Globally, hybrid events continue to be in demand for convention
centres although investment in the area is likely to taper off in the
That was one of the key findings from a recent webinar hosted by the
International Association of Conference Centres (AIPC), which featured
participants from across Asia, Europe and Africa.
During the webinar, AIPC CEO Sven Bossu shared findings from a 2022
member survey: ‘Overall, how well have hybrid event models (with a mix
of in-person and online elements), been working for your longest, most
important clients?’ Of those surveyed, 30% responded 'excellent' or
'very good', while 31% said 'good' and 28% 'fair'.
Some centres said demand for hybrid remain, but mostly within the
association sector, with corporates opting for in-person gatherings.
Others said the word ‘hybrid’ tended to have a negative connotation,
reinforcing the trend for people being keen to return to live meetings.
Large organisations appear to still be in ‘Covid-mode’, according to
International Conference Centre Geneva, leading to a high number of
requests for hybrid meetings as not everyone is able to travel. However,
the venue also said that while every meeting has a hybrid element, this
will pose continued IT challenges in the future.
An Asia-World Expo in Hong Kong spokesperson expected exhibitions to
take place on a smaller scale in the future, while incorporating hybrid
elements. A number of event organisers had also talked about placing
elements of an exhibition in the metaverse — an area the expo is open to
from Cape Town International Convention Centre, which offers its own
platform for hybrid events, said that while there was an appetite for
considering hybrid, there had not been a huge uptake when requests had
converted to actual events. They noted that clients in the region were
very keen on meeting face-to-face.
RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, meanwhile, touched on the need to
provide digital plug-ins for clients and said it was looking at creating
an in-house online studio that could be flexible towards client needs.
The webinar also examined the best way to approach hybrid events,
with participants agreeing that sourcing the right partner was vital,
alongside setting out clear goals, such as knowing whether the event is
using hybrid as an add-on or to extend the event’s reach.
said: “Design your proposed programme before you select your virtual
platform. Not all virtual platforms are created equal. At first glance,
it’s easy to assume they all offer the same basic features and
capabilities. However, when you delve a little deeper you may discover
attendee caps, simultaneous session restrictions, limited gamification,
and minimal engagement, networking and branding opportunities.”