technology

Amid the Hybrid Revolution, Confusion Muddles the Discussion

A large majority of events will have a blend of digital and in-person elements this year. Many event professionals expect this to be the case going forward. After that, there is a mix — or dare we say “hybrid?” — of opinions, confusion and certainty, according to a recent Swapcard survey studying hybrid events.

The biggest takeaway is that three-quarters of the 364 respondents say they are planning to have virtual components of their program, but 30% don’t know how to define hybrid events.

Tech Giants: Hubb CEO Allie Magyar on Mastering the Future

Hubb CEO Allie Magyar knows first-hand what it’s like to face gender discrimination and unconscious bias in the technology world. In the early days of the event software company, she remembers being consistently asked to explain how she wouldn’t fail rather than how she would succeed, an over-arching attitude made more apparent by the prevalence of male-led companies able to raise large sums of money while female-led companies struggled to get investors.

New Technologies to Help Keep Events Safe

With the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over the event industry’s head for more than a year now, creating safe in-person meetings and conferences has become a laser point-of-focus for meeting and conference planners. To meet that demand, event tech companies have been rising to the occasion with new and contactless software tools to provide peace of mind for attendees, exhibitors, event staff and planners alike. Here are a few to consider as organizations welcome back groups in person:

How to Solve the Virtual Appointment Problem

Soon after founding Meetaway three years ago, Scott Barnett conducted research for how his platform could work best for conferences. All it took was one question, asked pre-COVID: What is your favorite part of an event? About 90% of respondents cited one-on-one hallway meetings — impromptu or pre-planned.

“There’s something magical about that one-on-one conversation,” said Barnett, who has built his product to “take that magic moment and run an entire networking session around that.”

Bizzabo’s Alon Alroy on Cracking the Hybrid Code

Good luck trying to have a conversation about events in 2021 without using the word “hybrid.” The consensus is that a vast majority of conferences, conventions and trade shows will incorporate a virtual element when returning face-to-face, most convening in-person for the first time since 2019. Dig beyond that general thought process, though, and the specifics are a bit hazy. “There’s a reason you’re hearing about those generalities,” said Alon Alroy, co-founder, CMO and CCO of Bizzabo.