MeetSAFE guidelines address examples and options for meeting designs, room layouts, traffic flow, technology considerations and enhanced cleaning procedures, with the goal of making the meetings and events industry stronger and healthier than ever.

We know this is just the first step on the road to recovery, but we also know our industry is resilient. Together, with your support, we’re confident our industry can show great leadership throughout the comeback.

Spread the word about MeetSAFE with our new infographic (click here for full resolution).

Meet Safe Infographic