Inclusivity is an important part of the modern workplace, but many tend to only see the concept through the lens of recruitment and leadership activities. However, inclusivity can also apply to many other areas of business, such as a website, client services, and even corporate events.
Here are several of the ways that using hybrid events can help an organization be more inclusive, as well as a few tips on how to ensure your hybrid event is able to accommodate all of its guests in an effective manner.
Why Inclusivity Matters in Business
It’s easy to consider inclusivity a given for a 21st-century business. Concepts like diversity and accessibility continue to gain momentum as people become more connected and trends like corporate social responsibility grow in popularity.
In spite of its popularity, though, inclusivity is often seen as an employee-focused trend. What many business leaders fail to realize is that companies, themselves, are also able to benefit from the effort to diversify their workforces or make their offices and storefronts more accessible.
In other words, inclusivity is more than an effort to create a diversified and culturally sensitive work environment for employees. It can also be a powerful way for companies to tap into unique benefits, too.
For example, by fostering an environment with different cultures, convictions, and viewpoints, you can unleash a unique level of creativity. Diversity ultimately strengthens innovation, as it cultivates collective success within a company.
Nowhere is this synergistic effect more obvious than in a corporate event format. Whether it’s employees hobnobbing together or clients rubbing shoulders in the same space, bringing everyone together in an inclusive format can lead to one-of-a-kind results that cannot be achieved elsewhere.
The Inclusive Power of Hybrid Events
Most companies have opted for or are at least aware of the idea of a hybrid work model at this point. However, the concept of a hybrid event planning is still catching on.
And yet, the idea of offering an event both in-person and online can be attractive in many ways. This is true for both client and employee events alike. For example, hybrid events of all kinds:
- Can increase the overall capacity of an event: A hybrid event includes virtual aspects that allow a company to remain accessible to all and sundry. Anyone who is not able to attend an event “in the flesh” due to limited space or funds can still do so online.
- Are much easier to attend for those who are far away: Distance is one of the simplest yet most profound challenges when it comes to inclusivity. Hybrid events allow anyone who lives far away to access an event.
- Are easy to attend for those with special needs: Hybrid events are an ideal option for many who have special needs that can hold them back from attending in-person events. In contrast, when an event is presented in a hybrid format, an individual with a special need can be both present and welcome.
- Are sensitive to those with social concerns: After the coronavirus pandemic, event attendee expectations have shifted. In-person interactions are still valued. However, the affordable, accessible aspects of virtual events are also prized. Strategic hybrid event planning can accommodate both perspectives.
By opting for an event that is both virtual and physical, you can cater to the personal desires of everyone involved. This is a great way to remain inclusive, whether you’re running a company picnic, setting up a trade show, or any other occasion.
Setting Up an Effective Hybrid Event
The value of a hybrid event doesn’t mean you can approach it casually. On the contrary, the complexities of hosting an event both in-person and online can easily get out of hand. You want to make sure that you have several important pieces in place if you’re going to host an inclusive hybrid event.
One good example is a solid registration setup. A hybrid event requires both online registration and on-site registration and check-in. On-site registration is a simple matter of taking information and payments. However, if you’re going to have a hybrid event, you must offer online registration as well.
This requires the creation of a website that can take attendee information and payments. The personalized registration tool that Pathable offers combines these basic functions with additional features. For instance, users can create discounts, market an event, and ensure that each attendee has a personalized registration experience based on their interests. That last item is particularly poignant if you’re trying to create a truly inclusive event.
Mobile apps are another way that hybrid events can keep everyone connected and engaged. A live event app can serve in-person attendees and online guests alike. They can see updated information as well as network with one another in a virtual space. Again, these are critical aspects of a hybrid event that are truly trying to incorporate everyone in attendance.
Even seminars, lectures, and other live or prerecorded events should be considered. Offering these online on a set schedule allows virtual attendees to learn at the same time. This also opens up the door for greater engagement through interactions on forums and through Q&A sessions.
There are many logistical aspects that go into successful hybrid event planning. When these are in place, it can create a powerful experience for everyone in attendance. Employees and clients alike can participate, no matter where they are located. It doesn’t matter if a special need keeps someone from attending in person, too, as they can fully participate online.
The critical element is ensuring that you host a well-planned hybrid event. Using a comprehensive and integrated hybrid event management suite can help you do so. It can keep your event functioning smoothly, no matter who is in attendance and what channel — either online or in-person — they may choose to utilize.
All in all, hosting hybrid events cultivates a sense of community, as well as reflects that your company places importance on inclusivity. This is immensely important for your employees, your clients, and the success of your business.
Find out how the Pathable event platform can help support the ideas in this article and more: Explore Pathable.