The sustainability of hybrid events
April 22, 2023 - by Haf
There are so many benefits to hybrid events, with one of the main ones being the sustainability of hybrid events. Choosing a virtual or hybrid event rather than a purely in-person one, dramatically increases sustainability from the get-go.
It’s important to address that virtual and hybrid events don’t completely eliminate the event’s carbon footprint, but it does dramatically decrease it. And when armed with the facts and figures, you can make an informed decision about choosing to host a hybrid event rather than an in-person event.
Hybrid events still need a great deal of research into them to obtain more statistics but here’s our take on the stats that are available at the moment ⬇️
We know a power source is still needed whether it’s in a venue or at home, but if you compare the energy usage of a laptop to a desktop PC (laptops use, on average, 80% less energy), it’s easy to see how much less energy could be consumed by attending an event online. A smaller in-person audience, means a smaller venue, less AV equipment to power.
Let’s talk about reduced travel costs and Co2 consumption. Before the pandemic, travelling to an event seemed like the only option, because there were very few platforms that catered for online audiences. And if there was a rickety stream of the event, then those attending online were purely an afterthought.
Now, compare the Co2 consumption of attending an event from your home or office, to commuting across the country (or even world); in order to attend the same event without compromising your event experience…
bearing in mind that the average conference attendee emits approximately 145KG of Co2 emissions per day, but this can often be as high as two tonnes per person if there is extensive travelling such as flights involved, and the average number of attendees at one conference is approximately 258 people (Business Waste, 2022).
When attending online, you eliminate a huge amount of travel costs and cut down on fuel, undoubtedly making a hybrid or online event better for the environment. Did you know that switching from in-person to virtual or hybrid events decreases carbon footprint by a whopping 94%?
And yes, there really are hybrid event platforms designed to ensure that online attendees get the same experience as in-person attendees, not just an afterthought.
Next is waste from conferences. Attendees need to eat and drink no matter where they are. But ordering in food and drink for an expected number of guests, very often leads to food and plastic waste.
Even if the food doesn’t go to waste, it’s important to note that the average venue or stadium that hosts 300 events annually, uses 5.4 million single-use cups – creating an eye-watering 63.75 tons of plastic waste.
Venues can switch to crockery and cutlery, but what about the paper waste? A typical trade show can generate the equivalent of 170 trees worth of paper waste, according to North Carolina’s Centre for Sustainable Tourism. Going hybrid on a platform like Haia would mean the agenda is easily accessible online for both audiences. You don’t even need to print business cards with Haia. It means both audiences have Haia Cards – improving connections and further reducing waste.
To wrap up..
You might be someone that will only ever attend in-person events because you don’t feel that anything can replace in-person events, which is totally fine. But it’s important to consider that a lot of other people might actually prefer a hybrid option, specifically 77% of a surveyed group said they prefer virtual events because of how easy they are to attend. There are so many other reasons that some might choose to attend online too.
I’m sure some of these facts and figures have got you thinking about moving hybrid. Don’t let the term hybrid put you off, there are platforms built to make hosting hybrid events easy *cough cough* us. If you’re interested in learning more, you can fill out this form to speak to one of the team. Or if you’re ready to just dive straight in, you can check out the platform here.
Head of Marketing and Communications
Haf is responsible for marketing, communications and helping out with events within Haia. She enjoys blogging, photography and walking. You can reach out to her with any questions regarding any events you'd like to run on the platform!
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