Subtleties and nuances of hybrid events

Organizing and running hybrid events is hard work, but fortunately, there are many ways to simplify the process. Read our article to learn more.

There are many benefits to hosting hybrid events - perhaps even more than their fully in-person or fully virtual counterparts. But achieving this can be difficult, especially if you do not have access to the relevant knowledge, information, tools or event management platform.

Why you should consider hosting a hybrid event

By going from the in-person norm to the virtual one, seemingly overnight, we are finally starting to return to how events used to look before. While a return to in-person events would be great, there are many people who love the virtual format.

The good thing is that there is a way to make everyone happy. This is a hybrid format.

Hybrid events take all the good things about in-person events and combine that with all the great things that the online format has to offer. Of course, it is impossible to please everyone, but hybrid events are a step in the right direction.

Visitors are not the only ones who will be pleased with the hybrid model. Organizations hosting such events will also benefit from:

Content that is consistently relevant

This type of content remains relevant long after publication. In this case, it will remain fresh and interesting after the conclusion of the hybrid event; and because the hybrid event format has a tangible online presence, it's a great way to promote long-lasting content.

Reduces barrier to entry

The virtual event is acclaimed for its availability. Hybrid events effectively lower the barrier to entry into what would otherwise be an exclusively face-to-face event. This allows people who cannot physically attend the event to be able to attend.

Reducing the negative impact on the environment

Unsurprisingly, virtual events are much more sustainable than in-person events. You reduce energy consumption by limiting the number of people commuting to and from the venue, as well as reducing the overall energy consumption that the physical space would otherwise consume. If you choose the hybrid path, you still enjoy some of the environmental benefits as it often means you need a smaller venue for the event and not as many people commute to the physical venue.

The ability to diversify income streams

Hybrid events offer an excellent opportunity to diversify revenue streams without significantly increasing overall costs. There are many ways to take advantage of this opportunity, but one notable example is selling sponsorship packages.

3 challenges of hybrid events (and how to overcome them)

While hybrid events offer attendees the best of both worlds, as well as the freedom of choice to host the event in the way that best suits them, that doesn't mean they don't have their problems.

Here are three common obstacles that can stand in your way of planning and hosting a great hybrid event, along with some strategies and tools to overcome them:

1. Bridging the gap between online and physical audiences

When you're trying to cater to a divided audience, it can be difficult to get the interaction between them in a way that feels natural. Fortunately, technology has allowed us to develop comprehensive event management platforms that offer features to help bridge this gap.

If you've chosen a hybrid format for upcoming and future events, take advantage of the hybrid event platform with the innovative features you need to ensure seamless engagement, such as:

2. The complexity of planning a hybrid event

Hosting a hybrid event involves many logistical issues. The right platform for hybrid events can make this process easier. Look for a solution that integrates with the rest of the tech stack, collects physical and virtual contributor data automatically, and streamlines the reporting process. With detailed analytics, you can track your performance in real time and make calculated adjustments to improve your visitor experience.

3. Attracting sponsors

Sponsors are waiting for the results. Event technologies allow you to achieve these results as efficiently and effectively as possible. Using an innovative solution, you can direct physical and virtual visitors to your sponsors in several different ways, for example:

Planning a hybrid event

Programming an event is an integral part of the event planning process, and perhaps even more important for hybrid events. When your audience is divided into two different segments, face-to-face and virtual, there are more opportunities for hitches, misunderstandings, and communication breakdowns.

Creating a comprehensive hybrid event program will help keep everyone on the same page by highlighting important times for events, meetings, breaks, etc.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when planning your hybrid event:

Hybrid Event Best Practices

Best practices for preparing, running, and ending an event require preparation, execution, and follow-up that must be purposeful and planned.

In reality, your event "starts" long before the show starts and ends after everyone has gone home - you have a lot of work to do during those times. So, here are some best practices to help you excel in preparing, hosting, and wrapping up your next hybrid event.

Before the event

Each hybrid event requires careful planning and preparation in order for it to be fruitful for all participants. In addition to clear communication so that everything goes according to plan before the event, there are a few other important things that need to be done:

During the event

During the event, it is still your responsibility to stay on top of everything that is going on and be available to speakers and other guests for support, while encouraging the engagement of your physical and remote attendees. It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, things get a little easier. Here are some considerations to keep in mind during the event:

After the event

When an event ends, it doesn't mean it's over. There are many things you can do to keep event attendees engaged and attract new customers, as well as take stock to better plan your next event. Here are a few options for things to do after the event to help you stay relevant and use the experience for your next event:

For many, hybrid events are the future and the absolute best option for any corporate meeting. Say yes to accessibility and consider hosting your next physical and virtual event.

Hybrid events are the best option for driving more attendance, increasing accessibility, and catering to more attendees, but it's not always easy. Request a demo today and find out how OnlineExpo can optimize your event experience to ensure successful hybrid events.

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