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Adapting to a 'new normal’: Are hybrid events here to stay?

By SEC Newgate team
17 February 2022
Consumer Industries
Fashion & Retail

By Rianna Spray

This month, London Fashion Week is set to return after nearly two years of being cancelled or presented to the fashion elite digitally. The pandemic saw the last two biannual fashion events turn into online presentations, as designers were tasked with showcasing their latest catwalk collections to virtual audiences. At the end of 2021, the return of physical Fashion Week shows was put into question with the surge of the Omicron variant. However, with the Omicron wave now subsiding, London Fashion Week will return to the city from 18th February in the form of a physical-digital hybrid event.

As we all continue to adapt to a new normal and way of working, what can businesses and event planners learn from these hybrid models? Although in-person events are likely to ramp back up, it is clear that virtual events are here to stay, and businesses should approach events like most current workplace models, with a hybrid approach.

There will be no escaping from technology in events, with leading IT company, Cisco, predicting that live video will grow to reach 17% of all internet traffic this year. As a result, hosting livestreams can help businesses build a strong online community, with features such as chat boxes and commenting helping to reach wider audiences and drive conversation between target consumers.

Live streams can be daunting due to the un-editable nature of their format, which can often be a turn off from hosting such events. If looking to host a live stream, the following steps will help prepare you for a successful online event:

  1. Define your goals – listing what you want to achieve from an event will help you build the correct format and deliverables to achieve the desired results
  2. Grab attention – if going live with an event, it’s important to have something to attract a large audience. This could be showcasing a new product, hosting an exclusive interview, or hosting a Q&A session for your audience. Any one of these tactics will help your event to stand out from others taking place at the same time
  3. Record and review – recording your live steams will mean you can watch them back and take note of any areas that need to be improved on next time. Recordings also make for great content to help grow your online communities. Segments of the stream can be edited down and repurposed on social media channels, for example
  4. Practice makes perfect! – if you’re due to host a live stream and are worried about the live nature of the event, hosting some practice runs with colleagues is the best way to iron out any issues and will help make you feel confident with your content and what you have to say