What has changed for Association events? It’s a pretty simple answer – absolutely everything is different than it was pre-pandemic. Change is inevitable but the speed at which it has occurred in our industry over the past two years is almost inconceivable. For this reason, now, more than ever, you should consider using a third party, experienced in hybrid meetings, to develop and execute your association trade show or conference. Read below for the surprising ways outsourcing can save you time and money while increasing revenue for your event.

1. Hybrid – What is it and How Does It Work?
Hybrid combines in-person and virtual components of a conference. Meeting planners should strongly consider adding virtual components to their organization’s in-person events because they increase the size, scope, and revenue generation of association events. However, unless you have an experienced virtual meeting planner who can marry the technological and logistical challenges of hybrid registration, expo sales, and speakers, the learning curve and time commitment for managing these virtual components can be steep.

-Virtual educational content allows Associations to capitalize upon hybrid’s ability to reach a larger number of targeted attendees and extend the duration of content consumption by archiving important information online. Determining how best to serve attendees with a mix of in-person and virtual content requires experience. And managing accreditor expectations and processing CE credits can be complicated and are tasks best suited for someone well versed in education at virtual meetings.

-Conference platform sponsorships offer another layer of exposure that is attractive to both companies with and without the resources to travel to your event. But you need experts who understand the intricacies of your meeting platform. Our staff uses Cadmium because it integrates all components of our meetings, and we are very familiar with how it works. Hiring experts who know what works on a platform and how to gather and upload the content will save you time, money, and frustration.

-Sponsors and exhibitors value leads and analytics above all else. These are different types of data. While in-person generates traditional leads through retrieval devices, hybrid is optimal because it generates click analytics. This data is generated automatically and lets companies know who clicked on specific advertisements or information. It is optional for companies to have both leads and analytics, and an experienced hybrid meeting manager will ensure that they receive both.

2. The Hybrid Event Budget – High Cost and High Reward
When you choose a hybrid event you are really managing two unique events that must be integrated through a virtual platform.

-Understand where the hidden costs lie – this will make or break the financial success of your hybrid event.

-Use the accessibility of your hybrid platform to your advantage to create additional revenue. Opportunities include:

>New registration categories

>Virtual advertising

>Thought leadership sponsorships

>Online resource centers (virtual booths – that’s the old name!)

3. Expertise and Certification
The CEM (Certified in Exhibition Management) and CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certifications have long been considered the gold standard for event professionals. In today’s climate, savvy association planners will also make sure to have a Digital Event Strategist (DES) consult on their event. COVID Compliance certification is also beneficial. Associations can avoid the time and cost associated with obtaining these certifications by hiring a consultant with a highly trained and certified staff. Be sure to check the credentials of the people who will be working with you when choosing a third-party to assist with your meeting.

SB Expos & Events has extensive experience in the design and management of hybrid association events. Our staff has managed/sold 21 virtual expos and events since March 2020. Interested in learning how our staff can assist with your hybrid meeting, conference, or trade show?

Email info@discoverSB.com for more information.