The year 2020 is known as the year of change and adopting new ways. The past few months left the entire world in flux, struggling to cope up with the unforecasted global pandemic. The event industry is one of the entities that was seriously affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The events and conferences planned months ago got either postponed or canceled, awaiting the next verdict.
With time virtual became the new normal, and the event industry navigated through virtual events to keep the business going. Organizations around the world who never thought about taking their events online are today leveraging virtual event services. All thanks to technology!
Moving forward, event industry experience, virtual events have many merits, but live physical events hold their own significance. Live event and in-person interactions will always remain an integral part of robust event planning.
This is where different types of event formats came into existence known as hybrid events. Today, hybrid events have become an integral part of the event industry and are here to stay. There is no doubt about the fact that hybrid events are the most powerful tool and the future of the event industry. You may have come across the terms of virtual events and physical events in the past, but what is a hybrid event? Well, in this post we will share a brief overview of what are hybrid events and things you need to know about the same. Let’s get started!
What are Hybrid events?
If we simply put, hybrid events are a mix of virtual events and in-person events. It is organized at an on-site location paired with a virtual event service provider. Hybrid events offer the flexibility to attend the event in-person by visiting a venue or virtually from remote locations. It brings in-person as well as virtual attendees in the same frame thus improving overall experiences and interaction. Sometimes with in-person events, interested attendees miss out on events either due to geographic constraints or limitations in venue capacity. Whereas some miss out due to hefty traveling costs or time management issues. The roadblocks and challenges faced during physical events get completely resolved with hybrid events.
A comprehensive virtual hybrid event platform can host limitless attendees without any geographical constraint and space limitations. Attendees who live at a distance can attend the event virtually from wherever they are via smartphone or a laptop. Whereas attendees who want to experience in-person interactions can attend the live physical event. Hybrid events bring the best of both the event worlds together in the same frame. It offers many more perks far beyond the reach of live physical events.
How to plan a hybrid event strategy?
Once you decide to go hybrid with your event, making a hybrid event strategy is a must. You need to do some research, planning, and brainstorming. Firstly decide whether you are hosting an external event or an internal one. Seek the right tools to promote your event and reach the right set of audience. Outline the tools you would be used for promoting the event. Search for a hybrid event platform that offers engaging hybrid event solutions to deliver immersive experiences to virtual attendees. Decide whether your hybrid event will be gated or free. Apart from it outlining the few key metrics is a must. Whether you want your event to be live or on-demand or both? What experience you want to deliver to attendees, what is the goal of organizing a hybrid event, and so on. Once you make an innovative decision, there comes the execution.
What are the types of hybrid events?
Hybrid events are widely divided into two parts, let’s have a look:
- Internal Hybrid Events
Events that are targeted towards the benefit of companies shareholders, employees, team leaders, etc are known as internal events. Internal hybrid events enable organizations to connect with global clients, delegates, stakeholders, remote employees, etc. virtually as well as in-person. It is not possible to fit thousands of people at a single venue with physical internal events. A hybrid event enables one to host an event at an on-site location and make it live to attendees who can not make it to the venue. It offers the flexibility to attendees to attend the event either in-person or virtually. Annual general meetings, town halls, meetings, and conferences, etc. are some of the examples of internal hybrid events.
- External Hybrid Events
Events that are targeted towards the benefit of existing customers, potential customers, or clients are known as external events. Converting in-person external events into hybrid events set up results in better reach, participation, and engagements thus reducing carbon footprints. Trade shows, exhibitions, expos, conferences, product launches, and demos, etc. are some of the examples of external hybrid events.
What is the goal of hybrid events?
Firstly, determining the goal of your hybrid event is a must to ensure success. Reaching an ample number of audiences is the primary goal, whether they are attending an event in-person or virtually. The hybrid event offers the flexibility to attend the event physically or virtually from remote locations. The goal of the hybrid event is to keep both the set of attendees engaged with the event while delivering value to them. By overcoming certain roadblocks, hybrid events offer better opportunities to connect and network seamlessly.
What are the key elements of hybrid events?
To make your hybrid event a major hit, you need to keep in mind the certain key elements listed below. Have a look:
- Curate engaging content
Engaging content is a must for hybrid events as it keeps both the attendees engaged with the event. An engaging speech and presentation by speakers help in delivering immersive experiences.
- Promotion and marketing
Reaching the right set of the audience either virtually or in-person is a must to ensure the success of your hybrid event. It doesn’t matter how good your event is, if your audience is not aware it’s of no use. Work on the promotion and marketing of your hybrid event. Leverage social media channels, company websites, direct emails, etc. to promote your upcoming hybrid event.
- Easy registration process
Keep the registration process easy to enable attendees to register seamlessly and navigate easily through the session of their choice.
What are the advantages of hybrid events?
Hybrid events come with enormous advantages that can be beneficial for any business or organization. To know more about the perks of hosting a hybrid event, read on:
- Increase reach and attendance
Hybrid events allow attendees to attend an event in-person or virtually from remote locations thus resulting in wider reach. However, it results in an increased number of attendees to be part of the event thus resulting in increased attendance.
- Better sponsorship opportunities
With the wider reach and increased attendance, hybrid events offer better sponsorship opportunities. It gives your brand the much-needed exposure and reaches many at a time.
- Reduce carbon emissions
As attendees are split into two halves with hybrid events, it results in reducing the carbon footprints.
- An improved ROI
When compared to live physical events, an improved return on investment is expected with hybrid events.
How to host a successful hybrid event?
With the right strategy, planning, and the technology you are all set to host a successful hybrid event. Here are the tips you need to keep in mind while hosting a hybrid event to ensure success.
- Determine the purpose of the event
Determine the purpose and objective of a hybrid event that you want to achieve out of it. Apart from it, outline what experiences you want to deliver to attendees.
- An effective planning
Effective planning is a must to ensure success. Answer the questions such as will your event be gated or free? How will your attendees make registrations? What measures will you undertake to keep them engaged? And so on.
- Pick the right technology
To host a seamless hybrid event picking up the right technology is a must. Go with a hybrid event platform that offers engaging hybrid event solutions and features. It helps in improving overall interactions.
- Engaging content
Ensure your speaker talks and presentations are engaging to ensure the success of hybrid events. It helps in engaging the audience with the event.
- Time zone considerations
To make your event successful and reach a maximum global audience, keeping time zone conditions in mind becomes necessary. Consider the time zone of your global potential audience in mind while finalizing the date and time for the event.
- Promote the hybrid event
Promoting the event is necessary to make your potential audience aware of the event. How good the event is, it’s of no use until your audience is aware. Use social media marketing, public relations, direct emails for promoting your hybrid event.