Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Hybrid meetings set to gain ground, say experts

Small domestic meetings are expected to come back earliest, whereas large conferences will see a much later recovery beyond 2021 or will become hybrid in the future, said a report.

According to the Post Covid-19 Event Outlook Report, an overwhelming 93% of organisers plan to invest in virtual events moving forward and a whopping 76% of planners executed a virtual event in 2020.

Additionally, both attendees and planners were pleasantly surprised by attendance rates and engagement levels in virtual events. Experts believe that virtual events are likely to stay, as they create a powerful way to build engagement with audiences everywhere. Whilst physical events will come back in the future, they probably won’t supplant virtual events; rather they’ll exist alongside them, the report said.

“The demand for hybrid meetings has increased exponentially over the past months and we are pleased to be able to meet the requirements of our guests and partners within the new norm,” said Tim Cordon, Area Senior Vice President Middle East & Africa, Radisson Hotel Group.

“Hybrid meetings are a great solution for many companies, as attendees can join the meeting from another country, their homes or even their local coffee shop. Hybrid solutions however, is not only convenient, it also provides a great opportunity for any organization to progress its sustainability mission, as the carbon footprint is greatly reduced without completely eliminating true human connection.”

Caroline Thissen, Area Senior Director Sales & Revenue Optimization, Middle East & Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “The changes that we have gone through to adapt to the new norm have been significant. Over the past few months companies have started to see the benefit of hybrid and studies show that organizations are considering to continue the option of hybrid, even after the pandemic ends.”

“Moving forward we believe it will be very important for hotels to provide flexibility and offer solutions for both hybrid and physical events. Generally speaking we see that the virtual meeting elements can be a revenue source and also provides a new space for sponsor exposure in a more digital and creative way. That said, hybrid meetings will most likely appear in various forms as organisations have different requirements and need to find the model that works best for their attendees, budgets, and ROI.

“With that in mind we have been busy ensuring that our teams know how to master these foundational elements and have the right hybrid meeting technology to meet the needs of our clients and guests,” she added. – TradeArabia News Service