hybrid engagement

✨ We created the ultimate Virtual Events Handbook! With over 60 pages of information and resources, you’ll learn everything you need to know about virtual events.

Big names going virtual … and it’s not always pretty

My last couple of emails have emphasized how everything is going back to live events whether we like it or not. But, maybe I spoke too soon. Some big names in the industry are going fully virtual for the foreseeable future.

I’m sorry if you’re screaming at your computer: “Sarah! Make up your mind!” It’s hard, okay? One thing will happen that makes everything seem safe. And then, two concerts and a newspaper article later, and numbers are spiking again. With the number of cases rising and falling in the United States like a yo-yo, not everyone is on the same page with what types of events to plan.

Some big names have gone virtual or are planning to, and it seems like that might be a viable option for them with only a few small kinks to sort out:

CES, for example, is going virtual in 2021. Their Las Vegas convention has been canceled as of last week, and plans are moving forward to host the online event in January. There are also plans to go hybrid in 2022.

The CEO stated on LinkedIn that:

“It is simply not possible to safely gather over 100,000 people indoors with a raging COVID-19 virus and no real hope for a tested and widely available vaccine by January.”

CES’ biggest challenge: Other large tech companies are taking advantage of the virtual wave and are hosting their own events to make big announcements.

Another big name making the virtual leap is the Emmys. This is one that I am personally excited about. Their main selling point for the virtual awards show is the ability to catch a glimpse of celebrities in their natural habitats. Rather than having to see your co-worker in the same T-shirt every day, now you can watch Zendaya accepting an award in her mansion.

The Emmys’ biggest challenge: Deciding whether or not to keep the winners a surprise, or forcing every nominee to make an acceptance speech for an award they might not win.

BUT! I must warn you, there is a flip side. Some major players are finding out that virtual events are not the solution to their particular problems.

Apparently, Comic-Con At Home Sucked…

This was an example of a virtual event that didn’t include those little details that make Comic-Con special. There was little to no interactivity. Attendees were not able to strut their stuff nor were they able to interact with creators.

Also, big announcements that should have been exclusive to the event were shared beforehand at press releases. This resulted in tweets and views being lower than ever before.

What all this means: so be warned. Just because virtual events are here to stay might not mean that they will be flawless. It takes a lot of work to produce these types of events in a way that keeps attendees and exhibitors happy.

And just because you plan a virtual event, doesn’t mean you can completely disregard all the exciting elements of in-person events. Yes, the event is being delivered in a different medium, but you still need to BRING IT for your attendees. Think of ways to make the event unique and leave people who didn’t attend feeling like they missed out on something amazing.

And now, here’s The Weekly Soundcheck!

? Hybrid events = two audiences. Two audiences = lots to engage! (9-minute video)

Having two audiences that behave in different ways is going to be a challenge! You cannot treat them the same, and you need to make sure that online vs. in-person doesn’t turn into a class system. Online attendees are sacrificing their time to come to your event, so make sure you don’t forget about them. It’s tough to manage both. And that’s why Will Curran decided to film this episode of WBW talking all about how to keep your hybrid attendees engaged!

✨ Additional articles and resources:


? Did you know Endless can help produce your next hybrid event? (see what we do)

We have been doing in-person, virtual, and hybrid events for a while now. We are here for you if you need guidance while navigating the world of hybrid events. If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you.


? IMEX America 2020 Cancelled: Let’s Talk About It (29-minute podcast)

One of the most beloved events of the year as an event planner is canceled… and we are sad about it. Planners are disappointing about miss out on an event that attracts people from all over the world and brings the community together. But, we get it. Now is not the time to host an event of this scale. Listen to what the Brew Crew has to say about the topic.

✨ Additional episodes of Event Brew:


▶️ Latest shows and podcasts


? Events That Crushed (will crush?) The Box!

Alright people, this is not a drill. We’ve got a new virtual concert coming our way August 7th. But this time, instead of Travis Scott, it’s The Weekend. And instead of Fortnite, it’s TikTok.

the weekend

This is pretty groundbreaking as it’s TikTok’s “first-ever in-app cross reality experience.”

I think something like this will really increase TikTok’s staying power in a world where social media apps appear and vanish faster than our stimulus checks (RIP Vine.) I’m curious to see if this is the first in a series of interactive experiences from the app.

But apparently you have to RSVP. If you’re interested, check it out here.


Want To Work For Endless?

Endless is looking to add more people to our team! We are looking for badass content writers, project managers, sales development reps, and students who want to learn more about the industry!

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If you want to work with the most passionate, good-looking team in events, make sure to learn all you can about our culture, get familiar with our company, and apply!

Have a great week!

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