Event Marketing

Virtual, Hybrid, and In-Person Events: The Next Evolution of Event Marketing 

To cater to the changing preferences and global dynamics of today’s audience, event marketing has witnessed a major transformation. The introduction of virtual and hybrid event marketing following the pandemic has empowered businesses with incredibly powerful opportunities to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness. 

Event marketers are also maneuvering a constantly changing landscape to produce memorable and captivating experiences for audiences, whether it is through the immersive experience of in-person events, the adaptability of virtual events, or hybrid event marketing that combines the best of both worlds. Let’s learn what event marketing is and what the unique features and benefits of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events are. 

What is event marketing?

Event marketing emerged as a promotional strategy to connect with customers in person or in real time to bring your brand, product, or service to attention. It is a great way to connect with your audience, educate them about your product or services, and get results. Events can be online or offline and companies can host, sponsor, attend, or participate as exhibitors. 

In essence, event marketing involves the strategic planning, organizing, execution, and promotion of a brand, product, or service to directly connect with its audience in meaningful ways. Furthermore, by providing a dynamic and inclusive experience, event marketing helps attract diverse audiences to your webinars, tradeshows, conferences, etc. 

From conferences, trade shows, seminars, and product launches to other experiential activities, event marketing helps brands educate prospects and customers, share their stories, build brand awareness, strengthen brand reputation, increase engagement, and generate leads.  

Exploring virtual, in-person, and hybrid event marketing

What is virtual event marketing?

Virtual event marketing, also known as online event marketing, refers to a brand’s interaction with its audience in an online environment rather than meeting in a physical location. This event marketing leverages a digital platform to bring together attendees, speakers, and exhibitors in virtual events such as webinars, virtual conferences, or online trade shows. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, large companies and individuals have seen a rise in the use of virtual events to connect with customers and audiences. According to a survey by Statista, 40% of events were projected to be virtual in 2022, up 5% from 2020. Furthermore, according to Grand View Research, the global virtual events market is expected to reach USD $657.64 billion (about $2,000 per person in the US) by 2030. 

Benefits of virtual event marketing 

  • Cost-effective: Virtual events are cost-effective to both organizers and attendees as they reduce expenses related to venue bookings, travel, and accommodation. 
  • Accessible: Virtual events are more accessible as they enable people across the globe to join from the comfort of their homes or workplaces without spending money on flights and hotels. 
  • Global reach and diverse audience: Virtual events provide organizers with global reach and diverse audiences as participants across geographic regions, backgrounds, and cultures can participate without the need to travel. 
  • Improved analysis: Virtual events provide improved data analytics such as attendee engagement and behavior, identify popular sessions and speakers, and overall event performance to help organizers improve future events and make data-driven decisions. 

In-person event marketing

Also called face-to-face marketing, in-person marketing refers to physical gatherings where attendees, speakers, and exhibitors come together in a specific location to interact, create networks, and share vital information. In-person events such as product launches, tradeshows, conferences, expos, and other networking events involve a large-scale gathering of people to showcase products or services, create connections, and increase brand awareness. 

Benefits of in-person event marketing 

  • Promote Socialization: In-person events promote relationship building and networking by providing a unique environment for attendees and organizers to have real, face-to-face interactions. 
  • Build trust and credibility: With face-to-face interactions, attendees are more likely to remember your brand and recommend it to others. Additionally, face-to-face interactions with your customers help build trust, credibility, and loyalty. 
  • Lead generation: In-person event marketing acts as a powerful tool for lead generation, as it provides a platform to create a long-lasting impression of your brand in the minds of prospects. 
  • Boost conversion: Face-to-face interaction with customers in real-time fosters trust, which eventually leads to conversions. 

Hybrid event marketing

Hybrid events incorporate both in-person experiences and virtual elements, tailoring them to each audience for optimal experiences. This hybrid approach allows brands to choose between organizing physically or remotely. Hybrid event marketing enables organizations to attract attendees and engage them with their brand, as well as drive leads. 

Benefits of hybrid event marketing 

  • Cost-efficient and accessible: Hybrid events are more accessible and cost-efficient than in-person events, as they reduce travel and accommodation expenses for participants. 
  • Flexible and adaptable: Hybrid events provide flexibility based on individual preferences as they allow attendees to choose to participate either in person or virtually. Additionally, hybrid events are adaptable to global conditions such as unexpected disruptions or a global health crisis. 
  • Increases acquisition: By reaching a broader audience and providing diverse participation options, hybrid event marketing significantly increases webinar audience acquisition. 
  • Increased reach: By accommodating both in-person and virtual attendees, hybrid events expand the reach beyond geographical boundaries. 
  • Blended experience: By combining the experience and networking opportunities of in-person events with the convenience and accessibility of virtual participation, hybrid events provide attendees with a blended experience. 

So, choose the right event marketing for your business.

The choice between virtual, hybrid, and in-person events depends on your business goals and objectives. Moreover, the ideal event format depends on careful consideration of factors such as budget consideration, targeted audience preferences, brand image, event duration, engagement strategies, and more. 

Ultimately, the choice to choose the right type of event marketing—virtual, hybrid, or in-person—is largely yours. However, many marketing leaders are expecting to see a mix of event types as the future of successful event marketing. 

If you want to know how marketing strategies can prove to be a game changer in driving business growth, TSL, the best digital marketing agency in India, is here to help. Contact us at smohite@tslmarketing.com to learn more. 

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