A hybrid event is an event that has both in-person and online attendees. It is a mix between a live event and a virtual one — think speakers, panellists and their audience at the same event, but spread out across a physical and virtual space. Although going hybrid (in all senses of the word) became essential at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this style of event proceeds lockdown and has been a successful format for some time.
Common use examples for hybrid events include conferences, awards, training sessions, seminars and launch events. For example, think of a business who wants to gather their employees, audience and guest speakers in one place for a conference, but it isn’t possible for everyone to be there in person due to geographical and financial limitations. Hybrid events allow them to do this.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
1. Increased Reach & Turnout
By opening the floor to both an in-person and online audience, you will increase your reach and overall turnout. Those who face geographical or financial limitations can still attend and it gives you the chance to reach and attract the “homebodies” — people that don’t attend in-person events, but are nonetheless interested in your content.
Event Planner have recorded that hybrid events can generate a reach of up to 10 times its size.
2. More Accessible
Off the back of that, a hybrid approach makes your event more accessible. You should be able to stream to a wide range of platforms, incl. YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, Hopin and Teams, and you can stream to more than one kind of platform if you need to.
For those who face disruptions at the time of the event — whether for natural, physical, financial or other reasons — a hybrid event decreases your chances of losing them or having to cancel altogether.
Hybrid events are overall more flexible, and can meet the needs of all your attendees.
3. Increased Engagement
With a hybrid event, both in-person and online attendees can watch and react to your content in real-time.
Indeed, for virtual attendees, the option to click, like, comment, share and otherwise communicate with fellow participants opens up engagement to new levels. You can even share a live social media feed to showcase this engagement (to both in-person and online attendees).
Think about a Q&A, for instance. The physical mic can be passed around the room, but it can also be “passed” in the virtual space, allowing all attendees to ask questions and listen to answers. Hosting a poll for both audiences and opening up Zoom Rooms are other great examples of keeping your audiences engaged and connected throughout the event.
Engagement extends past the event date, too. With a hybrid event you don’t just remove the in-person factor, but the time factor too. Your event broadcast can be viewed online after the event has taken place, increasing your long-term reach and attracting a whole new audience.
4. Reduced Cost
Much like hybrid work (working from home and in the office), you can reduce costs with hybrid events. Less travel and less resources used because a chunk of your team and/or guests are at home means less costs in the long run.
5. Reduced Environmental Impact
This goes for environmental costs too. Reduced travel = reduced environmental impact. When your team goes hybrid, you reduce the carbon footprint of both individuals and your wider business.
6. Advanced Analytics
Access to important analytics, such as the number of viewers and their demographic, location and average view time, means you can use hybrid events to inform future business decisions. You’ll know what’s gone right, and what people liked (or didn’t), and you can leverage this to improve future events. This data is much harder to gather at solely in-person events.
The Key to a Successful Hybrid Event
Organisation is crucial for the success of a hybrid event. Ensure that you have a well-planned event, supported with dynamic visuals and interactive elements that are accessible for both audiences.
A typical hybrid event consists of a preview, where the context and subject matter is introduced, followed by a live recording of a presentation, panel or seminar, finished with a Q&A or discussion.
Hiring a professional media production team with a hybrid event service ensures your guests will have access to a HD stream and all other functionalities (i.e. multiple cameras and callers) at the click of a button. You can even bypass a poor connection at the physical location of your event with world-class LiveU tech, which allows you to stream from even the most remote locations. In short, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the event, without worrying about the technicalities.
We’re Buffoon Media: a bilingual media production company based in Port Talbot and London, producing and live streaming content across the globe. Learn more about our hybrid events and other services on our website.