With the advent of the coronavirus global pandemic in 2020, the way of organising meetings has moved from a functional room to virtual and hybrid meetings. Since the beginning of the year, the event industry was in complete flux. Restrictions have been imposed on traveling and social distancing measures have been implied to ensure public safety.

Nowadays, corporate meetings are moving online from the four walls overcoming the barrier of geographical constraint and space limitations. Many big organisations that are widespread across the globe leverage virtual meetings even before the emergence of COVID-19. But a sudden spike in virtual meetings and virtual AGMs have been witnessed recently.

Today, virtual hybrid events have become an integral part of almost every industry. Organisations who never thought about moving their internal events online, are today working on virtual events planning strategy and execution.

A rapid increase in virtual hybrid event platforms has been witnessed recently that offers comprehensive solutions for seamless delivery. As technology is revolutionising, attendees can attend a meeting online remotely from the comfort of their own space or desk. With hybrid meetings, attendees living a distance get relieved from the hassle of packing travel bags and booking tickets to attend a meeting. They can simply tune in from their device to attend a meeting from any corner of the world.

Ever since the lockdown restrictions have been uplifted and people started moving out, hybrid events became immensely popular. Hybrid meetings and events are the new trends for the event industry and large-scale organisations to keep the business going.

You must have come across the terms of virtual events and hybrid events in the past few months.

As by now, everyone is well aware of what are virtual events, but what are hybrid events is still a question for some. Many people consider hybrid and virtual as the same. Both event formats hold a thin line difference. In this article, we will elaborate on what are hybrid meetings? Benefits of hosting hybrid meetings? And tips and tricks for hosting a successful hybrid meeting, let’s get started!

What are Hybrid Meetings?

A meeting that is organised in a physical location with an added virtual component to it is known as a hybrid meeting. Such a meeting format enables participants to attend a meeting in-person as well as virtually from their remote locations. In hybrid conferences or meetings, global delegates or attendees who live at a distance can be a part of it from wherever they are and access it through a smartphone, laptop, or any other device. 

Whereas attendees who are willing to travel can attend the conference or meeting in-person with hybrid events. Hybrid conference platforms enable you to host hybrid conferences, hybrid AGMs, and meetings in a safe and secure virtual environment while keeping company privacy intact. In essence, we can say hybrid meetings bring both the attendees physical as well as virtual together to deliver the message and communicate seamlessly.

Hybrid meetings come with many perks when compared to physical meetings. Today, hybrid meetings and conferences have become the first choice for digital marketers, event planners, and organisations. Hybrid event platform facilitates free-flowing conversations between participants, hosts, speakers, and other attendees via interactive features such as Live audio and video chat functionality, live polls, Q&A sessions, and more. To know more about hybrid meeting benefits, scroll down.

Top Benefits of Hybrid Meetings

Hybrid meetings serve a wide range of benefits and have become the first choice of industry experts with time. Looking for increased participation at your conferences? Or want a greater ROI, leverage hybrid meetings, and host your events on a hybrid conference platform to reap the benefits it serves. We have enumerated some top benefits of hybrid events and meetings, let’s have a closer look at the same:

#1. Increased attendance and participation

Increased attendance and participation is one of the major advantages of hybrid meetings. A recent survey reports that a majority of participants who are not willing to travel to attend a physical meeting are a part of a hybrid meeting.

This can be due to various reasons, first, they live at a distance and can not bear to travel just to attend a meeting. Secondly, they are not aware of the benefits of attending a meeting.

Hybrid meetings and conferences have a wider reach when compared to in-person conferences. With hybrid meetings, attendees can tune in without any geographical barrier or space limitations. As hybrid meetings enable participants to attend it virtually from remote locations, thus it results in increased attendance at meetings.

 AGMs are an important event of an organisation that is held annually every year. Hybrid AGM enables interested shareholders of the company to attend the meeting from their remote locations who can not travel to attend the meeting either due to distance or budget constraints. A phenomenal increase in attendance and participation has been witnessed with hybrid meetings.

Hybrid meetings hosted on an interactive hybrid conference platform boost participation of attendees. Attendees who do not share their views during in-person meetings can share their opinions openly via live polls, Q&A, surveys, and so on with hybrid conferences or meetings.

Marketers and planners are coming up with new hybrid meeting ideas every day to keep the attendees engaged throughout.

#2. Save on lot on cost

With hybrid meetings, one experiences a reduction in expenses. It reduces the cost for every party involved, be it a speaker, shareholder, global delegates, host, or organisers. The cost of booking flight tickets, accommodation charges, and all the other necessary expenses involved in traveling to attend a meeting get resolved with hybrid meetings. Global delegates can attend a hybrid conference from afar from the comfort of their own space from any device or browser. Whereas hybrid conferences enable speakers to deliver the most effective speech remotely. Additionally, the cost involved in organising in-person meetings for a large group of audience involves renting a venue with a large capacity. In short, it resolve the hefty costs organisers pay during renting big spaces and accommodation.

#3. Better results in terms of ROI

As hybrid meetings have a wider reach, the hybrid event platform can host limitless attendees without any constraint of geographical constraint. A better rate of interest is expected from hybrid conferences or hybrid AGMs as it is scalable.

#4. Hybrid meetings are flexible

Hybrid conferences are highly scalable and flexible in approach. It allows attendees to attend a meeting remotely through a device supported by an internet connection. The hybrid format helps in delivering immersive event experiences by enabling participants to interact in real-time. Hybrid meetings hosted on a hybrid virtual conference platform enable attendees to interact with speakers, hosts, as well as other participants via live audio/video/text chat functionality. It enables top experts to join the meeting virtually instead of visiting a physical location.

#5. Reduction in carbon emissions

Every year tons of waste have been disposed of post-physical meetings. Hybrid meetings result in splitting the attendees into two halves, thus reducing the travel. The reduction in travel shows a positive impact on the environment. The disposal of waste during traveling and post physical meetings, air pollution, carbon emissions get reduced considerably with hybrid meetings and conferences. Hosting large-scale hybrid conferences is an eco-friendly alternative as it reduces the carbon footprints that impacts the nature adversely. When compared to completely physical meetings or conferences, hybrid conferences and meetings show a significant positive impact on mother nature.

Welcome to the Era of Hybrid Meetings and Conferences

With each passing day organisations are leveraging technology to keep going. As virtual has become the new trend, large-scale internal, as well as external events and meetings, have been moved online by corporates. It has been anticipated even after the world recovers from the halt of coronavirus, corporates will continue with hybrid events and meetings in the coming times to reap the benefits. Hybrid meetings have become immensely popular as they can be attended by anyone interested without any geographical constraint. It overcomes the hassle of traveling as well as the cost involved in traveling.

With the advancements in technology, a hybrid virtual event came as an aid in the time of global crisis. It has prevented many organisations or businesses from dipping down during the unforecasted global pandemic. As hybrid meetings offer more advantages and value to the industries, it is likely to stay ahead in the long run. With hybrid virtual events, marketers are all prepared for the future.

As hybrid meetings bridge the gap between virtual and physical events, it delivers seamless event experiences to attendees. The benefits offered by the hybrid meeting format are far beyond the reach of traditional meetings. With increased reach to connect with a diverse audience, attendance, and participation, hybrid meetings and conferences have become the first choice of industry professionals and experts. We have shared some top hybrid virtual event tips and tricks for a seamless hybrid meeting or conference experience.

Tips & Tricks to Host Successful Hybrid Meetings and Conferences:

#1. Determine the purpose of hosting a hybrid meeting

The purpose of hosting a hybrid meeting should be clear in the mind of an organiser. Whether you are hosting a hybrid AGM with interested shareholders or simply want to host a conference with global delegates or with remote team members, the purpose should be clear. Once the agenda of hosting a hybrid meeting or conference is clear, you can move to the next step.

#2. Plan the content accordingly

Content still remains the king even if you switch to hybrid meetings. Outline the topics you want to address in a meeting to communicate effectively. Clear communication and networking help in delivering seamless event experiences.

#3. Select the right technology

Once you decide to host a hybrid meeting or a conference, selecting the right hybrid event platform is a must. Go with the platform that offers comprehensive, interactive, and engaging features that keep the audience engaged throughout the meeting. An interactive hybrid conference platform facilitates real-time conversations via live audio and video chat functionality.

#4. Make your attendees aware

Make your attendees aware of your upcoming hybrid meeting or conferences via direct mails, public relations, or social media channels.

#5. Keep time zone consideration in mind

If your hybrid conference or meeting involves global delegates, keep time zone consideration in mind before finalising time and date. It helps in maximising attendance at your hybrid conference. In short, consider the time zone of your attendees to finalise your event’s date and time.

#6. Incorporate interactive and engaging acts

Organise polls, Q&A sessions, surveys to gain valuable feedback and opinions of participants. You can even organise games such as spin the wheel, quizzes amid long monotonous sessions. Additionally, it keeps participants engaged and prevents them from falling amid long sessions.

#7. Analyse the data for better performance

As hybrid events are trackable and keep a complete track of digital footprints of attendees. It helps in analysing the success rate. Apart from it, it enables the host to have a better understanding of participant behavior and what they like.

#8. Offer on-demand content

Post-event, send a follow-up mail to all the attendees for feedback. Apart from it, reach out to all the participants who missed attending the meeting in-person as well as virtually and enable them to have an access to it “on-demand”.

Conclusion

Hybrid meetings and conferences keep the essence of in-person meetings alive along with a virtual component. It not only enhances the value of physical meetings but reaches a diverse set of audiences as well. Apart from better reach and increased attendance and participation, hybrid meetings serve a platter of benefits for organisations to reap from. In short, if you have not yet thought about levering hybrid meetings or conferences, think about it as a hybrid is here to stay. Enter the world of hybrid meetings and deliver seamless experiences!