You know that virtual events — just like in-person meetings and events — require energy in the form of electric use, equipment, and typically even office space. But you might be surprised to discover that the carbon footprint of a fully virtual event drops by 90% compared to a fully in-person conference. Shift to a hybrid event, and you’ll save 67% of carbon emissions typically generated with a live conference.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that hybrid events are growing in popularity. For example, it is predicted that virtual events will grow by 23.25% between 2020 and 2027. But not every event lends itself to an entirely virtual format — there is still a need for human connection.
As we celebrate World Earth Day on April 22, let’s consider the vast sustainability benefits — and other advantages — of shifting to hybrid events for your next meeting, conference, or gathering.
What Is a Hybrid Event?
First, let’s define a hybrid event. Although hybrid events may seem to be a new trend in the business and marketing world, PGi has 20+ years of experience producing virtual and hybrid events for clients, with audiences in the tens of thousands and spanning the world.
A hybrid event blends the elements of an in-person event, including networking opportunities, live presenters, and in-person interaction, with webcasting to reach a remote audience, as well.
To reap the full benefits of a hybrid event, including crowd interaction and sustainability, aim to have at least 50% of your attendees in person at a travel hub that is convenient and easy to reach.
Sustainability Benefits of a Hybrid Event
Hybrid events deliver environmental and cost savings on electricity, water usage, food production, transportation and storage, and even solid waste disposal in the municipality where the event is being held. Certainly, an event still requires all of these things, but a hybrid event reduces the overall carbon footprint by 67%, based on research from Cornell University.
Other Benefits of a Hybrid Event
Hybrid events also deliver tremendous cost savings and other benefits to organizations. These include:
- Increased productivity (since workers aren’t spending time traveling or recovering from the event)
- Enhanced inclusiveness (since those who cannot travel or live too far away may now be able to attend)
- Reduced costs (on event space, event production, staff travel, pay, etc.)
- Reduced human capital resources (it’s not necessary to have staff book travel, gather and submit receipts for reimbursement, review and approve expenses, etc.)
Entering an Era of Continued Uncertainty
Although venues are opening up again and more people are willing to travel, the past two years have taught business owners and event planners that nothing is predictable. The new normal includes an element of planning for the unexpected.
Hybrid events allow companies to shift on a dime to a full virtual event should the need arise without sacrificing the quality of the event.
PGi has more than 20 years of planning hybrid events for audiences of any size. We offer on-site and remote support and state-of-the-art engagement tools through GlobalMeet Webcast.
If you haven’t explored the benefits of hybrid events, World Earth Day 2022 is a good time to start.