Evolving hybrid reality for entertainment events

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 March 2021:

While many are hoping for a return to some semblance of mass participation in live events – as was common practice before Covid-19 struck – the reality is such a prospect still seems to be at least a year away, even if vaccine-driven herd protection does fully take among the general populace.

Accepting such a reality as an opportunity is Malaysian event organiser Milestone Production Sdn Bhd, which sees the hybrid model as opening up new avenues for a more immersive experience.

“Well-balanced virtual and hybrid events provide more possibilities that go beyond the realm of physical events, breaking many barriers and limitations along the way,” said managing director Datuk Grace Lee in a statement.

“The audience members can communicate, create and build connections online with something as simple as a sharing session. This could open up various networking possibilities for them, as well as the organisers, creating a sustainable chain of after-event experiences in the virtual space.”

From an organiser’s standpoint, use of emerging tech tools like AI-enabled chatbots provide additional online experience for virtual or hybrid events. These also give organisers the opportunity to learn more about their audiences, opening up chances to create a more curated guest list for future collaborations as well as build a database on their preferences and feedback.

“Many people have the misconception that virtual events only mean webinars. Well, they can be that and more. So many events organised physically can also be done virtually with the right technology and expertise,” said Lee.

She noted virtual and hybrid events can be equated with greater sponsorship opportunities with measurable metrics and return on investment for sponsors as it’s easier to dissect the sessions and provide data on the number of visitors as well as the frequency of their visits to the sponsorship packages.

“We strongly believe that virtual and hybrid events can catalyse a range of benefits that elude physical events including a significant reduction not only in cost involved but in carbon footprints as well. Not burning a hole in our pockets nor the ozone layer? That’s a win-win situation indeed.

“The benefits of organising virtual or hybrid events are plenty. Well-balanced virtual and hybrid events provide more possibilities that go beyond the realm of physical events, breaking many barriers and limitations along the way.”

Especially attractive is how virtual events extend the reach by breaking geographical restrictions, subsequently turning any local event into a global one.

“If you can reach hundreds of people via a physical event then the number of participants you can reach virtually is possibly in the thousands and more. This is the best opportunity to extend your events to massive crowds without worrying about venue space or other logistics and it is definitely safe in these tiring times.”