These days, live events are getting harder than ever to pull off. From environmental impacts, travel-related disruptions, and rising costs, there must be a better way to host events for your organisation in 2022.
To help you take your events to the next level, we’re going over everything you need to know about hybrid events and how to successfully deliver a hybrid event in 2022:
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is a blend between an in-person and a virtual event, offering engaging content to both types of attendees. Since the pandemic has created a “new normal” for how we hold events, combining both in-person and virtual options in your event planning is essential in 2022.
Hybrid events require a unique approach to developing engaging content that works both in real life and in the digital space. Still, this extra effort is worth it. With countless benefits, from increasing attendance to boosting revenue, hybrid events are the future of event planning.
What is the difference between virtual and hybrid events?
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between a virtual event and a hybrid event? Aren’t they more or less the same thing?
In reality, virtual and hybrid events are quite different as explained below.
What is a virtual event?
Virtual events refer to an event that involves no in-person presenters or attendees. The event takes place entirely in the digital space with all the programming, networking, Q&As and presentations happening virtually.
What is a hybrid event?
Hybrid events, on the other hand, incorporate both digital and in-person event programming. This means that attendees and presenters are either together in-person or connecting virtually in countless forms and iterations.
In other words, during a hybrid event, you might have a presenter doing a digital presentation to an in-person audience. Or, you might have an in-person presenter speaking to a combination of both in-person and virtual guests.
By blending in-person and virtual options, hybrid events offer exciting opportunities for every association or business.
Types of Hybrid Events
There are two main types of hybrid events you might hold: internal hybrid events and external hybrid events.
Internal Hybrid Events
Internal hybrid events refer to events that happen within your organisation. This might include events such as town halls, large team meetings, in-house training seminars, and more.
External Hybrid Events
External hybrid events, on the other hand, include your members, customers or stakeholders – in other words, anyone outside of your organisation. These types of events might include annual general meetings (AGMs), conferences, trade shows, and professional fairs, product launches, charity auctions, and more.
With all the amazing capabilities of hybrid events, there are countless ways to plan external events using a hybrid model as well.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
So, why might a business or organisation want to deliver a hybrid event in the first place? Here, we’re going over some of the major benefits of hosting a hybrid event.
Increase event attendance
By delivering a hybrid event, you’re giving your organisation the chance to see more attendance at your event.
With hybrid events, your attendees aren’t limited by geography, time zone or economic situation. By incorporating live streaming and on-demand content, your guests no longer have to fly in from around the world, pay for accommodation or even leave their homes. This makes hybrid events more accessible to a wider audience.
Offer enhanced content
If you use a high-quality hybrid event platform like Delegate Connect, you’ll be able to offer your attendees enhanced event content within your hybrid events.
It’s the best of both worlds, offering both live and virtual offerings with exciting engagement tools that only a premier hybrid event platform can provide.
Guests are in control when it comes to the content at hybrid events and with so many ways to engage, it can create an enhanced experience for everyone involved.
Improve your organization's sustainability
When you host a hybrid event, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint by increasing the number of overall attendees without increasing the in-person resources.
Hybrid events mean less long-distance travel for far-away guests, less food waste on uneaten meals and fewer trucks on the road transporting chairs, stages and all the physical items required to put on a massive in-person event.
Increase revenue from your event
Finally, making your event hybrid can also increase revenue for your event. Since you’ll have more opportunities to showcase your sponsors and provide content for more attendees, your revenue streams can increase significantly when you deliver a hybrid event.
Key Elements of Successful Hybrid Events
As you begin to plan your next hybrid event, it’s important to keep in mind the key elements of what makes a hybrid event successful. By starting with the must-haves, you can build an unforgettable hybrid event every time.
1. Offer engaging Content
Arguably the most important aspect of any hybrid event is ensuring that you incorporate engaging content for both your in-person and virtual attendees.
With hybrid events, this can be a difficult task as, in general, it’s easier to keep guests engaged in-person versus virtually. Still, it’s essential that both your real-life and digital content is immersive and engaging to keep all your attendees satisfied and excited.
It’s not only about the presenters either. Your hybrid event platform is also extremely important in determining how engaging your virtual content can be.
Tip: To create a good experience for your live and remote audience, make sure your content and streams are well-produced, and that you have the right technical support to link attendees and participants.
2. Market your event to reach beyond your usual audience
Hybrid events offer an exciting opportunity to expand your reach and market to an audience that was otherwise inconceivable when you were only hosting in-person events.
With this expanded reach, strong marketing becomes even more important to a successful hybrid event. You’ll want to clarify the benefits of both attending live and virtually in order to attract the maximum amount of attendees possible.
Tip: Speak to our Delegate Connect specialists about how we can help you successfully market your next hybrid event to a wider audience.
3. Set up an easy registration process
When you take your in-person event and make it a hybrid event, one of the first issues you might run into is clunky registration. It’s important that you’re not sending your potential guests in circles trying to register.
A smooth, streamlined registration process is key to any successful hybrid event. It’ll help keep all of the information organised and it creates a positive experience for your attendees – both those who plan to attend in person and those who attend virtually.
4. Make event agenda clear and accessible
Last but not least, ensuring your hybrid event follows a clear schedule that everyone is aware of is the final key to a successful hybrid event.
As with any event – whether in-person or virtual – there will be a lot of moving parts. So, for the benefit of the event planners, presenters, and attendees, clear scheduling is essential.
Tip: Make sure that the hybrid event platform that you choose offers user-friendly and accessible scheduling features to help you organise and structure your event programming for a seamless event from start to finish.
What a hybrid event platform can bring to your event
Let’s explore some of the features available in Delegate Connect's hybrid event platform you’ll definitely want to include in your plans.
Start by live streaming your event content to provide an engaging experience focused on connectivity and real-time feedback.
Live streaming is an easy way to bring in-person content to a hybrid audience. However, you can take your live streams to the next level by offering other real-time capabilities such as:
- Chat features
- Live Q&As
- On-demand replays
- Sponsored banners
Delegate Connect also offers a virtual green room to help presenters feel in control before their live stream. And plus, with real-time video and audio production teams on hand, your hybrid event live streaming will be second to none with Delegate Connect.
These days, networking isn’t just something you do face-to-face. With virtual networking tools that can connect both your in-person and virtual attendees, offering networking sessions at your hybrid events is a must.
The Delegate Connect hybrid event platform allows your attendees to make connections, set up meetings, have group discussions, and more. Our hybrid event networking features include:
- Breakout rooms
- Group messaging
- 1:1 messaging
- Schedule breakout rooms with live Q&As
- Search directory
With our unique algorithm-powered matchmaking offerings along with our countless ways to connect, networking at a hybrid event has never been better.
While a successful hybrid event should be seamless and filled with engaging content, it should also be unique to your organisation and memorable for your attendees.
Make your hybrid event stand out with Delegate Connect’s customisation features to create a fully branded event with a variety of options for platform appearance and features, language, ePosters...
Data and Analytics
One of the best things about delivering a hybrid event is the fact that it’s never been easier to gather data and analytics about your attendees to help you plan better hybrid events in the future.
Our Delegate Connect hybrid event platform offers insights into your audience including:
- Sponsor Ad views
- Sponsor Ad clickthrough rates
- Livestream views
- Networking engagement
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) & Certifications
- Exhibitor engagement
- Event session and survey report
You’ll receive an accurate analytics report after your event to see exactly what worked and what could use some adjustments. It’s also incredibly beneficial for securing future sponsors and tracking any certifications you offer at the completion of an event.
Speak to Our Hybrid Event Specialists
Delegate Connect stands out as a premier hybrid event solution because we’re not just software. We’re real-life specialists who will guide you through the hybrid event planning process. Together, we can create world-class events.
Reach out to our specialists today and we’ll help you get started.