What is a Hybrid Event and How do you Plan Them?
Since Covid-19 first made its appearance last year, online communication and events have become normal. Virtual events have become part of our lives in a way they weren’t before, and we've seen the benefits they can bring.
You might think that hybrid events are just for corporate conferences or seminars, but they can be used for any occasion. We've seen hybrid weddings and birthday celebrations - with friends and family joining online from around the world. What's more, with guests now more comfortable with using online video platforms, we expect this to very much become the norm in 2021 and beyond.
We’re going to be looking at what hybrid events are, and why you should be making the most of them for your event.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is an event that has elements of live and virtual events. Put simply, a hybrid event has in-person guests, audiences, or delegates, whilst also having the ability for others to attend or view online.
Hybrid events integrate technology into a live event and create a great experience for both types of audience. However, this does come with some challenges - what software will you use? How will you make the online experience as special as attending in person?
What are the benefits of a hybrid event?
There are many benefits of creating a hybrid event, including less impact on the environment, greater marketing potential and so many more. But we’ve picked our top three and explained in detail the top three benefits of hosting a hybrid event
Limitless potential reach
Hybrid events are a great option to reach a wider audience without losing the in-person experience. Hybrid events don’t affect the experience of those who attend, nor will they decrease the number of people who experience the event in person.
A hybrid event allows you to reach and attract audiences who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend the event in person, such as people with other commitments on the day, or those who are too far to travel and attend in person. Travelling to an in-person event can be time-consuming and costly, which can often put guests or delegates off attending. From a marketing persoective, offering a virtual element will alleviate those issue and barriers, increasing the number of overall attendees who could attend your event.
Studies have shown that almost everyone who attends virtual events has no intention or opportunity to attend the event live. This proves a hybrid event's ability to capture a new and wider audience.
The barriers that limit your reach of an in-person event, such as distance and number of attendees become obsolete. With hybrid events your reach and event potential becomes limitless.
Increased delegate engagement and feedback
Technology is ever-evolving in live events, however the great thing about a hybrid event is its ability to gain insights engagement and feedback instantaneously throughout the event.
To view a virtual event each person will be accessing the content on a device, whether that be a mobile, tablet or laptop. This puts you at a great advantage to engage directly with those attendees through pop-up polls, topic or questions suggestions, chat functions and many others.
The level of engagement with virtual attendees tends to be much higher than an in-person event where guests are not already looking at their devices. Although, it’s important not to exclude your in-person attendees when creating content that requires immediate user engagement. Instead, use it as a way of bringing both audiences together, and as a tool to create that seamless integration of virtual and in-person attendees.
Hybrid events can create a great insight into your event. Hybrid events allow you to capture more data than an in-person event alone and can reveal all types of information about your event and what your attendees found the most valuable.
Here an example; A hybrid event will allow you to find out the exact number of people attending each session virtually, as well as the moment they left the event. With an in-person event only, you can’t know for sure how engaged your attendees were; it’s very unlikely someone who has tuned out and lost interest is going to get up and leave mid-session, but a virtual audience will provide the insight into when people turned the event off and left the virtual event room.
The engagement of polls and chat functions will also provide insight into engagement, and which speakers or subjects were the most successful at your event. All of these insights will give you a statistical understanding of the most successful areas of your event and help you improve it for the future.
Hosting your hybrid event
A hybrid event doesn’t require hugely expensive technology that is hard to get hold of. Hosting a hybrid event is more accessible than ever, and the technology around them is improving day-on-day - particularly as people become more comfortable using platforms such as zoom and vimeo.
The most important thing about hosting a hybrid event is making sure that you cater for both audiences whilst planning your content. Arguably, your content is even more important at a hybrid event, as the experience needs to translate into something that is engaging and exciting for those at home. Similarly, you may need to think of other factors such as an engaging and branded event website, registration software and a way of communicating with your attendees throughout.
A successful hybrid event will be planned and delivered in a way that creates a truly unique experience for both in-person and virtual attendees.
With the correct knowledge and technology switching your in-person event to a hybrid event has never been easier. Now is the perfect time to make the transition in your events and break down those barriers to your events potential.
Here at Anopia Events we have the expertise and the tools to make your next event and hybrid event with success. Get in touch today to find out how you can expand your audience, gain greater insights, and achieve a successful hybrid event!