How to plan phygital events? And more importantly, what is a phygital event?
Think of it as a dynamic fusion of the real and digital worlds. It’s not a brand-new concept, but lately, it’s been shaking up the event planning scene.
Phygital events are your ticket to a global stage. They’re also a perfect fit for our changing world, offering safety without sacrificing attendance.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of phygital events.
Because they’re a game-changer!
We’ll uncover why event planners should get on board, spill the beans on how to plan them like a pro, and dish out tech tips to make them shine. Ready? Let’s go!
A. What is a phygital event?
“Phygital” as the name suggests, combines “physical” and “digital”. But what does it mean for events? It means creating an interactive event experience by combining physical and digital elements.
It’s not a new concept. This term was coined in 2014. However, it has only been a trending topic for event planners over the last three years.
Phygital events are the future of event planning. They combine technology and human experiences to create the most memorable events.
They aim to bridge the gap between physical and online audiences while providing them with world-class facilities.
B. The many advantages of a phygital event
Now that we know what phygital events are, let’s understand why event planners need to organize them. You’ll only want to learn how to plan phygital events when you know the “why” behind it.
- Phygital events help us organize events on a larger scale, potentially attracting millions of attendees
- It provides an exciting experience to attendees who see a combination of physical and virtual elements in an event
- Expect better ROIs for both you and your sponsors as the event reaches more people
- Due to the digital elements, you can track attendee behavior better. This will help you do better data analysis for future events or in real-time. Remember it is easier to track people’s opinions and engagement levels online
- You can potentially increase the lifespan of your event as the event recording or memories will have a digital backup. Your attendees can revisit the content of the event at their convenience
- There are more revenue streams as you can have different tickets for virtual and hybrid attendance
- Your attendees will be exposed to a global network of people interested in the event
- It’s compatible with the growing health crisis in the world. The virtual component of phygital events offer better safety and thus, attendance
- Expect better brand exposure as you’re extending your event on multiple platforms, both online and offline
- Accessibility is an added benefit. People with health concerns or a busy schedule can also be a part of the event
- As the entire attending population doesn’t need to be physically present, you’re also reducing carbon footprints. Those who live far away don’t have to travel all the way to attend the event
C. How to plan phygital events
So far, you must be either used to planning digital events or in-person events.
In this article, we are exploring the opportunity of planning events in between the two realms.
It’s a relatively newer concept and hasn’t been mastered by many just yet.
So it’s a good time to hone your phygital event planning skills before it is too late.
Here are some general tips as to how you could turn your regular digital/in-person event into a phygital event:
- While booking the event venue, ensure that the venue has the infrastructure that’s compatible with technology. Brownie points for events that have all the needed plug points and equipment for live-streaming
- Have breakout sessions for event attendees to reduce the boredom or engage more 1:1 interaction
- Remember that video-sharing or screen-sharing isn’t enough. You also need high-quality broadcasting facilities to get better engagement.
- Partner with the best video streaming solution providers to avoid technical hiccups during the event
- Knowing technological compatibility isn’t enough, to ensure that the physical aspect of the event is also on-point. The venue must be able to accommodate the number of participants
These are the basics.
Now, let’s take a leap into the future and teach you what are the current trends of phygital events.
We hope these fill your mind with ideas for your next phygital event.
- Stalls at a regular physical event are common. But, you can augment this experience with more immersive virtuals and exhibits
- Run chats, surveys, and Q&A sessions during the event to increase engagement
- Have advanced ticketing, registration, and payment solutions at the event
- Integrate novel assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into your event. These could be used as prizes or simply distributed. They can later be stored or sold to be encashed
- Wearables are frequently being used to make events phygital. They can either be electronic bands that change color based on music. Or, you can take it up a notch to give digital bands that can help people share contacts and network better
- QR codes are integral to any phygital space. They can be used to share flyers, menus, or even marketing
- Have digital kiosks to help people navigate during the event
- Design a mobile app for people to know the layout of the whole event. This can tell them where they need to be and at what time. This is especially useful for large-scale events like Coachella. Likewise, the app can be customized to meet the needs of your own phygital event
- Remember how the Ukrainian President Zelensky appeared in front of foreign delegates as a hologram to deliver his message? That was monumental for us event planners. Try getting holographic technology in your event
- Gamification is an essential element of successful phygital events. You will have to create simple tasks like buying, engaging, and participating in a game with a leaderboard. If the leaderboard is displayed/shared over social media, people are more likely to participate
D. Importance of technology in phygital events
If you want to learn how to plan phygital events, you will have to keep up with the technological revolution.
AR and VR experiences at events used to be astonishing to attendees a decade ago. Today, they are found at every leading event.
Attendees are constantly looking for more interactive futuristic experiences.
However, a very common mistake an event planner can make here is getting carried away by technology.
It would be best if you remember that the technology is not the focus. It’s only a means to make your event better.
Unless your event is about selling or displaying technology, you need to know what you’re getting it for. For example, you can invest in a technologically advanced ticket generator to enhance event security and data insights.
At the same time, allocating an avatar to each event attendee for an exhibition might be an unnecessary expense.
Thus, you need to do your own cost-benefit analysis to know what purpose the technology is serving.
E. Things to remember with phygital events
- Like every event, you cannot proceed with phygital events without a clear event goal. Your goal shouldn’t be to boast technology. Focus on measurable goals like 10% better return on investment than last time
- You’re embracing technology in phygital events. But, this doesn’t mean that the problems that arise with traditional event planning won’t resurface. Use this complete event planning guide to cover the basics
- We recommend that before you aim to master planning phygital events, you must master digital events. Here’s a guide to digital event planning to help you achieve this milestone
- During the event, you might feel the physical aspect of the event is more challenging. However, you can’t neglect your digital audience. You must also deliver quality content to them
- While marketing your event, you must express to the attendees that your event is flexible. Tell them your event is designed to accommodate the needs of even those who cannot physically attend the event
- Phygital events sometimes sound too good to be true. And unfortunately, sometimes it may actually be the case. Initially, you may be inclined to feel that you’ll save up on a lot of catering and logistics. But sometimes, alternative technological solutions may be much more expensive. So, you definitely need to assess the situation, budget, and cost before proceeding
- Like you anticipate potential mishaps during physical events, you also need to anticipate technical glitches here. You’ll also need a plan B in place before plan A fails. Invest in a good tech team that can help with such situations
Lastly, we want to remind you that the phygital event sphere is a ticking clock. If you haven’t hopped onto the trend, you’re already falling behind your competition.
In the fast-paced world of event planning, phygital events have emerged as a game-changer. They’re not a passing trend; they’re here to stay, transforming how we do events.
These events bring together the physical and digital in a powerful way.
They connect people, boost engagement, and create lasting memories. Event planners can’t afford to ignore them.
This isn’t the only trend though, go through the top event trends of this year.
That’s it for this time. We hope to cross paths with you again at your next upskilling session.
You can take the next step towards honing your event planning skills by signing up for our newsletter below.