Event organisers hope to improve accessibility for both physical and digital offerings, increasingly through partnerships with other companies, as hybrid events remain popular two years on from the start of the pandemic.

Though organisers overwhelmingly agree hybrid events have increased access, there is concern that those living in “tech and data poverty” are overlooked and that more must be done to reach this demographic.

“The thing we mustn’t forget is that for certain sections of the population–if you have a disability [for example] and it’s difficult for you to get out of the house–actually having digital events is absolutely brilliant,” said Syima Aslam, director of Bradford Literature Festival.

But even with widespread adoption of hybrid events, Aslam feels people are still being left behind.

“When we talk about that accessibility, we are talking about accessibility for people who are already switched on to these things, to books, to the culture sector, they are probably people who already participate, they know about these things. And the really important thing is that they have the digital and data infrastructure and capability to be able to participate. One of the things we forget about is that there is a massive deficit nationally when it comes to [technology]–there’s digital and data poverty.”

She added: “There is a certain section of the population who get very easily forgotten, who will get forgotten yet again.”

Read more at The Bookseller.