The last few months have been a roller coaster ride for the event industry resulting in the upheaval of the events. Hybrid events have spiked up recently and have become the preferred choice of event planners & marketers. You must be fencing around what are hybrid events, why they are gaining immense popularity recently, what are hybrid event benefits? To have a detailed insight into hybrid events & some inspirational hybrid event examples, let’s get started!
What are Hybrid Events?
A hybrid event is a blend of a live physical (in-person) event with virtual online components. It could be a tradeshow, conference, seminar, workshop, product launch, meeting and exhibition or any other type of event.
It is organized in a physical venue and can even be attended by on-ground and virtual attendees over the internet. However, hybrid events bring your physical audience and virtual audience in the same frame in real-time. Hybrid events help in delivering an online immersive experience to attendees by bridging the gap between virtual and physical events. These events have been gaining momentum over the past few years. Many leading businesses are organizing hybrid meetings and hybrid conferences on a daily basis over the past few years. To help you host your next hybrid event, we have shared an ultimate guide.
Why are Hybrid Events gaining all the limelight?
Hybrid events are successful and an innovative way of hosting events long before COVID-19 came in the frame. As the coronavirus global pandemic has taken the nations by storm, the event industry was left in flux for 2020.
A sudden spike in hybrid events has been witnessed recently. As the government has released orders of redistricting public gatherings to ensure health & safety, hybrid events took up its pace.
Hybrid events come up with some major perks over traditional ways of hosting on-ground events. The biggest advantage of hybrid events is its phenomenal reach that is far beyond the control of traditional physical events.
The endless opportunities offered by hybrid events made it the first choice of event planners and marketers today. With such an event format, now marketers and audiences do not have to worry about geographical constraints. It enables anyone residing to potentially attend and be part of your event from their remote locations.
Apart from its impressive reach, other hybrid event benefits helped it to catch all the limelight and become immensely popular. Hybrid events alleviate you from organizing multiple similar physical events in various cities. Organizing a single hybrid event can capture the eyeballs of your audience residing across the globe.
To understand why you need to make your event hybrid, Let’s have a closer look at the hybrid event benefits:
What are the Hybrid Event Benefits or Advantages?
Hybrid events come with some major advantages that have inclined the interest of event planners, marketers, and attendees towards it. Hybrid events were prevalent long before COVID-19 hit the nation. Many leading businesses are leveraging hybrid and virtual conferences, webinars and meetings for a very long time.
Generally, event planners organize hybrid events when large organizations are willing to bring audiences and employees together. With physical events bringing everyone together to meet is nearly impossible. It can be due to various reasons right from limited space capacity, geographical constraint, or time zone differences.
With the change in the scenario, hybrid events are gaining all the limelight. As social distancing rules are mandatory to follow, hybrid events enable organizations to organize events seamlessly while adhering to rules. It helps in reaching out to potential audiences globally while ensuring health safety.
But, apart from health benefits, what are the other advantages of hosting a hybrid event? Let’s have a detailed look at some of the hybrid event benefits:
#1. Wider Reach and Increased Attendance
One of the biggest advantages of hybrid events is an impressive reach that captures the attention of more audience. Hybrid events help in maximizing your event reach as it allows attendees to attend an event from their remote locations.
A recent survey reports that 96% of virtual attendees participated who were never interested in attending a physical event.
This can be due to several reasons. Firstly, they might live afar from the event’s physical location that does not allow them to pack their travel bags. Secondly, they are not aware of the benefits of attending the event in-person.
Hybrid events offer endless opportunities to tap the new audiences who were never interested in attending a traditional in-person event. According to event planners, an increase in attendance has been witnessed while hosting hybrid events when compared to traditional events.
#2. Better Engagement
The more engaging the event is, the more successful it is. Engaging audiences and keeping them hooked throughout is one of the most crucial aspects of hybrid events. It separates your video from watching a pre-recorded video.
Hybrid events not only enable attendees to attend an event from afar, but it also allows them to participate equally. It means, your virtual attendees can like, share, download your content, and give valuable feedback in real-time.
Hybrid events offer endless possibilities to increase attendee participation during and after the event as well. You can organize Live polls, surveys, contests, quizzes to gain the feedback of your virtual attendees while keeping them engaged. Hybrid events enable you to set up a guest speaker to have live chat with your in-person as well as the online audience. A platform that offers interactive and engaging virtual event engagement features helps in amplifying your attendance and boosting engagement.
#3. More Networking Options
Hybrid events offer various possibilities to connect and network with global audiences effortlessly. The hybrid event format is paired with a virtual platform thus enabling virtual attendees to interact freely in real-time.
The number of networking features offered by virtual hybrid event platforms make networking a seamless process. Right from offering real-time live audio/video chats to virtual networking tables, virtual business card exchange facility, B2B meeting scheduler, third-party app integration like Whatsapp, 2-way video interaction, AI-powered smart matchmaking, and more the platform offers many such networking features. It enables attendees to connect and network effectively without having to stand in long lines and waiting for their chance.
AI-powered matchmaking in hybrid events makes it easy for attendees to find the right prospect and connect with them. The need for crossing the crowd and finding a potential match gets eliminated. The options for networking in virtual hybrid events are endless.