57% of the population prefers introversion. However until the pandemic rush to virtual and hybrid events, 100% of events provided an experience that only extroverts would enjoy fully.
Hell yeah, the time of introverts has finally come! We can now attend hybrid events without having to muster all our courage to get out of the house and catch an early cab.
That said, while a hybrid event is an event that both intro and extroverts can finally enjoy, it doesn’t tell us much. What is a hybrid event?
Our in-house expert, Wikipedia provides the following definition: “A tradeshow, conference, unconference, seminar, workshop or other meeting that combines a “live” in-person event with a “virtual” online component.”
The truth is, there are as many hybrid events as you can think of. And they all come with different and interesting experiences.
What I’m here to give you are the 7 reasons introverts should love them and what to expect when you’re attending one 🙂
Meet everyone without shaking hands
That’s the beauty of hybrid events. They include and give you the opportunity to meet everyone attending.
From your seat you can search, find and engage with other attendees participating at the venue. And vice-versa. Though only if the event organiser had the good idea to include a mobile application.
Before, you would sweat a little. Rehearsing over and over your new findings on how to give an effective handshake. To finally, as you entered the event’s space, give up.. struggling to find the time and space to give it a try.
This era is over. You can put your hands back down in your pockets and relax. Focus on the personalised content events organisers have provided to make your experience.. unique.
Casual is the new business suit
Introverts often don’t want to ‘stand out’ – and can find it a pressure to fit the clothing norms expected at a business event. Even figuring out what those norms are can be stressful!
No need to spend hours and dress to impress at hybrid events. You can sip from your favorite mug while chatting with experts in your industry, from:
- Your sofa (my favorite spot)
- The beach (my favorite summer spot)
- Your favorite co-working space (my favorite winter spot)
Now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t dress to impress over Zoom or Teams, if you’re participating on a 1:1 video chat for instance. And our friends at Thrive Global have the perfect guide if you do want to look professional, take a look.
Throw away your business cards
Of course, business cards still have value and will be exchanged at hybrid events. Some businesses even allow you to create your own digital business card. Can I tell you there is a way for introverts to standout from the crowd. Without having to actually create and exchange your business cards?
On many platforms, at hybrid events you will still need to introduce yourself. Since your interlocutor knows nothing or much about you. Yet, your profile is your business card. Let your data do the talking on your behalf. It’s the best way for you to connect with only the people you should be connecting with!
To go or not to go shouldn’t be a question
We are all social animals – Aristotle said – and that’s true even for introverts! Introverts need social connection as much as anyone else. As Psychologists Danièle Gubler and Katja Schlegel, both at the University of Bern, Switzerland, say, “Social connections are a basic human need… Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t want to socialise at all.”
The real issue we had in the past was that we didn’t have the option to attend events – without turning up in person. We didn’t have the option to meet selected people in a small breakout room. We didn’t have the option to “turn off” the event as we can now turn off the camera.
Now we have all these options and we might even enjoy these events online – zoom fatigue aside!
We may even go one step further and attend a physical one, for once.
Networking is now an option for all
Ever been to these giant conferences where:
- there are no spaces dedicated to networking
- the dedicated space is for “speed-networking”
- you have 30 seconds to explain
- Who you are
- What you are looking for
- What you can offer
Introvert nightmare, right?
I did it a few times and it hasn’t left the best impression on me.. What’s great about hybrid events is that you can connect at any time with the best matches in the session you attend.
What’s even greater is that organisers can put you in a small group with other participants at the event. This is what is now referred to as “breakout sessions”. You can usually join them if your hybrid event is using Zoom or Webex conferencing.
Hybrid events can go even one step further with intelligent breakout sessions. Imagine a breakout room where the grouping is intelligent. People grouped by interests, industry, or expertise from a click of the organisers. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
(Finally) ask your questions!
Speaking and asking questions in front of a crowd is not an easy feat. Having to raise your hand, waiting to get the microphone, rehearsing your question.. and then finally get to your point while all eyes are on you. Not ideal..
What’s lovely with hybrid events is that you can often ask questions before, during and after a session. No more sweating in front of a microphone, you can engage with a speaker or moderator via chat.
It also means that you can ask your questions after a session is over. Hence, you can still take part when the content of each session becomes available later. No need to gather your inner Hermione Granger and open two streams at the same time. You will be able to attend several sessions which occurred at the same time, lovely isn’t it?
Join an online community
Usually what happens after a physical event is over for introverts is quite simple. We go back home and think about the missed opportunities to take part we had during the event.
Well, this simplistic scheme is over. Hybrid events are an easy opportunity for organisers to transform their events into a community. This year, the International Biennale of Glass edition happens both online and offline. In Sofia, Bulgaria as well as online, in their community. An opportunity for all glass artists to join, and see the latest work of other IBG artists around the world.
No need then to worry about getting access back to a venue, sessions, content. You can access the community all year long. It’s how hybrid events can bridge the gap between virtual and physical events, it doesn’t need to be one or the other. Event organisers choosing this option will transform their events into communities.
Hybrid events are here to stay. Event organisers all over the world are confirming the trend. In the upcoming years, the data is clear: “73 percent of event planners now think hybrid events will continue to be more common in the future”.
Not convinced? Introvert to introvert, let me know your reasons! I’d love to hear more from your own experiences so far and what you’re looking for when attending hybrid events.