The future of PR events: Virtual experiences and hybrid models in India
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated existing trends in the public relations industry towards virtual and hybrid experiences. As social distancing guidelines restricted large in-person gatherings, PR professionals in India adapted to traditional event strategies to connect with audiences in new ways.
Now, many PR agencies are investing in virtual and augmented reality technologies to recreate the experience of live events, product launches and press conferences online.
For example, several agencies have conducted product demonstrations and media interactions using interactive 3D models and simulations. This allows journalists and influencers to still actively engage with new products remotely.
Others are focusing on high-quality live streaming and webcasting capabilities. This enables keynote speeches, panel discussions, and performances to still occur with dynamic back-and-forth engagement from the virtual “audience.” PR teams can field press inquiries, monitor social media conversations and compile media kits just as they would onsite.
Hybrid media approaches that supplement virtual events with small in-person gatherings are also gaining traction. Brands might host VIP viewing parties of a virtual product launch or invite select media to satellite event spaces. This balances digital reach with the face-to-face networking valued by PR pros.
As the pandemic lingers in certain countries, most industry experts believe virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. They expand audiences beyond geographic restraints and gather more measurable data on engagement.
Yet the prevalent view is that the most successful PR campaigns will artfully blend physical interactions with remote participants. Companies able to nail this balance in India stand to build media relationships that uphold through future disruptions.