If you want to continue organising successful events in 2021 and beyond, learning about hybrid events is the key!
During the last year, most organisations that had planned in-person events had to either cancel their events or switch to fully virtual experience, out of necessity. But as we begin planning our events for 2021 and beyond, there’s an increasing need to facilitate the uniquely social aspect inherent to in-person gatherings, especially the networking aspect, which we all have grown to expect from the kind of events we have attended in the past. And this is where the concept of organising hybrid events comes into the picture.
If you wanted to learn more about hybrid events and their nuances, you have come to the right page! In this article, we share with you what hybrid events are, when it’s ideal to organise such events, and how to organise them.
What is a Hybrid Event?
A hybrid event is designed to combine both the in-person and virtual aspects of an event in a way that facilitates live dialogue and networking between the presenters and attendees, regardless of whether they join the event in-person or online.
The salient features of a hybrid event are as follows:
- Live stream of the in-person event content (panels, keynote, etc.) using a virtual event delivery platform.
- An online platform to facilitate participation and networking between the in-person and online groups of attendees.
- Presenters interacting with both in-person and online audiences and answering their questions live, in real-time.
What are the Main Advantages of a Hybrid Event?
- Reaches a far broader audience by allowing them the flexibility to attend online from any location.
- Fosters a sense of community by engaging both in-person and online attendees simultaneously and facilitating interaction between the presenters and everyone in the audience, using real-time communication.
- Ability to capture valuable insights and data to understand the needs of your target audience better.
- Can be organised with limited resources, while making it possible to achieve the set business goals.
What’s the Difference Between a Virtual Event and a Hybrid Event?
A virtual event is organised entirely online, without a physical venue, using live and/or recorded video streams. In contrast, hybrid events are organised to cater to both types of audiences (remote and in-person) at the same time, while both presenters and attendees have the option to join either in-person or remotely, as per their personal convenience.
When is it Ideal to Host a Hybrid Event?
There are situations when it’s preferable to organise a fully online event, especially when:
- having an in-person component isn’t necessary
- cost, time availability, and ease of planning is of a major concern
- you are organising small-scale events like webinars, internal meetings, etc.
However, if having an in-person component to the event is preferable, and you want to allow a part of the audience the flexibility to attend the event remotely, hybrid events should be your ideal choice. Here are some use cases for hybrid events:
- Large conferences, trade shows and expos, summits, and product launches
- Award shows, festivals, and competitions
- Internal communications, sales kickoffs, quarterly kickoffs, workshops, and training sessions
- Career fairs, recruitment events, conventions, and business networking events
- Galas, milestone parties, and fundraiser events
Also, in case you are already planning an in-person meeting or event, you should consider opting for a hybrid approach, since a part of the audience may not be comfortable with the idea of attending the event in-person and you won’t want them to miss out.
By embracing novel strategies and leveraging new technologies quickly, not only were event organisers and marketers able to let the show go on over the last year, but they also developed a new, valuable event design skill set that has proved very fruitful, as a result, i.e. the concept of organising hybrid events. Even though organising a hybrid event and making it successful may sometimes involve more work than hosting a fully in-person or virtual event, the ROI on a hybrid event usually justifies the additional effort and investment, as it can help you reach a wider audience, and eventually achieve (even exceed) your business goals.
No wonder, the industry is beginning to notice the major advantages that come with organising hybrid events. Needless to say, the audiences, too, want to experience live interactions and networking again, like before – and it’s high time organisations adopted the newly evolving paradigm of hybrid events for everyone’s benefit.
If you are interested in making your next corporate event a hybrid one, get in touch with our team of expert hybrid event planners today!