Hybrid events continue to be the trend
The trend toward hybrid and spatially distributed events will continue to grow from the current situation, predicts the Meeting and Event Barometer based on its study results. People will return to face-to-face events, but in many cases they will be extended virtually, allowing them to tap into larger communities. Many providers in Germany as a meeting and congress location are already responding accordingly:
For example, half of the event centers, conference hotels and event locations surveyed for the EITW study stated that they had invested in technology for hybrid or digital formats as a result of Corona. The other half had already been equipped with this before. In addition to the necessary technical infrastructure, the optimal design of the participant experience will be even more important in the future.
The Meeting & EventBarometer is the only study that examines the entire event market in Germany and paints a meaningful picture of this industry. Initiators are the European Association of Event Centers e.V. (EVVC), the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. and the German National Tourist Board e.V. (GNTB).
Hybrid events in previous years
Hybrid events also existed “pre-Corona.” Suppliers estimate the share of hybrid events in 2019 at an average of 13.7 percent. 36.4 percent of all event organizers are running hybrid events. More than a quarter of their events (28.8 percent) were already hybrid.
The percentage of hybrid events continues to rise. Mobile applications continue to be used most frequently at hybrid events, followed by live streaming on the Internet and video conferencing. While up until the beginning of March 2020 – before the acute Corona crisis began in Germany – only 27 percent of providers considered hybrid and spatially distributed events to be forward-looking, after March 9 this figure had already risen to 60 percent of respondents. Virtual events have also increased, accounting for more than one-fifth of events among organizers offering this format. Before Corona, 47 percent of respondents answered that virtual formats were “expandable.” A short time later, that number was already at 75 percent.
Hybrid events in 2020
In 2020, the main occasion for virtual or hybrid events in Germany was primarily a conference or congress. This was stated for around 57 percent of the events in question. This was followed by a wide margin by trade fairs and in-house exhibitions or product presentations as the occasion for the event.