Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Benefits of a Hybrid Event?
- 2 What are the Examples of Some Best Hybrid Events?
- 3 So, is the future of hybrid events bright?
Reconsidering a hybrid setting for your upcoming event but not sure if it is right for you? No worries. We will walk you through some of the best virtual and hybrid events that were implemented from 2019 onwards that may motivate you to change your format for your next event.
Let’s start with the stats…
According to Event Manager Blog, 62% of event planners say they will continue to accommodate a virtual audience once live events are back in full swing in 2022.
Obviously trends are changing along with the world’s adaptation to the pandemic. When almost all nations were in lockdown, most event organisers opted for the virtual route. Now that Covid vaccination is widely implemented and physical events are reinvigorated, it is easy to understand the appeal of a “hybrid” format.
Hybrid events are a blend of virtual and in-person event formats. Some attendees are physically present at the event venue while other participants attend the event online.
Let us explain the advantages and some tips from professionals for hybrid events, and some examples of the most successful ones.
What are the Benefits of a Hybrid Event?
Hybrid events offer a unique opportunity to experience the advantages of in-person and virtual events simultaneously.
Let us have a look at some other benefits of hybrid events:
Safer for in-person Guests
Fewer attendees in person would make it easier to follow physical distancing and Covid protocols. That’s why hybrid events are considered safer than traditional events. Those attending online would have almost zero risk of contracting the virus, especially when they access it from their homes and are not exposed to other individuals.
Reach More Audience
Hybrid events are not limited to in-person attendees only; anyone from around the world can attend the event! All that’s required for virtual audiences to join is a stable internet connection apart from accessing a specific digital platform.
Having fewer in-person guests at an event requires fewer energy resources, making virtual and hybrid events the green option for event organizers.
What are the Examples of Some Best Hybrid Events?
To see how powerful a hybrid can be, let us walk you through the 6 best hybrid events of recent times from brands around the world.
Apple Special Events
Apple is one brand always known for hosting extravagant events. Having a huge cult following, people expect nothing but the best from the brand.
With COVID-19 in full swing back in 2020, Apple had to reconsider its approach to its product launch events.
And they didn’t disappoint.
For its 2020 Special Events, Apple used exceptional production quality with the latest videography techniques. With CEO Tim Cook on stage and the audience watching from home, Apple set a new landmark for virtual and hybrid events.
The smooth executions of transitions throughout the event is what made the Apple Special Events so dynamic and fun at the same time.The team made sure to get every detail down perfectly and maintain flow during the events.
A hybrid model became the benchmark for other giants in the industry following Apple’s huge success.
The event also showcased stellar performances from bands like Blink-182, which made things even more fun. Interestingly enough, Twitch decided to spread the news of its event by word of mouth.
And this strategy surely worked- more than 28,000 people attended the TwitchCon event.
And this strategy surely worked – more than 28,000 people attended the TwitchCon event.
TwitchCon also allowed people to stream and record the event in any way they wanted to, making the experience more accesible to attendees. This approach also helped the event to receive raving reviews.
Twitch is the world’s biggest live streaming platform. This Amazon-owned gaming and e-sports company has thousands of users streaming every day.
So, it is no surprise when they chose to live-stream their TwitchCon Event in 2019.
To bring their content creators and audience together, Twitch used its own trusty live-streaming service. The virtual event hosted everything from gaming tournaments to intriguing panel discussions.
While it is not too hard to understand how a streaming service would hold a virtual or hybrid event…
What about wine-tasting sessions?
That is the challenge Austrian Wine had to face while conducting their first hybrid, live wine-tasting in Moscow.
They had to bring people together without forming a large crowd and breaking the restrictions in place due to the pandemic.
The wine company used their network in Russia to attract participants for the event.
They sent invites to wine tasters in Moscow after making sure they would comply with the rules and regulations at the venue.
After careful planning, the company welcomed 160 attendees to its event in November 2020. During the sessions, guests were presented with 195 Austrian wines, which they were allowed to taste and enjoy for as long as they wanted.
Following the tastings, Austrian Wine used video conference calls. This way, they connected their audience in Moscow to the winegrowers in Austria.
The results were a hybrid wine-tasting session like you have never seen before. The onsite participants enjoyed good conversation with audiences in other countries over great wine, which is exactly what wine tastings are all about.
Junction is one of Europe’s leading hackathons.
Organized annually in Helsinki, Finland, Junction invites everyone from students to developers to put their hacking skills to the test. All while trying to solve real-world issues.
After the success of their 2019 hackathon, Junction 2020 was supposed to be bigger than ever until COVID-19 stopped it in its tracks.
But since nothing can stop a group of hackers, the organizers began working on creating a hybrid event to bring together a global audience.
More than 20,000 hackers worldwide came to attend the Junction 2020 event from 6th to 8th November. Attendees participated from 54 different countries and were spread across 13 time zones.
A competition was held to fight for an award of €10,000, making the otherwise locally-focused event a global success.
INBOUND by HUBSPOT
INBOUND is an event by HUBSPOT held traditionally in Boston.
This event brings together marketing professionals from different backgrounds, providing them with a highly educational and entertaining experience.
This has always been the hallmark of INBOUND. Their virtual events in 2020 and 2021 were no exceptions.
INBOUND’s online platform was equipped with an attractive and highly-functional interface. This was appreciated by many attendees who found the entire virtual experience very exciting and easy to follow.
Each INBOUND session had a designated room, providing quality content to the users.
On top of that, HubSpot also recorded their sessions to allow participants to view them later. Learning with convenience and fun, together – this is what everyone loves. And this is the secret to INBOUND’s success.
Gamescom, one of the largest video game trade shows in Europe, had its physical event planned from 22-29 August 2020. But things didn’t materialize as they had hoped for.
German authorities banned any gatherings in the country due to the Covid outbreak. This led to Gamescom deciding to forego the physical format and choosing to employ their Plan B instead.
In just a matter of weeks, the organizers designed a new virtual concept for their event from scratch.
The company partnered with various social platforms to turn convert their hopes into reality. TikTok, Twitch, Steam, and YouTube sponsored the trade show to help it reach a global audience
And these efforts were surely monumental in turning Gamescom from a potential failure to an incredible success.
Over 50 million people attended the event from 180 different countries making it the most well-received virtual or hybrid event on our list.
So, is the future of hybrid events bright?
The short and sweet answer is:
With every new wave and dominant strain of COVID-19, we cannot assume yet that the worst is over.
It is clear however that hybrid events are an immediate solution to maintaining “social distancing” while returning to a “new normal.”
A win-win, right?
On another note, hybrid events could potentially be more interactive and engaging than virtual or live events.
It gives everyone a chance to participate – even those who could not attend in person. Using live interaction and networking tools, both in-person and online attendees can all come together for a specific event.
Eventscase, through its Digital Venue product, has successfully filled the gap between in-person and virtual events and amplified the networking reach of attendees since the number of attendees is no longer limited by any physical space. Event organisers can now accommodate larger numbers of audiences from all around the world if they choose to follow the hybrid event format.
As we go through the rest of 2022, let us hope that a complete global recovery from the pandemic is imminent and that we can make the most out of every event format – whether we are event organisers or event attendees. For now, hybrid is definitely here to stay.