You’ve heard the term: hybrid events. But do you actually know what they are, why they’re beneficial, and how they work? If not, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we explain everything you need to know about hybrid events. Let’s get started!
What Are Hybrid Events?
A hybrid event is any live, in-person event that includes a virtual component.
For example, Conference XYZ plans to host 200 people at the Citizen Hotel in downtown Sacramento. These attendees will have the chance to view keynote speeches, network with their peers, and enjoy live entertainment. Conference XYZ also plans to stream each keynote speech online so that audiences outside the Sacramento area can participate.
Because Conference XYZ is hosting an in-person gathering and streaming portions of its content online, it would be considered a hybrid event.
What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Events?
Hybrid events are beneficial because they allow for greater reach, more convenience, deeper data, and higher ROI, amongst other things.
Greater Reach: In-person only events are limited by the venue they’re hosted in. You can’t sell 1,500 tickets if the hotel you booked has a maximum capacity of 1,200. There’s no limit to the number of virtual guests you can invite, however.
More Convenience: Not every person who wants to attend your in-person event will be able to. Travel, scheduling, and financial restrictions will prevent some of them. Hybrid events eliminate this difficulty by allowing people to participate virtually.
Deeper Data: Because hybrid events include a digital component, it’s much easier to collect data on attendees—data that you can use to improve future get-togethers. For example, you’ll be able to see how long attendees watched each session, not just which sessions they attended. This is nearly impossible with in-person events.
Higher ROI: Return on investment (ROI) is top-of-mind for every business. Hybrid events increase ROI by allowing event planners to sell multiple ticket types (in-person and virtual) and accept additional sponsorship opportunities.
Hybrid events are so beneficial, in fact, 97% of marketers believe they will become more prominent in the future. Get ready for the hybrid revolution!
How Do Hybrid Events Work?
To make a hybrid event “work,” you need to satisfy both your in-person and online audiences. You do this by catering to each of their specific needs.
Most event planners know how to host successful in-person events. After all, they’ve been doing it for years. Virtual events, on the other hand, are a newer frontier. With that in mind, let’s focus on how to make the virtual side of your hybrid event engaging.
Live Streaming Isn’t Enough: You could live stream your in-person sessions and call it a hybrid event. But this strategy often results in a subpar experience for digital attendees. Instead, engage your online crowd by giving them a way to ask speakers questions, network with other online guests, and visit a digital exhibition floor.
Invest in the Right Technology: In order to satisfy your virtual audience, you need to invest in technology solutions that will allow them to fully engage with your content. The kind of tech you choose to use will depend on your personal goals and budget. But apps like Bizzabo, Socio, and Hopin are popular tools.
Put Your Attendees First: This goes for both in-person and online attendees. Their needs should always be at the forefront of your mind. This is the only way to ensure their satisfaction, which can only lead to good things for your organization.
How Does Entertainment Work For Hybrid Events?
Event entertainment is incredibly important, whether you’re hosting an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event. So make sure you take the time to get this aspect of your get-together right.
When it comes to entertainment for hybrid events, you have a couple of options:
Live Stream: You could have a comedian, magician, or rock band perform live for your in-person audience and stream the show to your virtual attendees simultaneously. This may seem like the simplest option, but it must be done correctly. If the sound and image quality is poor, your online guests won’t be able to enjoy the show.
Digital Only: You could also host separate entertainment for your in-person and virtual crowds. For example, you could book an improv troupe like Fish Sticks to perform for your in-person audience. Then you could book a virtual trivia game for online guests. That way they’re “forced” to engage more, which can be hard to do in a virtual setting.
Whether you need to book in-person or virtual entertainment, Funny Business Agency can help. Partner with us to book the perfect performer for your event’s time frame and budget.
Hybrid events are incredibly beneficial—for both attendees and the companies that host them. As such, they’re exploding in popularity. Jump in on this trend ASAP! Once you master the art of hybrid events, you’ll be able to better serve your unique audience.