. A new era for hybrid meetings | Meetings & Conventions Asia

A new era for hybrid meetings

While the hybrid model may not be new, the current situation presents a pivotal moment where we will see more events sharing content to online audiences as such meetings provide planners with possibilities to make their events memorable.

The China Mobile 5th Virtual Reality Conference offered a multi-zoned immersive experience that could be viewed online, on mobile and via VR headsets. CREDIT: Pico+
The China Mobile 5th Virtual Reality Conference offered a multi-zoned immersive experience that could be viewed online, on mobile and via VR headsets. CREDIT: Pico+

A hybrid meeting often comprises a physical meeting of a few people in a venue with other participants who connect virtually to the same event. The meeting is synchronised so that both groups have a similar experience. Online attendees can see a presenter’s slides, hear the presenter, and watch the presentation in real-time via live streaming video. Mostly, in-person and virtual participants attend the same session simultaneously. There are other versions of hybrid meetings which involve an all-audience, in-person meeting, followed by another session which is done virtually.

Covid-19 was the catalyst that drastically moved meeting engagements into the virtual space. Going forward, hybrid meetings will continue to provide planners with the ability to engage and reach a wider audience beyond their usual meeting attendance. Herein lies the opportunity to re-imagine and re-design revenue models.

An effective hybrid meeting strategy that is well-designed not only enhances community engagement but also offers planners with the opportunity to convert these virtual audiences into future physical delegates through inspirational content and excellent delivery.

We highlight some of the meetings that have been taking place recently:

5th Global Virtual Reality Conference
Through integrated engagement methodologies, Pico+ blends digital, mobile, gaming, social media and other technology-based modes of engagement for events. It delivered a major hybrid engagement for China Mobile during the 5th Global Virtual Reality Conference recently. A multi-zoned immersive experience was created to allow a 360-degree immersive experience that was viewed online, on mobile and via VR headsets. Two physical events were delivered in Shanghai and Beijing, catering to a group of VVIPs.

The 2020 China Brewers Cup Championship was livestreamed via WeChat, which also provided a platform for sponsorship consultations. CREDIT: Shanghai Sinoexpo Informa Markets International Exhibition Co.
The 2020 China Brewers Cup Championship was livestreamed via WeChat, which also provided a platform for sponsorship consultations. CREDIT: Shanghai Sinoexpo Informa Markets International Exhibition Co.

2020 China Brewers Cup Championship
Shanghai Sinoexpo Informa Markets International Exhibition Co.’s overseas marketing executive, Food & Hotel Group, Aliya Deng, helped to organise the 2020 China Brewers Cup Championship, which was live-streamed. The focus of this competition was to highlight the players’ ability to make their own coffee with filters, to showcase their skills and service in manual coffee brewing.

Once the designated venue was confirmed, event sponsors provided the equipment such as the coffee grinders, filter cups, filter papers, sharing pots, and coffee beans. Judges and contestants were invited to attend the venue. Besides having to decorate the venue and make sure everything was well positioned prior to the show, the team had to ensure that the online platform for web conference and livestreaming was compatible with Wechat. Said Ms Deng: “Our event was based in Wechat through the ‘Xiao-e’ system and it garnered 70,000 views during the finals.”

A Wechat group was set up for each group, where they shared activities that were happening throughout the event. Sponsors also joined each group to offer “sponsorship consultation”. Many questions were answered online by the sponsors. Online viewers could also find the updated event agenda from the HOTELEX Wechat official account.

“Good preparation and extensive publicity in the early days of the competition made this hybrid event run smoothly,” said Ms Deng.

Technology used included interactive games, Cloud-enabled photo album and QR code sign-in. CREDIT: Sino Elite
Technology used included interactive games, Cloud-enabled photo album and QR code sign-in. CREDIT: Sino Elite

J&T EXPRESS GALA DINNER 2020
Sino Elite handled a 600-pax event for OPPO Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa in January 2020, combining technology and traditional offline services. Technology used included a digital sign-in system where guests only needed to scan their QR code on a machine with their mobile phone to know their seat number. A Cloud-based photo album enabled photos which were taken by an on-site photographer to be automatically uploaded to the network within 10 seconds. Guests were able see their photos in real time and post to friends during the event.

Cloud interaction allowed the use of multiple interactive games to enhance guest interaction. A live broadcast used multi-camera recording and multi-frequency channels to enrich the event.

In Singapore, the event planner has also used Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, and Jewel Changi Airport for hybrid events.

The regional medical congress, LINC Asia-Pacific, at AsiaWorld-Expo. CREDIT: AsiaWorld-Expo
The regional medical congress, LINC Asia-Pacific, at AsiaWorld-Expo. CREDIT: AsiaWorld-Expo

LINC ASIA-PACIFIC
A regional medical congress, LINC Asia-Pacific, has been hosted at AsiaWorld-Expo since 2009 for 11 consecutive years. The event is a multi-disciplinary, educational course featuring surgery practice at a hospital from Europe with live-streaming online and related conferences and inter-disciplinary discussions at AsiaWorld-Expo.

The venue’s Meeting & Hospitality Centre hosted general assembly and breakout sessions for different disciplines. The dedicated broadband support at AsiaWorld-Expo facilitated presentations broadcast live by satellite transmission, connecting medical professionals from Europe and the Unites States to Mainland China and other Asian countries.