Business Travel On The Fly

The Best of Both Worlds: How to organize an impactful hybrid event

March 26, 2021 On The Fly Season 1 Episode 15
The Best of Both Worlds: How to organize an impactful hybrid event
Business Travel On The Fly
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Business Travel On The Fly
The Best of Both Worlds: How to organize an impactful hybrid event
Mar 26, 2021 Season 1 Episode 15
On The Fly

2021 is set to be a big year for hybrid meetings and events, with travel restrictions and safety measures expected to remain in place. When done right, combining the best of virtual and in-person events allows you to boost engagement and reach a wider audience.

Get ahead of the curve by learning from CWT Meetings & Events'  Fredrik Hermelin, as he speaks to industry experts about how to organize impactful hybrid events that deliver results for your business.


Show Notes Transcript

2021 is set to be a big year for hybrid meetings and events, with travel restrictions and safety measures expected to remain in place. When done right, combining the best of virtual and in-person events allows you to boost engagement and reach a wider audience.

Get ahead of the curve by learning from CWT Meetings & Events'  Fredrik Hermelin, as he speaks to industry experts about how to organize impactful hybrid events that deliver results for your business.



Frederik Hermelin: Welcome to Business Travel on the fly CWT's webinar and podcast series. I am Frederik Hermelin from CWT meetings and events, I will be your host here for the next 40 minutes. This is our very first webinar in 2021. And today, we are doing it in collaboration with our business partner and good friends from Cvent. And we are going to talk about a very dear topic of mine, how to create an impactful and excellent hybrid event. The concept of virtual broadcasting and hybrid events is not new. But in the current environment, it has become very relevant to our business. And I think you'll agree with me when I say that after 10 and 12 months of video conferencing and Zoom meetings and teams meetings, we are eager to get back together again face to face. At least I am, I hope you are too. However, when we now see that people are slowly booking to get together, we also know that there will be disruption in travel and countries where attendees might not be able to join. So we know it will take time before we will see a free and open market for meetings and events and collaboration. So by combining that personal meeting, and also having the virtual audience, the hybrid event becomes absolutely the best platform to meet and network together. With a hybrid event, you can actually get that really high engagement and social networking. But you're also able to invite an audience from anywhere in the world to join. And when you do that, you can do that at a much lower cost per attendee than before. And maybe even more important at a much lower carbon footprint. Environmental friendly and sustainable programs would love the hybrid technology to develop. And we also know that the compliance of health and safety requirements is really much supported by the virtual and the hybrid technology. I hope you agree with what I say. And I now have the ability to present to you the panel that I'm going to talk to and share the next 40 minutes with you. So first of all, I would like to see if I have Gerilyn Horan online. Gerilyn , can you hear me? 
 Gerilyn: I'm here, yes!
 Frederik: Fantastic. And you're live from New York?


Gerilyn: I am I am. I feel like I should say it's Saturday night. No.


Frederik: The city that never sleeps Gerilyn you are the Vice President Group Sales & Strategic Accounts at Hilton Hotels Worldwide. Warm Welcome to Business on the fly.


Gerilyn: Thank you so much for having me.


Frederik: Thank you, Mr. Ricardo Crespo. You are dialing in today to join us from Madrid. And you are the Travel and Congress Sr. Manager and EMEA Meetings & Events Category Lead. You're a customer of CWT and you represent a very important business vertical from pharmaceutical and life science industry, warm welcome Ricardo to this call.


Ricardo: Thank you so much. It's a pleasure.


Frederik : Thank you. And last but not least, live from Arlington, Virginia. Mr. Caleb Conrad, you are the manager on the Client Success Team at Cvent. So warm welcome to you.


Caleb: Thank you. I'm very excited to be here with you guys. And we are very excited to partner with CWT for this webinar too.


Frederik: It's absolutely stunning to be here, moderating this topic and having the pleasure to be working together with you guys. And Caleb, very quickly, how do you feel being on a webinar on your own platform?


Caleb: I mean, really exciting to see what our teams have worked so hard on be put into the real world and kind of see what a difference we can make in other companies and other customers events as well. It's interesting to see the trends we're noticing across the industry and also how we're executing in this new environment.


Frederik: Yeah, we're gonna go through this with you and I am so excited to hear from the customer point of view and of big pharma and also from the hotel. And of course, from the technology standpoint, but most important, guys, we have a great audience listening and viewing us today. So a warm welcome to all of you who made effort on this Thursday afternoon here in Stockholm. Morning over in the US, I believe we have more than 500 people joining us to listen to this today, which is exciting. So, on your screen on the right hand side, everyone who are watching this now can see the Q&A button, please use the q&a button. Take this opportunity today to ask this great panel of experts. Anything you would like about hybrid, and what you want to learn. And by the end of the session, we will push forward as many questions as you can. And there is an option for you to actually vote on the questions that will show up so that we pick those ones that are most popular. So please do so. If you are looking down below me on the screen and you scroll down, maybe you will also find three links. Those links will take you to a polling. And if you are good answering the pollings, we can also show you the results of how this environment and people on this call think about some of the topics that we talked about. How does that sound? Everyone? Ricardo, Gerilyn, Caleb, are you up for it? 

Gerilyn: Ready to go!

Caleb: Good.

Frederik: Wonderful. I see on my other screen here that we are live and broadcasting on Cvent attendee hub and it working really, really well. So I'm going to direct my first question to you, Ricardo, you have been in this industry for some time, and you have a lot of experience, not managing large congresses and corporate events. How do you actually decide nowadays, in the current situation, whether you're going to go for a virtual event, or if you're going to wait for it, and do the face to face later on, or actually decide to go and do a hybrid? What is your takeaway on that?


Ricardo: Okay, thank you so much Frederik. Well, let me start, let me take 30 seconds. And I will like to take the advantage, because one of the things that say about hybrid and virtual events as they are cold, and they don't necessarily need to be cold. So I would like to start by sending to the audience areally warm welcome. Hi. I know it's been a really tough year, you may have gone through really personal difficult situations, and certainly through professional difficult situations, because this has touched our industry dramatically. And this will be ended, this will finish. In the meantime, we'll find how to work it out. I just wanted to send really a warm hug to everyone. Having said this, what I would like to say is that the most important thing of any event is the return on investment. So the channel has changed, because now we may go virtual instead of in person. So we need to find that if is the best way to do an event or not, what kind of event we have to do. For this what we have as many other companies something that is called the CAT, which is called the Crisis Action Team, where we have defined what kinds of events were sponsoring for healthcare, professional training, or internal meetings, advisory boards, symposiums, etc. And see which of them makes sense now to go in person or virtual. In the situation that we are now of course, we've been using a lot of virtual all through the year. Now we're starting with hybrid events, when sometimes we need to have the speakers in the same venue at the same site. And also, we're starting to do with all the security that is possible even more than we are forced by the venue where we are, if we're in Madrid, we follow of course the Madrid regulations.If we're on a Hilton property we will follow the Hilton protocols because we're in their place, of course, but then we will ask the hotel to add our protocol, which means security's first, duty of care of our employees, of course, or any external attendee in any of our events is first is things that come first, the safety. But I think that up to a certain amount of people is like 25 people, we can do absolutely security events because the hotels, airlines and all the other vendors have done an amazing, an extremely hard job and work to work on all these security measures. And I feel much more safer in a hotel or in an airplane that I feel in the metro or I feel in a supermarket. 


Frederik: Yeah. I think what's sometimes bad might also bring some positive to us for the future and I see that in a very, very short timeframe in our business, we have transformed from traditional business to a whole new arena of services and needs. And I believe also this will stay with us for a long, long time, or actually stick as a permanent solution for companies. Like yeah, for any company actually out there. Ricardo, if I may ask you another thing, if you would like to bring out to me, when you plan an event, what would be the most, or the three most important things that you are looking for to consider when putting this together?


Ricardo: Well, first thing, as I said before, would be security. But once security has been achieved, because otherwise we will not proceed, the most important thing for me, above all of them is the briefing. I've always said that without a correct briefing, there's no correct event. But this is in the in-person world, when we were running any kind of event. If we don't know what we want to achieve, it's extremely hard that we can achieve those goals. We don't know what are the tools? What are the channels, what are the vendors we're going to be using. So the first thing is to know what do we want. So with the structure that we have now, in the clients, in my particular case, since we have the in person team to take care of this, what we will do is talk to the stakeholder to find out exactly why he or she is trying to do that event, what is he or she trying to achieve, why he or she thinks that that is the best way to do it. Because with our experience, we can propose many other ways to achieve those goals. Now, in the virtual world, things have changed dramatically, because things can be reconducted an in person event sometimes in virtual, you really need to know from the beginning, how much people you're going to have behind the scenes? Are they going to be talking? Are they going to be interacting or not? What is the best platform to do this? How much Wi Fi or internet do I need for this? How can I avoid it return the signal because you need do you need to keep the attention of the people. And it's really important that you're using the right platform and that you are using the right tools for the purpose you're trying to achieve. So for me would be the emissive briefing. And then of course, rely on our vendors, because they are the experts and they the agencies and the platforms, and also some hotels that have incorporated some medium firms as venues itself. We follow the technology. We need to rely on them to say, Okay, this is what I need. This is what I want to achieve. This is my budget, what is your advice to get the best result on this?


Frederik: All right, thank you so much, Ricardo, for sharing that insight from you. It's very important. I'm going to move on here and I'm gonna go to Caleb. Technology. I know for today getting this webinar flying, I feel very secure in the topics and the content. But of course now it's more technology. And I need to press some buttons and I'm gonna get everyone here in the right order. What are the most critical things that can happen out there? When event planners are doing this, and what advice would you give event planners, we're now doing this with more technology for planning meetings and events? Well, with what's your advice? 


Caleb: Yeah, absolutely. And I will say too, Frederik and I were joking about this a little bit earlier in our speaker greenroom before we went live, how as a host, there are so many more factors that you have to consider. So everybody that's watching the attendee, please give, give a round of applause to Frederick here for hosting and, and juggling multiple tasks right now at the same time. I did kind of want to jump into some of those challenges or things that we need to consider when we're looking at different hybrid events. And it kind of comes down to really what Ricardo said a moment ago, we're talking about return on investment at Cvent, we like to refer to that as return on event. And also, what are our goals? What are our outcomes? And what are we looking to achieve? So what we've recognized and how we're kind of trying to work to position our customers on the customer success team is really identifying the ideal experience you want for each type of attendee. So we have first, our virtual attendee, we're kind of familiar with those people. These guys are going to either be long loyal customers of your brand or just getting introduced to your brand. You're not spending as much money on them or time really because they're watching virtually, and we're talking about dynamic digital interactions. Those are factors that we can consider in the virtual experience. And on the other hand, we have the in-person experience too, so we can drive deeper relationships with these folks. There's travel involved, they're having an immersive experience, in addition to just being close to the content. And so Cvent what we've tried to identify is, where's that overlap? When we identify those two experiences? What's the overlap there? And what do we need to prioritize from a technology perspective, to ensure a successful event and to avoid risks? And that's where we kind of start to look at, what is the website and registration process like for both types of attendees, what is the online event platform, the mobile app for in-person people, and the web experience for virtual people. And then we also have a content library, we're gonna, I'm gonna kind of reference throughout some of my answers how important content is during an event, especially now that they're virtual or hybrid, in this case, in addition to how important it is to engage attendees, again, on site or in person, or virtually. And we have a lot of ways to do that through polling q&a chat, like you're using today. So really, identifying those two experiences is going to be critical.


Frederik: Wonderful. Yeah. Choosing the platform is something that we at CWT is also supporting with. And the good thing is that we have multiple ways to look at this. Also, from Ricardo's point of view, what is the main objective? What is it I want to achieve? And how is the best way to do it? And today, we are using the Cvent attendee hub, and using some of the features, but I guess there are so much new technology also coming on, week by week, month by month, right. There's a lot of things in pipeline, I guess. 

Caleb: Absolutely. 

Frederik: All right. Thank you, Caleb, I want to move over to the hotel part now. And this is definitely an important thing. Very quickly, Gerilyn, the hotel industry has been caught by surprise, the pandemic and everything that happened. We know Hilton are working very hard on this transformation. But in general, how has the hotel industry coped with the last year and what is happening in the hotel industry right now preparing for all these new things?


Gerilyn: Yeah, well, you can imagine it was a year like unlike any other and, you know, if we overuse the word unprecedented, often and, you know, never expecting we'd see this sort of occupancies we saw, but the good news is, you know, we are certainly trending back in the right direction, where anxious to and have begun, you know, obviously welcoming meeting customers, you know, back into the hotels and larger numbers, or leisure customers have, really been pretty active all year. So that's encouraging. But we've, you know, there's been a lot of work, as we've talked about, around, you know, preparing the hotels to be safe and responsible and welcoming guests back. And then looking at these new, you know, technologies and ways that people are looking to meet, you know, moving forward.


Frederik: Yeah, suddenly, the hotel becomes something else than it used to be. We are talking to you about studio productions in hotel facilities. And did you have all this technology already in place? Or have you been needing to invest heavily during the pandemic? Where the cash flow has been troublesome?


Gerilyn: Yeah, it's been interesting. So I would say that, you know, as we've all said, you know, digital and hybrid meetings were, you know, certainly heard of before, but they were not nearly the norm. So I think we all, you know, not only Hilton, but all the brands had to sort of come up to speed on exactly what was happening, understand their hotels and the hotels capacity, because, you know, a guest, right, a planner might want to host a meeting at a hotel, but we had to be sure that we had the infrastructure in place that could accommodate it, and what kind of meeting it could accommodate. Because, you know, obviously, we know, the more complex the meeting gets, the more bandwidth and, you know, technology that's required. So, I know, we went through an exercise where, you know, every hotel was evaluated as to what was their capacity. So we could confidently say to a potential meeting planner, you know, yes, we can do this or no, we can't and then to your point, for those hotels that, you know, maybe didn't have quite the bandwidth to support, you know, a large digital versus virtual meeting, you know, they had to make a tough decision. Is that a, are you going to take that big bet that, you know, hybrid meetings are going to be something of the future and you know, take the bet and make the investment in a time when obviously, funds were limited. 


Frederik: Yeah. It's difficult times and thank God we do see, even though it's not clear anywhere, we do see bookings are coming in and the future looks definitely brighter today than it was a year ago. We are doing fine on time, I just want to now look at the audience and say thank you for listening. And I hope that you are enjoying this, make sure that you are clicking that q&a button. You remember, you can be anonymous when you are typing the question. So you don't have to reveal who you are. But please, we love to have your questions from the sessions on any of the topics. Now I'm going to ask a question a little bit, and I need a little short answer from you guys. And I'm gonna go and do gallery view right there. So, Ricardo, Caleb and Gerilyn, there has been, of course, over the years planning event, this is one of the key things is to engage your audience and get them excited and reach that ROI and move forward in order to really have a good time and also meet those objectives. When we went virtual, it became super hard to how do I engage an audience virtually? And how do I get to almost, I want to be with you again, Gerilyn and Caleb, I want to be sort of getting the energy. Now we have one more factor, we have the mix of our physical attendee environment. And then we have also the virtual, what advice can you give people? How can they boost engagement, and get that energy and excitement in when they are doing a hybrid event? And Caleb, I'm gonna shoot with you first.


Caleb: Thanks. So I have to say, in my experience, and what I've seen with the rest of our company, the importance of content cannot be stated any more clearly, in terms of creating an engaging event that's partly virtual hybrid, all virtual. And I mean, we know what it's like to be in person too. But content is going to be my answer here. Frederick, we can't overstate. 


Frederik: I hear you. Content. Yeah. Gerilyn, what's your take on, what is the most important to engage and excite audience when we have them now, both physically and virtually? 


Gerilyn: Yeah ,I think you've got to make the particularly the virtual component feel like they're part of the physical meeting. I mean, it's, you know, it's already you're, you're not there. So it's challenging, we've probably all been in this situation where you're sort of like, don't forget me, I'm in here. So I think by first of all, making sure that the sound, you know, you can hear, I mean, often, you know, it's as simple as you can't really even hear well, what's happening in the room. But you can see what's happening in the room, you know, that the audience can see you. And then I think, you know, just making sure there's interactive things that are happening that keep that, you know, virtual audience engaged, like, you know, polling, or gamification, or whatever it is, so that they feel like they're connected, you know, to what's happening in the room.


Frederik: Great, great. Thank you so much, Gerilyn, and Ricardo, what is your view on on engaging your audience


Ricardo: You know, I fully agree with them both what they've said before, but I would say that if we talk about hybrid, my main advice would be please do not forget the people on the other side of the screen, we tend to focus the people that is in front of us and what sometimes is like when we do conference call, we're in the meeting room, and somebody's connecting from Prague. And we sent somehow we forget that there's someone, the Czech Republic that is also attending the meeting. So if you do hybrid, please do not forget about the others that watch or at home or in the places in their offices, connecting from other venues, talk to them as well. And going virtual 100%, apart from from what my colleague said, both of them that I fully agree will be, you cannot keep attention over 40-45 minutes in a string. So you need to be really, really extremely cautious doing blocks of content, leaving some pause to the people so they can attend their email, so they can refresh, they can go for grab glass of water, and you can do icebreakers. There's a lot of things that are going now, like when we were doing the cycle meetings, meetings are normally in person, they lasted for three and a half, four days, you cannot have someone eight hours behind the screen, you know trying to, let them know what they need to know. So CWT invents something different. Send them a box with something funny that they can open up one at a time, any single hour they will be up and in a different portion of the box finding out, you need to get the attention. You can even do some gamification with your employees if you want, just to make life a little bit easier for them because it's really pretty tough to be eight hours behind their screen you need to collaborate, you need to make it as funny as possible without losing focus on what we are trying to transmit.


Frederik: So what I hear, the common word that you are all touching is content and getting it right and I love the fact Ricardo the sessions need to be short on the right topic and engaging the audience, I hear you're talking about gamification, just wrapping it up nicely. And making sure I heard you say, surprise your audience, do not forget that you have physical people and virtual people, and they need to have an equal experience. So thank you so much. And again, these are the great takeaways that we are learning about the hybrid. 

Okay, I have a bottleneck topic that always occur when I am promoting and selling virtual and hybrid events. That is not the fear, but the bottleneck of the technology. And technology is, of course, related to risk. We are talking about GDPR, data protection, integrity, all of those things, Caleb, I'm looking at you. How can a planner mitigate those risks and come through those challenges of what the IT department is saying? You know what you want to do? But you don't know if you're allowed to do it because of IT risks. What is your your idea on that? How can we get through that? 


Caleb: Yeah, that's a really good question. And I kind of have a few different ways to answer that, I suppose. So I'm really going to look at this question through the lens of hybrid, right. That's what we're all kind of talking about today. Yeah, we've obviously we're all familiar with new landscapes moving from in person to virtual. And as we shift to te hybrid, there are some common challenges that I think we need to reconsider in terms of having this onsite component in this virtual components. So three big challenges come to mind. The first is executing. So we're talking about logistics here. And really, that, as we're all familiar with logistics often comes comes down to money, dollars, right? We're talking about a budget, and also the number of people involved, the bandwidth, the staff that you have to host both event experiences, we're talking about one event, two experiences. And oftentimes execution can be one of those biggest problems, budget, and ultimately the number of people that can help. And then the next challenge that I kind of am thinking of here is honestly engagement. I mean, Gerilyn talked about how important that was just a moment ago, keeping those, keeping those attendees engaged. And as Ricardo mentioned, not just the ones in the room, but the ones online too, right, we're talking about both experiences, and trying to identify ways to prioritize the experience for each type of attendee. And then finally, that third challenge here is data, we need to make decisions based on data, we need to come to the table with goals and outcomes we're looking to achieve and make sure our technology can support that, like I mentioned earlier, and when it comes to capturing data, that complicates things a little bit, because we're talking about capturing data on site, and also digitally, in the web experience as well. So executing, engaging, and tracking data are going to be the three biggest risks that we need to think about as we as event professionals, prepared to host a hybrid event. And then Ricardo mentioned this earlier, the underlying theme across all of that is data privacy and security. And that is kind of the in summation, what I see is as some topics we need to focus on in terms of risks.


Frederik: And you have to be very clear to the audience because you as a tech company, you work intensively to have a clear communication to the market about what your starting point is the securities that you have, and everything that we can build in. So the message is really that, of course, it needs to be looked after from each and every customer. But there shouldn't be any, there shouldn't be too much worry, as long as you are doing this by the book and in the right way. Is that how I can feel it if I'm a little bit uncertain?


Caleb: I suppose. Yes. The other factor I want to kind of tie into this, too, is experience. We're all kind of new to this. And we're all figuring it out as we go too. I know we've hosted a few virtual events with Cvent and our customers have hosted a few as well. But how many of you attendees that are watching have hosted a virtual event and then let's amplify that and say your next event is going to be hybrid, right? Like figuring out what that looks like is going to be challenging, and we're trying to align as much as possible to the industry and sharing best practices. In fact, I was just in a leadership meeting yesterday with my team and Gerilyn, I brought up  your story about how Hilton has been preparing as a venue on site to host hybrid events and thinking about it from that onsite perspective is not something that I had taken the perspective of in the past, mostly focused on technology and software. So really considering all those different factors from an experience and time perspective is is also important too.


Frederik: Perfect that brings it over to you Carolyn, technology, risk mitigation. What are the big risks that you are talking about? That you need to mitigate into hotels when you are receiving people now, as as we are coming through with, with live audience again.


Gerilyn: Yeah, well, I think we've all spent, you know, a lot of time since the pandemic began, I mean, just sort of reimagining everything from you know, check in to housekeeping to food service to, you know, clearly how do we, you know, operate meetings that are, you know, safe, you know, socially responsible, and flexible. And at Hilton, that was what we came to is our Hilton event ready with clean stay, which is the way that we're addressing on site meetings. So it's looking at things like, you know, understanding what the local guidelines are, and restrictions that are in place with regards to, you know, size of the number of people that can meet. So setting rooms accordingly, you know, with social distancing, we obviously, looked at cleanliness in a very different way. And, you know, different protocols were set up to make sure that, you know, the commonly touched areas where we're dealt with sanitizing stations, and all of the, you know, areas of the hotel. And then again, the food service was big, I mean, you know, you couldn't have just big buffets out, you know, it's more, you know, individual servings, and so there was so much that all, you know, hotels, you know, had to think about. And then, you know, even additional services players were looking for, you know, I want to have in person testing when I get there. So having, you know, the right vendors that can support, that sort of thing, PPE you know, whatever it might be. So, we all I know, spend a lot of time, you know, working through that. And then, you know, with regards to hybrid meetings, and how does that roll into hybrid meetings, and how can hybrid meetings be a solution that, you know, can help bring people, you know, to be able to meet them where they are, so that, you know, some people are ready to come into a hotel and are anxious and willing and able and others are still, would rather be behind the screen. So working with bringing that kind of all together in a safe and responsible way.


Frederik: Perfect, thank you so much, guys, you have been absolutely amazing. We are pushing at 16:32 here in Stockholm, and you have come through all the questions, brilliantly. I actually want to go and shoot some questions to you. We have opened a q&a session right now. So I'm looking on my other screen. Now I'm going to be a little bit all over here with my look. But bear with me. And any one of you will feel like you want to answer this question now, go at it. So what do you believe? Do you believe that hybrid events are here to stay? And also when the world goes back to normal? Anyone?


Gerilyn: I'll take that. Yeah, we do think so. You know, I think people have seen that, that having the virtual component is able to amplify your message. And so people that normally might not be, you know, attending a meeting now can join in, you know, virtually so while we believe, you know, face to face meetings are certainly you know, where is that and what people are just anxious to get back to, because you can't replace that. But that being able to, you know, increase and amplify your message by bringing in the virtual component will likely continue to be part of the plan.


Frederik: From a CWT perspective, working with meetings and events, we are definitely super sure that the hybrid factor will remain as a great, as I said in the beginning, a great add on to the normal meeting as we can bring more people together at a lower cost. And you don't have to fly everyone to a location as you can have a less carbon footprint. And that is also to remember, the hybrid allows us now to do things differently and use that positively. I got another question here and Ricardo this is going to be the one biggest challenge you have organizing a hybrid event from a technology perspective. And I'm thinking of you as a customer. What is that that could be a worry?


Ricardo: Well, in fact as an event that is being run by your company by CWT, this was going to be in a luxury property because it was an incentive, the only one that we do for for our employees in the region for the year. Obviously we can adapt. So we're trying to do this, we need to understand that what we're trying to do what do you do in an person Gala? There is no way you can do in the same way on a virtual world? Because yes cannot open 100 mix, you know it will be a nightmare. We all know what happens. I mean, we have seen these jokes on TV, the Prime Minister talking and then the little children show up and there's a lot of things we just cannot control. And it's not bad, we just need to take it as normal. I mean it's is we're in our places, we're in our houses a lot of people is at home, live keeps going and this is perfectly fine. So the take the biggest challenge for me is to understand what will make sense? Not trying to get the event as similar as it was because it's impossible. How can I make it to achieve the same return on investment that I was looking for, which is people satisfaction and joy, even if I need to do it in a completely different way. And this is going to be the key for the future because yes, virtual came to stay, hybrid came to stay. Even we will start doing in person minutes, hopefully, in the next month, it is still in a few years, we will not recover the turnover and the figures that we had in my team, at least for a few years, for a long time. So, for me, the secret is guaranteeing what Caleb said work on the content, what we're Gerilyn said about the audience and technology and everything the site  platform. But then the key point for me, as what you've heard in many TED talks, or some other talks is the one that will be winning the prize is thinking out of the box. Because what is going to be the best thing of the next year, it hasn't still been done even thought by anyone is a brand new world and it's completely virgin. And you guys can think how to run hybrid events, it's going to be funny, it's going to be challenging, and it's going to be great, because we always adapt. And we will do it. 


Frederik: Yeah, it's good. You know, we're coming to the end, I feel relieved, and I feel so happy about it. And, you know, Caleb, one for you here is how long would you say is a good length of a hybrid or a virtual event? What is your very quick answer on that? 


Caleb: I suppose we're referring to, I guess the length of the event itself from start to finish? Yeah. So I guess let's think about it like this. When we were in person, we had a multi day event that was going all day long. And you oftentimes were on site at different cities and at the hotel immersive experiences in the morning, afternoon. And even evening. Ricardo mentioned this, it is hard to engage people that long from the virtual side of things. So we need to consider what is the bare minimum amount of time that the virtual audience can engage and plan accordingly. They're almost like our rate limiting reaction, sorry, science science background here. But we need to kind of consider what that looks like first, and then build everything on top of that, which could be maybe three days, three, half day, the three half day event, or maybe it's that five days, and it's 30 minutes each day, kind of really identifying what those experiences look like and how they come together in that overlap to support the attendees on both sides. 


Frederik: So just to capture that, there's a lot of different ways to do it successfully, but the common is that keep it shorter than what normally a physically event would be and keep that attention with the audience. Is that Is that a good advice?


Caleb: I think that sums it up nicely. Yes. Yeah. 


Frederik: Wonderful. So Ricardo, is this more or less? A yes or no question. And here's one for you specifically, is there a new approval process for hybrid events now? Or do you have a team responsible for that?


Ricardo: There's extra things in the policy, they need to go for an approval, even though there's been already segmentation. But yes, there's an extra approval, because we need to, the duty of care is fundamental. So we need to check every single point of how the event is going to be run.


Frederik : Thank you so much. I actually have something here. I like this question. Can you speak to the value and cost of hiring an outside host and moderator, and that is me at this point. For a hybrid event, as compared to a leader from the company being main host. I think of our Cvent Connect event, and Mark Jeffries, Caleb, you recall that, you know what he's talking about?


Caleb: I absolutely do. I will say Mark Jeffries, I am a huge fan of, I followed on Instagram, the guy does a great job. And he's been our MC for multiple years now for Cvent connect, most recently for our virtual Cvent connect conferences. And he really brings the energy that we're looking for to connect all of the sessions together while our senior management kind of really identifies with our audience on the key core topics that we want to bring to our customers that year. So it's really a balance of identifying what our outcomes and goals are and who needs to speak to each and we're able to prioritize Mark Jeffries kind of creating that cohesive environment for all of our attendees, both in person and virtual. 


Frederik: Yeah, wow. Yeah, I hear you and I do have a comment as well on that. Having a moderator is always good. That is one of the strong advices we get from CWT when we plan these events, have somebody put it together and wrap it up nicely and keep it tight. And also, if you do want to have your own people doing this, absolutely do so but I believe that you need to make sure that anyone you put in front of the camera likes to be with the camera. And if you are asking them to be there on a virtual or hybrid and speak and there is a camera, rehearsal rehearsal rehearsal is a good advice. And of course, if you have a person who has that experience, they will come through, and they will reach your audience. So that would be a value of investment if they can capture the audience and do something with that energy. So yes, good value, and then whoever you're bringing in there, make sure it's the right person for the right topic. So Caleb, Ricardo Gerilyn, any final words from you, before we close down today's webinar?


Caleb: Just wanted to say thank you all for listening today. As you come across more experience, share it with the industry. We're all partners here, trying to identify what's next.


Gerilyn: Yeah, that's good. I would, I would echo that. And I would say in particularly around hybrid meetings, you know, I think we've all been talking about them, planning for them getting ready. And now they're actually starting to happen more and more in our hotels, and everybody wants to hear about the experience, so to share them and looking forward to welcome everyone back in the door.


Frederik: Thank you, Gerilyn. Ricardo?


Ricardo: Yeah, I want to thank Gerilyn and Caleb and yourself also Frederik, for contacting me for this. It's been a pleasure. And just remember that rules change, pandemic change, everything change, but the only ones that really makes a difference is people so every single one listening behind their screens it's in your hands, we'll make it, and good luck for future.


Frederik: Thank you so much, Tak samik. Muchas gracias. Thank you and have a wonderful afternoon everyone. And for you who listened, enjoy, plan your next next event and really make it happen. So thank you so much and good night.