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The future is hybrid

Article in display magazine


For a long time, trade shows were thought to be spared from digitization. The face-to-face meeting seemed irreplaceable. Then came the Corona crisis and suddenly new concepts are in demand. Expocloud shows how events benefit from digital solutions even after the pandemic.

When most people hear the term "hybrid," they probably think of the automotive industry, which has to reposition itself in times of climate change. But hybrid offerings have also long been a topic in the area of trade shows and events, albeit for a different reason. After all, the current Corona situation has forced those responsible to rethink and thus accelerated the introduction of digital tools. One thing is certain: Even after the pandemic, the event industry will see some changes. Virtual technologies will expand real trade shows, Dr. Christian Coppeneur-Gülz, CEO Expocloud, is convinced: "This will result in hybrid approaches. In principle, the aim is to combine the two forms of communication in such a way that the respective strengths are promoted and the weaknesses mitigated. Accordingly, hybrid events thrive not on the contrast between real and virtual, but on synergy and symbiosis." What are the challenges involved? What technical infrastructure is used and how does it work? Coppeneur-Gülz provides answers to these questions.

Real as well as virtual events each have advantages and disadvantages. "If you combine the two formats, at first glance there is a perfect symbiosis," explains Coppeneur-Gülz. The multisensory deficit of the virtual format can be compensated for by the live format. The limited personal communication of the virtual format is perfectly complemented by the possibility of personal communication in the live event. "However, this is thinking too short, because we have to consider: The lower cost of the virtual format does not lower the high cost of the real format, it adds to it. The shorter preparation time of the virtual format does not reduce the preparation time of the real format. Also, the high measurability of the virtual event does not compensate in any way for the weakness of the same name in real events. On the contrary, solitarily it could even distort the picture and lead to false conclusions," Coppeneur-Gülz gives pause for thought. Consequently, the question arises as to which processes, procedures and technologies can be used to solve these deficits.

You can download the full article from Issue 4 August/September 2020 free of charge here.

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