Satellite events: A key fixture in the future of corporate events?

Eastman Exhibitions

November 13, 2021 4 min read

The world of corporate events was moving along quite nicely until the advent of COVID-19. But ever-versatile, the industry went online and survived virtually. Now, slowly but surely, in-person events are starting to grow again.

However, it appears that Pandora does not go so quietly back into the box. By all accounts, 73% of event planners believe that virtual and hybrid events are here to stay, even after COVID-19.

The nature of these events are still finding their best form and certainly have their flaws. But one of the brightest answers so far has been satellite events.

What Is a Satellite Event? 

In short, a satellite event is a single event concept that takes place in several places at once— virtually and physicallysimultaneously.

Say you desire to host a product launch with a global reach. You could have a satellite event location in every continent. This concept works on smaller scales as well as at the contingent, national and city-level.

If executed effectively, you’ll merge these locations into one cohesive event, where your virtual and physical guests will feel like they are part of something extraordinary.

Much is the same for international or transnational companies that want to hold internal events. If you can’t make it to the head office, can you make it to a closer office?

How Is a Satellite Event Different From a Hybrid Event? 

By now you’re probably thinking, “What makes a satellite event different from a hybrid event?” Because, yes, there is overlap, and perhaps it is an extension of the same concept.

You can differentiate a satellite event from a hybrid event on the simple premise that there is more than one physical event location. For example, if you have a hybrid trade conference in Seoul, it becomes a satellite trade conference when you also have a host location in Tokyo.

Here are the advantages of hosting satellite events:

Less Traveling

Satellite events are just more convenient for prospective attendees sitting on the fence. It means they take less time out of their week to attend, and they can save money not only on travel but also potentially on accommodation.

Increase Attendees and Revenue 

What a satellite event does is increase global and local reach. For example, a hybrid event in Amsterdam can attract attendees from the local area, and that’s about it.

A satellite event, however, will increase your prospective attendance numbers. More attendees mean more money. It’s as simple as that. More attendees also mean more exposure to your brand and your event. 

A single event happening in a single city is lovely, but an event happening in several cities at the same time will gain more online and word of mouth traction. A company that can pull this off will build its reputation off the back of that, no doubt! 

More Fulfilling Attendee Experience

The sad truth is that virtual attendees tend to feel like one box of many on their Zoom screens. And it’s because they are. It’s hard to make virtual attendees feel engaged and catered to, with 71% of event planners saying this is their biggest challenge with these types of events.

With the option of many and more local satellite locations to attend, they can rightfully claim a more personalized experience.

Moreover, they’re advantageous for the simple fact that they’re exciting. Being part of a simultaneous, immersive and dynamic event with people in different countries is an exciting thing to be part of!

They’re a Stepping Stone Back Into Live Global Events

Travel is difficult right now and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Offering in-person events closer to people’s homes will be cheaper, more accessible and most importantly, safer for them to attend.

Regional meetups are a fantastic way to offer live events while the world is coming out of this challenging period. Moreover, splitting up a large event concept into smaller regional locations means a smaller capacity, which is safer by any metric during COVID.

In conclusion, it’s clear that satellite events are an exciting off-shoot of the virtual and hybrid event genre. What’s more, even after travel and event restrictions have disappeared, they still have an intrinsic allure that event planners and attendees won’t be able to resist.

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