Hybrid Conferences: Are They Now the Default?
- IT Innovations
- 01.12.2021 05:37 pm
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has left a significant impact on the day-to-day life of most businesses and people. In just a few days, all the live conferences and events were canceled or postponed. These engagements were drastically adjusted online, and virtual events became the new normal.
While this change took place, many new learners made their way across to create effective programs. It made the event industry realize that both live and virtual events are important to make success. Hybrid events, thus, have become the new normal of the industry. Here are a few reasons why hybrid events are becoming the future of networking and conferencing:
Live conferences and events are undoubtedly more engaging, but people might not have the ability to attend conferences. It might not be possible for them to travel a long distance, or they might not be able to invest that much time or money. A physical conference might also have restrictions on the number of people attending it. It makes it difficult for the organizers to accommodate requests.
Hybrid conferences allow more people to take part at their comfort without any geographical barriers. It is most pocket-friendly, plus the capacity of the event can reach its full potential. Speakers from across the world can also be present during the event that might not have been possible otherwise.
Reducing the number of people present at the live event means a lesser event’s carbon footprint. When people travel less, they will emit much less CO2 emissions. These kinds of events promote sustainability and are much favored by brand-conscious organizations.
Conducting a live conference means that you will have to incur higher costs. More people means more expenses. A hybrid conference helps with reducing costs like venue, travel, catering, etc.
You might have to invest in some other equipment like cameras, audio, and an online platform to stream your event online. But, despite these costs, the in-person costs will be expensive when compared to the virtual segment. It is beneficial even for the virtual attendees as all they need is a stable internet connection.
Event organizers can also take advantage of attracting more marketeers or sponsors. The sponsors can get more visibility through both platforms- virtual and in-person events. It increases their exposure, and they can relish several perks through this collaboration. They can get access to recorded sessions, feedback, and data throughout the event. It creates a new opportunity for lead generation and brand awareness. Also, they can analyze if the results of their marketing campaigns were satisfying.
Cybercriminals and malicious entities have deployed many ways to exploit hybrid and virtual events. As per a report by the FBI, cyber-crime rates have increased four times after the pandemic. Data Attacks have also increased by a whopping 300%. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that proper security measures are taken during the planning of such events. These events indeed impose different challenges when it comes to cyber security.
By hacking these events, cybercriminals often access sensitive data like identifiable information, trade secrets, intellectual properties, payment, and account credentials. Since these data are valuable, hackers do not leave any opportunity to steal this data.
Though the event organizers use the best online event organizing platform having a data security mechanism. There is always a scope of a data breach via malware attacks and other threats like Zero-Day exploits and Denial of Services attacks.
Now that you are aware of these threats, you should take some steps to combat them. There are some baseline practices that event organizers must follow to make sure that their data is protected. Awareness plays an important role and will empower you to design security protocols to protect your event’s data.
It is necessary to secure your WiFi network as people can deliver malware through the network to which your guests are connected. You can use equal privacy (WEP), WiFi protected access (WPA), or WiFi protected access II (WPA2) to protect the WiFi.
You can also establish an antivirus and VPN on your organization’s network to protect your connections. Antivirus will keep your devices from any malware attacks. A VPN for Canada or any other country will help you by providing end-to-end encryption, enabling your users to have secure access over your WiFi networks.
Most malware is designed to manipulate, steal or record information but, some might only destroy your data. This malware can enter your network in the same way but dealing with them can be easier. While you should take preventive steps, you must back up all your data and have a copy of everything. Backing-up not only helps you in case of a malware attack but also for any other reasons of data leaks.
Backing up means having data in 2 places, even if it exists on a cloud server. These servers are also susceptible to natural disasters and failures. Thus, backup keeping data in 2 different places will cut such losses. Also, any data backup must again be encrypted and tested periodically to make sure that it works.
Hybrid Conference is undoubtedly the new normal, especially after the pandemic. With some awareness and security measures, event organizers can make them advantageous for themselves and the participants. Live events will always trend, but hybrid events increase your proximity to reach more people.