Are we entering a new era of events or simply a new era of terminology? I ask the question in relation to Hybrid Events and a growing use of the term within marketing vocabulary.

Are Hybrid Events, or Blended as they are sometimes referred, that different that we need a new term for them or are we guilty of some smoke and words? To answer this question, I guess it might be useful to define what we mean.

There are definitions for Hybrid events, just in case we weren’t sure; ‘Hybrid events offer a mix of face-to-face and virtual experiences simultaneously’. Those who define, helpfully add that “one should complement your face-to-face, on-site, physical event with viewing over the web, both live and on-demand”.

Now forgive my cynicism but since we are firmly in the 21st Century, should this not be the standard for an event anyway! Technology has provided the tools to make our face-to-face event (conference or meeting) accessible to a wider audience via the web and at a time convenient to them. I would argue that organisers and producers should have grasped this opportunity with both hands long ago, without the need for a new term.

We know that the event industry has evolved over time, and will continue to do so, and we have come a long way from the age of oratory. Even the old guard now recognise that PowerPoint is no longer the panacea. This brave new world is all about engaging an audience and finding ways to extend the life of an event so that it has impact over time, rather than trying to be an instant hit. Using the web to both extend our audience beyond the venue and extend the engagement time is a no-brainer.

So let’s not waste time trying to create a term for something that already exists, let’s press on with offering the very best service to our clients.

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