Hybrid is the new buzzword in the events world. We have been adapting the Life After Yachting event to being hybrid before we even knew this was a thing. It’s good to know we are on the cutting edge, even if we didn’t realise it at first!

A hybrid event means that the event has been set up so that you can be involved either virtually online, or live in person, or both. There are many benefits to this. It gives a much wider, global audience the possibility to join in. During uncertain times like the present or for someone with ever changing commitments to consider, you can be part of the event and decide at a later stage if you are going to attend in person.

We have been working with the Eventilla event management app for a few months now and their work has been flawless. The app will allow crew and businesses to efficiently organise their time and meetings both virtually and at the live event. To accommodate the multiple moving parts of the Life After Yacht event they have also integrated with another app called Tavata that will take care of virtually matching crew with the right onshore employment opportunities.

It’s all very exciting and gives us an opportunity to learn new technology in this ever-changing business environment. The Eventilla and Tavata integration also allows us to go completely virtual if the COVID-19 situation takes a turn for the worst. I feel extremely positive about this flexible approach and believe that hybrid events are the way life is going to be moving forward.

It is interesting to see that the Superyacht Group have announced a similar approach today for the Global Superyacht Forum this year, so I think this will soon become the ‘new normal’ in yachting as well.

The world’s economy is struggling and that is a fact. Although many people in yachting have a bigger buffer than most for situations like this, there are also many marine businesses whose cashflows have been seriously affected. I have spoken to many yachting companies over the last few weeks and everyone is thinking careful about how they spend their marketing money and whether they are going to attend boat shows and events or not.

I have also understood from my discussions that some companies have not been hit very hard during the lockdown but are taking the opportunity to freeze their marketing budgets anyway, using the pandemic as their excuse…

This is a bad move in my opinion. Right now you get great value for your marketing money and will be more noticed than ever before for staying strong and getting the world rolling again. Freezing your spend without a good reason will deepen the downturn in our industry and make the situation last even longer.

That’s why I have decided to operate this year’s event on a nonprofit basis. By keeping costs down to a minimum, it allows a wider range of companies from career coaching, financial advice, yachting associations and of course the shipyards and onshore employers to join in, and it’s important that we all do our bit to bolster our beloved community.

The Life After Yachting event has a strong social responsibility element. It gives industry leaders the opportunity to give back to the crew that have supported them all these years. It’s only fair that we offer crew the chance to bring their skills ashore and be valued at the high standards they have worked so hard to achieve during their years of service at sea.

The StartUp incubator side of the event has been very active lately and we have some great new innovators coming to pitch to our Krakens. I feel extremely empowered to speak with young entrepreneurs who are full of energy and building up such great ideas. That’s what motivates me and makes me tick. I’ll give you on update on those startup’s and our event partners in my next blog when I will also introduce you our Krakens.

Keep tuned in.