What is a Hybrid Event? How to Plan and Manage One Successfully

by | 2 Jun 2022

If you’re looking for a new and innovative way to host an event, then you should consider a hybrid event. Hybrid events are becoming increasingly popular in the event industry, as businesses seek to find new and innovative ways to reach their target audiences. In this blog post, we will discuss what is a hybrid event, different types of hybrid events, how to plan and manage them successfully, and the benefits they offer.

What is a Hybrid Event

A hybrid event is an event that combines elements of both in-person and virtual events. They can be a great way to reach a wider audience, as they offer the convenience and flexibility of online events, combined with the personal interaction and networking opportunities of an in person event.

Types of Hybrid Events

There are a number of different types of hybrid events that you can host, each with their own unique benefits. Here are some of the most popular types:

Live Streaming

live streaming

Live streams are live broadcasts of an event that can be watched by an audience in real-time. They are a great way to reach a larger audience, as they can be shared across social media and other online platforms.

Webinars with live Q&A

Webinars are live, online events that allow you to share presentations, demonstrations, and other educational content with your virtual audience. They are usually accompanied by a live Q&A session, which allows attendees to ask questions and get clarification in real-time.

Virtual trade shows

Virtual trade shows are online events that allow businesses to showcase their products and services to a wider audience. They offer attendees the opportunity to learn about new products and services, and connect with exhibitors from around the world.

Online summits

These are events that are entirely online, but which bring together a number of expert speakers to share their knowledge on a particular topic. They offer attendees the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest in their field.

Hybrid conferences

hybrid conference

Hybrid conferences combine the best of both worlds, offering participants the opportunity to attend sessions in person, as well as participate in online sessions.They offer the benefits of both, with the added bonus of giving attendees the ability to choose which format they prefer.  This allows participants to connect with other attendees in person, as well as connect with virtual attendees from around the world.

Benefits of Hybrid Events

There are many benefits to hosting a hybrid event, including:

The ability to reach a wider audience & increased attendance

Hybrid events are ideal for reaching a wider audience than either type of event could on its own. In some cases, hybrid events can attract more attendees than either online or in-person events alone. This is due to the convenience and flexibility that hybrids offer.

Create a more personalised experience for attendees

By combining the best of both online and in-person events, hybrid events offer attendees a more personalised experience. This can include tailored content, opportunities for one-on-one networking, and more.

Increased engagement

Hybrid events are highly engaging, offering attendees the chance to participate in activities, interact with speakers and exhibitors, and network with other attendees.

Greater Event ROI

Hybrid events offer a higher return on investment than either online or in-person events alone. This is due to the increased reach and engagement that hybrid events offer.

How to plan and manage a successful hybrid event

planning event

When planning a hybrid event, it’s important to consider the needs of both in person attendees and remote attendees. You’ll need to create an event that is engaging and interactive for both groups. Here are some tips on how to plan and manage a hybrid event:

1. Create a detailed plan and schedule

A detailed plan and schedule is essential for a successful hybrid event. This should include a list of all the activities and sessions that will take place, as well as the times and dates that they will take place. This will help you to ensure that all the elements of your event come together seamlessly. 

2. Select the right mix of activities

Not all activities will work well in a hybrid setting. Choose a mix of activities that will appeal to your target audience and fit with the overall theme and objectives of your event.

3. Choose the right venue for the physical event

The physical venue for your hybrid event will play a key role in its success. Make sure it is large enough to accommodate all of your attendees, and has the necessary facilities and equipment to support your event activities.

4. Choose the right online platform

There are a variety of online platforms that can be used for hybrid events. You’ll need to choose a virtual event platform that is easy to use and offers the features you need – e.g., the ability to hold group chats, share documents and presentations. Some virtual event platforms include:

  • Facebook Live: This platform allows you to broadcast live videos to your Facebook followers.
  • YouTube Live: This platform allows you to live stream videos to your YouTube subscribers.
  • Slack: This platform allows you to host online conferences and meetings with your team or clients.
  • Zoom: This platform allows you to host online meetings and webinars.

5. Test everything in advance

Before your event goes live, be sure to test the virtual component and all the technical aspects of your hybrid event. This will help to ensure a smooth and successful event.

6. Communicate clearly with attendees

Make sure everyone knows what to expect from your hybrid event, and provide them with all the necessary information they need to make the most of the experience. For instance, provide a detailed agenda and schedule. This will help them plan their day and make the most of the hybrid event experience.

event scheduling

7. Manage logistics effectively 

Hybrid event management can be challenging, but it is essential for a successful outcome. Delegate tasks to team members and have contingency plans in place for potential problems to ensure everything runs smoothly during the event

8. Promote your event

Be sure to promote your event through both online and offline channels. This will help you reach the widest possible audience.

9. Engage your audience

audience

Keep your attendees engaged by offering interactive elements, such as Q&As, polls, and competitions.

Follow up after the event

Stay in touch with your attendees after the event by sending them a follow-up email or survey.

Hybrid Event Examples by Brands & Event Organizers

If you’d like to learn about what hybrid events look like in practice, check out these resources below:

20 Hybrid Events Examples That Will Inspire You in 2022

What Does a Hybrid Event Look Like? | Behind The Scenes of a Hybrid Experience | Shawn Kanungo

So there you have it! Virtual and hybrid events are a great way to reach a wider audience, create a more personalised experience for attendees, and improve your ROI. If you’re thinking of hosting a hybrid event, be sure to keep the tips and advice in this blog post in mind to ensure a successful event. Thanks for reading!

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