Modernize your events and expand your audience with a hybrid-ready event platform
We all know events help boost brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and connect audiences around the world. But in this new hybrid world of remote work, it’s essential to plan and optimize for both in-person and virtual experiences.
At Webex Events, we made a bet that as the world was moving to hybrid work platforms, events would need a new type of tech and approach. This bet led to the design of the Webex Events hybrid event platform.
If you’re under the impression hybrid events were a one-time solution to ease back into in-person events following a global pandemic, you’ll be surprised to learn that hybrid events remain at an all-time high. In fact, our customer data shows event organizers planned an even mix of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events in December 2022.
One thing is crystal clear; the data supports the need for a true hybrid event platform. I shared more about the importance of a hybrid-ready event platform during my session at WebexOne, ‘Modernize your events. Grow your audience.’ and you can read a full recap of the key takeaways in this blog.
The role of a hybrid event platform
A hybrid event platform is all about flexibility and customization. It allows event professionals to seamlessly power any combination of virtual and in-person events, and customize attendee experiences for each format — of course with shared technology, data, and processes underpinning all of it.
Before the rise of hybrid technology, event producers relied on a patchwork of point solutions tied to a specific event format. It forced event professionals to build, integrate, validate, and maintain custom-built solutions across multiple vendors, which increased complexity, cost, and risk.
With a hybrid-ready solution, you can produce amazing events across all formats and reduce cost and complexity issues. Consider how a platform could support every stage of the event lifecycle, no matter the format:
- Pre-event: A hybrid-ready platform powers registration, dynamic ticketing, and customizable badge printing, while attendees can design their event profiles and utilize the agenda builder and calendar integrations to curate event experiences.
- During event: The platform serves as a broadcast studio for high-quality streaming, supports attendee networking, includes engagement tools such as Q&A, chat, polling, and gamification, and provides a seamless mobile-web experience.
- Post-event: Real-time analytics and reporting help organizers prove event success and ROI, while video on-demand and platform communities foster continuous engagement.
Bottom line: This new era of events requires a complete solution that can power every event stage and format, create a seamless planning experience, and drive an unforgettable attendee experience whether you’re hosting a conference, job fair, internal meeting, or something in between.
The power of continuous engagement
A robust, year-round event strategy requires regular audience touchpoints. From trade shows to trainings to flagship events and communities, a flexible event platform powers continuous engagement across both in-person and virtual experiences. It allows you to unify and connect attendee data, no matter how they participate.
In-person events are definitely back, but virtual isn’t going anywhere. To promote year-round engagement, we’re seeing many brands complement their flagship events (often in-person) with smaller virtual touchpoints throughout the year.
For instance, we launched the Webex Events Summer Camp Series last year to bring our audience together via regularly scheduled 20-minute sessions dedicated to the latest trends, insights, and happenings in the events industry.
Event communities, a key component of modern event programs, offer another great way to keep your audience engaged with each other and your brand. Identify the content that resonates the most with your audience during your larger events and repurpose it into bite-size sessions to fuel your community-focused programming.
For additional engagement strategies, as well as event engagement statistics, check out our event engagement guide.
Phillips 66: leveraging one platform across event types
Phillips 66 effectively powers an enterprise events program for thousands of employees by leveraging the flexibility and customization of the Webex Events hybrid event platform.
Webex Events enables Phillips 66 teams to produce a variety of event types, from leadership messaging and external training to internal social groups and flagship productions, and helps employees seamlessly collaborate, whether they’re working out of an office or from home.
“We use it internally for small groups like our Pride network or our Black employee network. They can have a conference, they can post a recorded video, and everyone throughout the company then has access to watch it,” says Ethan Ashford, Analyst, Unified Communications at Phillips 66. “With Webex Events, we get the engagement tools, the tracking, and the scheduling, so it’s been a very effective form of communication and a very effective tool for Phillips 66.”
Key benefits of an enterprise-ready event platform
End-to-end event technology provides endless opportunities to engage and delight audiences of any size, and no matter how they attend. With a user-friendly solution like Webex Events, you can design memorable, custom experiences to capture your audience, generate more leads, prove ROI, and deliver amazing results.
Some core benefits of Webex Events include:
With an enterprise-grade event management platform, you can use a single solution for all of your event needs. This eliminates the need to piece together different tools to run your events, reducing complexity and data silos while maintaining robust security.
“Webex has really enabled us to consolidate a lot of our different platforms into just one, whereas we used to have multiple different pieces that we would have to put together to make a good event,” Ashford says. “Now we’ve got it all built into Webex [Events] with tools like Slido and polling and things that really encourage engagement from our viewers, no matter if they’re in the room or on the other side of the world. It’s really been a game changer.”
With a global audience, event professionals must ensure compliance with a dynamic mix of security regulations, such as GDPR, state privacy laws, cybersecurity laws, and StateRAMP. Enterprise-grade event platforms are designed specifically to stay up-to-date on evolving regulations and support compliance, so you can focus on running your events.
A single solution eliminates the need for multiple vendors and contracts, so you can consolidate costs and more effectively allocate event resources and budget. With an enterprise-grade suite license, you can power internal and external events — from sales kickoffs to webinars and flagship hybrid events — all from a single platform.
Flexibility drives the modern events program
As you think about modernizing your events for 2023 and beyond, it’s important to note that an event isn’t just in-person or virtual – it’s both. Event professionals need to leverage an end-to-end hybrid event platform that’s flexible and can support any format and easily pivot between them at a moment’s notice.
With a hybrid-ready solution like Webex Events, you can power continuous engagement and stay in front of your audience year-round. Whether you run a dedicated community for attendees to log into one platform for year-round programming and networking or host a series of digital touchpoints in conjunction with your premiere event, a hybrid event solution provides all the flexibility you need to run a modern events program.
To learn more about modernizing your events program and growing your audience, check out the full session from WebexOne.
Mar 27, 2023 — Snorre Kjesbu