What is and What is Not a Hybrid Event?

What is and What is Not a Hybrid Event?

“I’m sorry! House is already full.”

Ever since the advent of COVID-19, you could no longer hear these words passing by the reception…

… relieved that you’d already bought your ticket.

And feeling sorry for that person who just missed the seminar.

Now, it’s been a year that you hadn’t been to a jampacked hall with people raising chants for their favorite speaker to hit the stage. Thanks to the outbreak!

So, to ensure SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), businesses have shifted the massive, one on one, interactive events to online space. 

Now, with the ever-changing tech-savvy world, it’s time to move forward with another type of event – hybrid event. 

A survey shows that 72% of respondents prefer attending a hybrid event and 63% of the companies included hybrid events in their event portfolio. 

Interesting, isn’t it? 

So, let us see what is and what is not a hybrid event, what are benefits of a hybrid event, and how to organize one for your upcoming event. 

What is a Hybrid Event?

Before I tell you what it is, let’s first learn what it is NOT

  • Simply going live from your Facebook
  • Sharing the glimpse of an event after it is over
  • Putting your live attendees in front of the camera where the virtual audience could stare at them

Instead, a hybrid event…

Incorporates a blend of experience of both in-person and virtual events. Some attendees are physically present there, while others are getting equal benefits through a virtual interaction from another city or another corner of the world in a user-friendly way.

These events are equally educating and inspiring as the physical ones. But you need to put the effort into making a hybrid event engaging and a win-win. 

How is a Hybrid Event Different from a Live or Virtual Event?

A hybrid event could be any event: a conference, training workshop, summit, seminar, exhibition, or a meeting. 

These events can vary on many factors – purpose, budget, venue, audience, and industry, to name a few. 

Here are sharp differences between live, virtual, and hybrid events.

  • Live – all participants are physically present under ONE roof.
  • Virtual – no physical presence is required. People are behind the screens of their computers or mobile devices and virtually attend the event. 
  • Hybrid – Some attendees attend online (across the country or globe); others attend live.

Now that you know how all three differ from each other, let’s now dedicate our time to learning more about hybrid events. 

What are the Essential Ingredients for the Success of a Hybrid Event?

You can make your hybrid event much more unique if you understand the following.  

1. Make your Event as Interactive as Possible

Remember the boring school teacher who would make you doze off in the middle of a lecture? 

Don’t be like them. Be as interactive with your audience as possible. 

Talk to your audience. Answer their queries. 

For the virtual audience, schedule a special Q&A session so that they can feel connected. 

A quiz, poll, or teamwork will also extract their brain juice and make the session more interactive. 

While it may sound a bit difficult to pull off, reading a live chat of a virtual audience will give you an idea of how fruitful your interaction is. 

2. Camera Dynamics

Have at least 3 or 4 cameras recording from different angles. It will give the virtual audience a chance to be close to you, your content, and your physical audience. 

Make the images dynamic. Don’t make it monotonous by focusing the camera only on the speaker. 

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Figure 2 https://johner-institute.com/articles/johner-institute/hybrid-seminars-hybrid-conferences/

3. Respect Your Audience’s Attention Span

A successful event or a broadcast consumes typically two hours. 

There has been a debate on the attention span during an event for an average person. It could be 8 seconds. 7 minutes. 10 minutes. Or greater. It all depends on how engaging your content is.  

So, make sure to build your event around this timeframe. More so, give your attendees a five minutes break in the middle to get their blood flowing. 

Crack jokes to revive their attention. Ask questions. This way, people will be glued to their seats or screens as the event goes by!

4. Plan a Clear, and Theme-oriented Event 

The most successful way to hook your audience is to deliver them pure gold. 

Research religiously. Get to know your target audience’s pain points. 

What are their desires? What do they want to pull off? What value are you offering? Why would they want to join your event?

Address these points. Give your participants some value. Impact their lives.

You can also give a disclaimer of delivering “more” value in an event for live attendees only. 

So that the next time you organize an event, your virtual audience books a ticket and comes to attend it face-to-face networking interaction. 

Top Benefits of a Hybrid Event 

Did you know:

The hybrid events have been happening since 2012 when CDC couldn’t afford to bring its participants together?!

So, they organized a hybrid event to educate their audience within their low budget. 

“I proposed this in 2009, seeing the writing on the wall. Everyone knew budgets would be slashed. Costs would need to be cut,”

says Arthur 38, CDC’s Virtual Platform Initiative Lead. 

Reading this, you must be thinking, what benefits does a hybrid event promise?

Well, I’ve got them assembled here. 

1. Broader Reach 

A misconception that you can either host a physical or virtual event with nothing in between has become a cliché!

Because hybrid events are known to provide a broader reach. 

A study found that about 98% of participants of such an event were not willing to attend a face-to-face session in a shared space. Those people were either uninterested in attending the physical event or uncertain about the said claims. 

In a survey, nearly 23% of the event organizers mentioned that it led to the active participation of more people in future events.

2. Increased Expected Revenue 

It is also beneficial from a price point. 

You can offer different pricing options, allowing delegates who cannot attend an event physically to make the most of the content. 

They can register and access the recorded material at a comparatively reduced price. Thus, boosting your ROI through a passive income stream.

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Figure 4 https://www.markletic.com/blog/hybrid-event-statistics/

3. Getting Better Sponsor

Let me tell you that around 72% of corporate sponsors willingly sponsor hybrid events. Interesting, not?

And that’s because…  

The more attendees you’ve on board, the bigger their prospect pool. After all, money is the strongest argument. 

These sponsors also sponsor live streams, event apps, etc. 

It allows them to expand their horizon from only sponsoring physical events to stepping into a digital ground. 

This way, you can have them for both live and virtual sponsorships.

Let me now walk you through a few tips to strategize before running your hybrid event. 

Which Things Should be Considered Before Planning a Hybrid Event? 

Planning to organize your hybrid event? Make sure you answer these first. 

  • Do you have enough funds to organize it?
  • Is your desired venue available for hosting an event in 2021?
  • Do you have willing sponsors and attendees onboard?
  • Have you got your company insured in the event something arises?
  • Are you willing to shift your event to 100% virtual if a mishap occurs?

How to Successfully Organize a Hybrid Event?

The most significant concern to address is how much of the event will be in-person versus virtual. 

Your best bet is to start by categorizing the whole event into the following:

  • Main Event – This is the central, opening ceremony that should be live and go virtual
  • Virtual Event – You’ll deliver the most educational content. It MUST be online
  • Digital Streaming – Doing a Facebook live or posting regular updates on Twitter or LinkedIn

Read: How to Promote Your Upcoming Event.

How to Run Your Hybrid Event? 

  • Plan the scope beforehand. Having a plan laid out will keep everyone in your team and your participants in the loop about your goals.
  • Choose a clear theme. Address the pain points of the attendees. 
  • Introduce imaginative ways to hook your audience. 
  • Keep each session short to maintain your prospect’s attention span. 
  • Invite industry experts as guest speakers. 
  • A pre-event rehearsal will prove to be your best bet in running a successful event.
  • Promote your event on physical and digital grounds.

Conclusion 

Although in-person events are irreplaceable because they help you make a personal connection with your audience. Yet, hybrid events are emerging and have a promising future for businesses. 

Putting in perspective the afore-mentioned facts and the present situation of COVID-19, the industry experts claim that the future is hybrid events. 

Since this concept is not new, their technology is undergoing rapid advancements.

So, are you ready to plan a hybrid event for your next event? Feel free to reach out to us if you still have any queries about the hybrid event.

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