Santa Cruz County is known to leisure visitors and business travelers for its natural beauty, redwood forests, and coastal charm. As the region moves toward reopening, keeping locals and visitors safe remains critically important. While maintaining safety protocols will continue to be top of mind for meeting planners, the reality is that hybrid meetings may become the norm, long after COVID is over. Research has shown that hybrid meetings attract more attendees than in-person gatherings, due in large part because of the cost factor. With that in mind, Santa Cruz County is the playground for the tech industry – providing hotels, conference and retreat centers, and meeting spaces with turnkey amenities when it comes to technology-driven platforms perfect for hybrid meetings.
The benefits of hosting a hybrid meeting include:
- Expand your reach to a broader audience
- Include attendees who are unable to travel
- Reduce meeting/budget costs
- Improve employee satisfaction
- Extend the life of a face-to-face event
- Keep revenue-producing staff in the field
- Expand employee education
- Support sustainable initiatives
- Generate revenue
- Bring speakers together who can’t travel
In general, hybrid meetings need to “work harder” than simply live-streaming a regular meeting. Event Manager outlines the key things to keep in mind with regard to how to facilitate a hybrid meeting.
Industry experts also advise meeting planners to keep both sides of the screen in mind when building a hybrid-meeting agenda: if the experience is too physically-oriented, then the virtual attendees’ experience will be diluted. Conversely, if the event is too virtually-oriented, the physical experience will be diluted for the in-person attendees.
Fortunately, Santa Cruz County offers the opportunity for enrichment for both virtual and in-person conference participants. Here are some tips and ideas when planning a hybrid meeting or event.
Once your event concludes, attendees who are in Santa Cruz County can venture out safely to enjoy teambuilding activities, wine tasting, sailing, or other socially-distant, safe, immersive experiences.
The team at Visit Santa Cruz County looks forward to welcoming meeting attendees back in 2021 – when it is safe to do so. Until then, be sure to follow Meet in Santa Cruz on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest news and information!