Connecting with audiences across the globe has now been sorted. Do you wish to entertain physical and remote audiences at once? Well, with advanced digital technology, virtual events platforms are extending their features to hybrid events. It is now evident that hybrid events would be mainstream events in the foreseeable future. However, the majority of the organizations and corporations are yet to experience the diversity of these events. Indeed, one cannot deny the necessity of live in-person events. Therefore, with hybrid and virtual events, the physical gathering is welcomed as well as a virtual gathering.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- WHAT IS A HYBRID EVENT?
- VIRTUAL VS. HYBRID EVENTS
- PROS AND CONS OF HOSTING A HYBRID EVENT
- HOW DO I HOST A HYBRID EVENT?
- ULTIMATE FEATURES OF A HYBRID EVENT
- VIRTUAL EVENTS PLATFORM
- EVENT REGISTRATION
- AUDIENCE INTERACTION AND ENGAGEMENT
- ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
- EVENT TECHNOLOGY
- 5 REASONS TO HOST HYBRID EVENTS
- CONFERENCE IN HYBRID ENVIRONMENT
- CONCLUSION & FINAL THOUGHTS
A hybrid event combines the in-person interactive physical experience with a virtual event. Your attendees may join physical gatherings or connect online via virtual platforms. This offers ease and accessibility for your audiences joining in from across the globe. Fortunately, the current pandemic has popularized the option to host events online. As a result, corporations or universities benefit most by shifting to virtual events platforms to host their events online. Virtual events statistics suggest that in 2020, 84% of the organizations shifted to virtual platforms to host their events online.
Without further ado, let us dive into the wealth of information for you to host hybrid and virtual events. To help you navigate the hybrid event, we aim to provide you with relevant tools and guidelines. So, brace yourself!
WHAT IS A HYBRID EVENT?
There are many ways to define hybrid events. Basically, a hybrid event combines the virtual and physical event experiences, regardless of attendees’ presence at a physical location. It allows speakers and delegates to either attend the event at a physical location or remotely. For example, you could set up a completely virtual event and broadcast it to your attendees at a physical location. Or you could virtually present your physical event to live audiences; the possibilities are limitless.
Who wouldn’t like to host a global audience through virtual events? There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed how conferences, job fairs, and open days take place. Indeed, people are now maximizing the possibilities of virtual and physical events. To hype up in-person events, people are now hosting virtual audiences from across the globe. This shall ignite a magical experience for event organizers and attendees alike. Thus, combining physical and virtual events would give birth to exclusive hybrid events, earning greater profits and ROIs.
When taking virtual events hybrid, there are some best hybrid event examples to be followed. For example, the successful Empower 21 hybrid event, WEC Grapevine hybrid event, and Twitchcon went hybrid in 2021.
VIRTUAL VS. HYBRID EVENTS
People are still confused about transforming their virtual events into hybrid events. So let us check how hybrid events differ from virtual events.
Virtual events are events held at an online platform. These events carry immersive and interactive features hosting a global audience. Indeed, a virtual space is a replication of physical events, just diminishing the need to travel and gather at a physical location. For instance, people can virtually host their;
- Webinars, speaker sessions, and presentations
- Attendees interact with each other through advanced live chat features
- Product exhibitions, trade shows, and open days
These events surpass in-person events. Furthermore, it allows displaying advanced content at the event, such as video, audio, and images. Attendees can view the content online or download it for later use.
Hybrid events are the real game-changer. These events let you win in both worlds. Furthermore, it allows you to host an event at a physical location and get online attendees onboard. As a result, the quick broadcasting of the event with live interaction makes it above and beyond experience. Through a hybrid event you can:
- Engage double the number of exhibitors and attendees at online and physical space
- Offer online discount coupons, vouchers, and goodie bags
- Invite remote speakers to your online conferences
- Offer a user-friendly virtual environment
- Make arrangements for physical audiences to interact with live event
To illustrate, hybrid events allow physical and virtual events to take place together. The presentation of events may vary as per the feasibility of clients. However, it offers a variety of options for the hybrid environment to run. Moreover, there exist tremendous opportunities to host audiences region-wise or internationally.
Exhibitors can either be welcomed at a physical venue or can avail the option to join the event remotely. In addition, you can decide how you will display the content at your hybrid event. People can schedule live or pre-recorded sessions or allow remote speakers to present from the comfort of their homes. Therefore, hybrid events can occur as per the demands of the organization.
PROS AND CONS OF HOSTING A HYBRID EVENT
Now let’s examine the pros and cons of hybrid events.
PROS OF HOSTING HYBRID EVENTS
- Lets you score high attendance
- Joins remote audiences and with the live audience
- Help you achieve increased engagement
- Offers an eco-friendly environment
- Achieve reduced carbon footprint
- Get top sponsors
- Receive constant event data and insights
CONS OF HOSTING HYBRID EVENTS
- Combining physical and virtual events can be a tricky task
- Maximum engagement and coordination required
- Sponsors require additional guidance
- Technicality and connectivity issues
- Managing online and live audiences would be challenging
- Hassle to get exhibitors, keynote speakers, and attendees onboard
Since hybrid events demand careful planning and courage to be hosted, virtual events platforms make the task easier. Without a doubt, the combination of virtual and physical events maximizes the chances for your business to grow. So, let us check how a hybrid event works.
HOW DO I HOST A HYBRID EVENT?
For a successful hybrid event, you need to have complete hands-on guidelines shared by virtual events platforms. Indeed, hosting a hybrid event is easier with the help of a platform, as they cover the headache of complete aspects of your big event. Also, the availability of an onsite expert team will ensure the event runs smoothly. Therefore, let us discuss some common dos when hosting a hybrid event for the first time.
- Streamline your event goals along with identifying key performance indicators(KPIs),
- Partner with a virtual events platform,
- Choose an onsite expert team,
- Schedule speaker sessions, invite global keynote speakers either remotely or in-person as per their feasibility,
- Set up dynamic content for the event, from landing page, lobbies, exhibit booths, event agendas, to notes, etc
- Have notepads, pens, or laptops ready for in-person engagement,
- Arrange for networking activities such as; scavenger hunts, goodie bags and coupons.
- Promote your event to global audiences using social media platforms or email marketing strategies to keep attendees interested and engaged,
- Before running the event life, connect with the service provider team and test all the important aspects of your event. You do not want last-moment hazards or mishaps.
ULTIMATE FEATURES OF A HYBRID EVENT
Set up a virtual venue for your remote attendees to join, and similarly, a physical venue to host in-person attendees. This shall help your company to gain maximum leads with high revenue. For a successful hybrid event, certain elements must be present for it to run smoothly. If you are on board with a top service provider, your hybrid event will surely be memorable. The first step for you is to hunt for a reputable virtual events platform.
Virtual Days is one of the top virtual events platforms providing all the features and essential elements one needs to run a dynamic hybrid event. Here’s a list of key features it offers.
VIRTUAL EVENTS PLATFORM
A study suggests that 35% of companies have difficulty finding the right platform for a hybrid event. Joining a virtual events platform is the first step to organizing a hybrid event. Through this platform, your online attendees can receive information, attend speaker sessions, or present materials. Similarly, it supports the streamlining of your virtual event to physical audiences.
Are you still, wondering which platform is the best fit for your company? The platform should offer the key elements needed for your hybrid or virtual events, such as; personalized registration process, easy accessibility for your attendees, streamlining content to connect, with great networking and engagement tools seamlessly.
The best choice for your event is a platform that allows customization for your hybrid and virtual events. From landing pages to webinar auditoriums, an events platform allows you to personalize attendees’ experience.
- Designing a custom event landing page
- Engaging and interactive webinar auditoriums
- Customizable registration processes
- Personalized virtual exhibit booths and virtual lobbies
- User-friendly virtual environment for online and in-person attendees
- Customizable emailing strategies
When the interested audience visits the landing page, the first thing to welcome them should be the company’s logo. This shall encourage them to register for the most awaited event. However, do you wish to keep your attendees engaged throughout the event? The quick approach to follow is to create an entirely virtual experience of your brand and company culture. Thus, Virtual Days suggests that a personalized experience gets more registrations for your event.
At a hybrid event, the first and foremost feature to be set up is the registration process. How will your in-person and remote attendees register for the event? Partner with a platform that offers compatible registration for your hybrid and virtual events. This process gives a record of all who visited the event page and left before registering. Also, it provides you access to the attendee information with registrations for the event. Moreover, companies can get the exact number of attendees joining remotely and the other lot who would be present at the physical location.
The registration data is essential to gauge the event’s success. Further, the registered candidates will receive notifications through emails regarding the event. Also, if you are to charge for each registration, make sure there is a secure and easy payment method attached. For example, ticket prices may vary depending on whether they attend the event in person or online.
AUDIENCE INTERACTION AND ENGAGEMENT
How would you plan to engage your online and physical audience at the same time? Hybrid events can get tricky when combining the two types of the event. Therefore, the networking and engagement strategies should take into account the goals and plan. It is important to keep online audiences engaged the same as physical attendees. Here’s a list of questions to be asked from the events platform before signing up for the event.
- Do you offer individual or group live chat features?
- Does your platform allow live polling?
- Does your platform offer a Q&A feature?
- Do you have a recording survey feature?
- Does your platform offer user profiles for online and live attendees?
- Do you allow personalized webinar agendas?
- Do you manage alerts and notifications?
The platform of Virtual Days understands the importance of engagement features and declares yes to all the questions stated above.
Audience engagement happens through interactive formats such as; live 1:1 or group chats, live polling, or quizzes. In addition, specific attendee interaction tools exist that work in favor of both audiences when speaking of hybrid events. Therefore, it is essential to be informed and equipped with all the relevant tools.
Another important factor for the success of your hybrid event is sponsorship. The vast opportunities of hybrid events prove beneficial for delegates and sponsors alike. It helps them build valuable connections for businesses worldwide. Just as we have all witnessed how sponsorship is carried out at live or virtual events. Similarly, at a hybrid event, the approach helps in both ways.
ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Hybrid events come with a ton of entertainment opportunities. Like, the activities may be carried out in groups and also watched by online attendees. Or adding games that will appeal to online and live attendees alike. It allows you to either keep the entertainment live or solely online. However, if you schedule the games, make sure you have a clear plan for both the attendees.
Hybrid events need good technology for smooth functionality. To carry out the virtual event, you need an immersive virtual events platform using efficient tools for quick audience engagement. However, for an in-person event, you will have technical support such as; microphones, video recorders, lighting, and especially a strong internet connection. For your hybrid event to be successful, keep checks on the availability or functionality of event tools. A virtual event platform may be covering up for your virtual event broadcasting, but you need to be vigilant about the physical technicalities of your event.
Last but not least, collect feedback from attendees to gain deeper insights into the event. You can follow up after the event by sending surveys to attendees and inquire about their honest reviews. Next, they shall report to you on how the event went, what worked well for them or what caused trouble. This shall allow you to keep track of what works best for your events. All this data will be used to streamline the practices for your next event.
5 REASONS TO HOST HYBRID EVENTS
Hybrid events are beneficial for all the parties involved. Indeed, the organizers, keynote speakers, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, all benefit from virtual, hybrid events alike. Let us check the main reasons organizers resort to hybrid events.
TAKE YOUR EVENT WORLDWIDE WITH HYBRID EVENTS
Let’s suppose your organization is planning on hosting a physical conference. However, some of the interested parties are residing abroad. At this point, everything looks good, but the budget does not allow flying audiences or keynote speakers from different countries. Here’s how hybrid and virtual events help. You can set up your entire event at a physical location and quickly make it virtual by partnering with a virtual events platform.
That is how you take the event worldwide and welcome global audiences to your hybrid event. Before the event, you can entice the remote audience to join in from the comfort of their own homes or workspace.
The same goes for universities organizing a virtual open day. To onboard international candidates. Universities are now resorting to a hybrid approach. They can easily present the curriculum, programs, faculty, and campus life to students joining in through an online platform. Moreover, the physically present lot can also chat or communicate with online students. That is how hybrid and virtual events would help achieve international admissions.
PRESENT AN IMMERSIVE HYBRID EXPERIENCE
Where physical and virtual events individually offer a set of benefits. Likewise, hybrid events multiply the advantages offered. A virtual environment is easy to navigate with accompanied virtual platform features that are unmatched. For example, the virtual exhibit booths, landing page, live webinars, interactive 1:1 or group chat rooms, 3D event halls, personalized avatars, or real-time analytics are the dominant features that enhance the hybrid experience for in-person or remote attendees.
OFFER A FLEXIBLE ENVIRONMENT TO EVENT ATTENDEES
A hybrid event offers immense flexibility for its attendees and organizers. For example, some people may wish to join in remotely and stay safe in the current pandemic. In fact, hybrid events present attendees with both the options to either appear at a physical venue or participate at the online forum. Be it a virtual job fair or onboarding event, candidates from around the world can easily connect and submit their resumes.
However, attendees themselves decide how they wish to attend the event. The option to either join the venue or attend the event online should rest with everyone registered for the event. Again, this might reduce the traveling, accommodation or stay costs. Once you let the attendees decide for themselves, your event shall welcome double the number of attendees compared to a virtual event. Thus, the reasons for hybrid events are justified by their flexibility.
LOWER THE CARBON FOOTPRINT IN THE CURRENT PANDEMIC
Another important reason to host a hybrid event is that it lowers the carbon footprint. For example, it allows attendees to either connect from the comfort of their space or join the physical gathering. As per the feasibility, attendees may save the cost of travelling and joining remotely. This suggests that the physical event would be easy to manage with lesser plastic waster, food waste, transportation costs, food, furniture, etc. Therefore, a hybrid approach is beneficial not only for the environment but also for the industries and clients.
ACHIEVE INCREASED ROIS FOR HYBRID EVENT
Your hybrid event is not only fruitful for the sponsors but for yourself as well. Here, you get to charge your physical attendees and online attendees alike. Thus, helping you generate big revenue. Similarly, this allows attendees to expect a good deal out of your event. Therefore, you would need to set up exclusive and interactive content accessible for live or in-person attendees.
CONFERENCE IN HYBRID ENVIRONMENT
When organizing a hybrid conference, there are certain elements to be considered. Virtual events platforms extend their immersive features for organizations to ease the process of hosting a conference. Include a few features to make your conference the talk of the town.
- User-friendly virtual environment features
- Live event broadcast
- Social media marketing
- Live or pre-recorded webinar options
- Real-time troubleshooting
- Analytical and reporting tools
Hence, a hybrid conference uses exclusive virtual and physical venues for keynote speakers to present at the conference. With irresistibly engaging activities, the platform helps engage global attendees at one place. So, host your next hybrid conferences, hybrid fairs, and events at virtual events platforms.
Now when people ask about the efficiency of a hybrid event, present them with the facts mentioned above. The benefits and features of a hybrid event are unmatched. Therefore, organizations and universities find it best to maximize the reach of their events by hosting hybrid events. It makes promotion easy and helps you gain more leads. Luckily, the platform of Virtual Days helps organizations set up their events online and host a global audience. So, why not host a hybrid event? Come on! Join us today
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