You’ve heard of them, right? Hybrid events – the event industry’s newest buzzwords. Both in-person and virtual event companies are updating their solution suites to include hybrid events, and for good reason. According to BizBash, 70% of event professionals and delegates believe hybrid meetings will be a key component of future meetings.

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘hybrid events’ we’d like to help you dip your toes. Even if you are familiar with the term, we’d like to set the record straight about a few things. Here are five things you need to know about hybrid events

Person watching a live presentation being casted in a hybrid event

They’re 2021’s biggest event trend

Even with COVID-19 still in full swing, the idea of getting a limited number of people together in a physical space is exciting. That’s why hybrid events have been such a hot topic over the past few months. The current online narrative points toward hybrid events as a way for companies to work around COVID-19 restrictions, and doesn’t spend much time looking beyond COVID times. 

Maybe we’re biased, but we know that hybrid events are more than that — that they’ll be the standard event type long after global restrictions lift. That’s due to the fact that they offer a ton of added benefits and are much more versatile than any other event solution available now. Which leads us to… 

They might not be what you expect

Event companies are diving into every possibility that comes with hosting a hybrid event. It might feel overwhelming — like too much of a production for your team to dive right into. The truth is, hybrid events are quite versatile in that you’re in control of what in-person and what virtual elements you would like to include. Some event companies might be talking over your head about do-it-yourself production and technical setup requirements. 

The fact is that you don’t need to include these items if you’re just getting started with hybrid events. You don’t even need these items if you’re a seasoned expert! Pick and choose which aspects of in-person and virtual events you want to include in your event, and be the driver of those conversations with your vendors. If you simply want to cast a webinar presenter to a live audience, you can. The choice is yours how technical you want to get.

Virtual auditorium where presentations are casted for hybrid event

Hybrid events require additional considerations…

Of course, even if you’re starting small there are still some additional considerations needed for a hybrid event. For example, you’ll likely be managing one vendor for your online platform and one or more vendors for your in-person environment. You’ll also need to make sure that these two sides are able to work together to execute your event. 

Additionally, you’ll need to consider the event experience from two different perspectives: the in-person experience and the online experience. You’ll have to decide what aspects of the event you want each audience to have access to, and what aspects will help create one cohesive experience for all your attendees. 

Create and follow a comprehensive event planning document to make sure you’re not missing out on anything, and checking in with the right teams as your hybrid event planning progresses.

Virtual auditorium for sponsors participating in hybrid event exhibits

… but you don’t need a huge team or budget

Additional considerations do not mean additional budget or resources. It simply means a bit of extra thought needs to go into your event planning and execution. If you’re working with the right vendors, you should find that you could be a team of one and still be able to pull off a successful hybrid event. 

Allocate yourself lots of time to find vendors who can help you with the heavy lifting. This applies to both the physical event and the virtual event, and is especially important when you’re working as a small team or a team of one. Given all of the available options on the market, you will have to sift through a ton of options before you find your right match. However, once you find a team who offers full end-to-end support, you’ll be glad you put in the time to find them.

There are lots of benefits to hosting hybrid events

Hybrid events offer the best of both virtual and in-person events. The more you integrate the two together, the more mutually beneficial it is for your live and online attendees and sponsors!

However, just as with in-person or virtual events, the benefits of hybrid events vary based on a myriad of factors. These include your event goals, your industry, even the features you’ve chosen to hit your goals.

Here are some of our favourite benefits to hosting hybrid events, that apply to a broad range of hosts:

  • Larger potential audience
  • Eco-friendly
  • Higher engagement levels across channels
  • Cost-effective
  • Excellent networking opportunities
  • Effective ROI tracking

As you’re researching vendors, sales teams will help you uncover even more benefits specific to your needs. Are you intrigued yet? We’re sure interested! 

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