Hybrid events are the future of the events industry as they bring the best of both worlds together. As people have started hosting physical events, they have also realized the advantages of hosting events through the hybrid model.
Hybrid events bring the best of both worlds together by combining the benefits of virtual events and physical events. They include the potential of virtual events to expand the reach and the engagement of a physical event to create stand-out attendee experiences.
Let us dive deeper into the world of hybrid events and understand more about them.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
Expansion of the Customer Base
Hybrid events combine virtual and physical events hence, have the potential to reach out to remote audiences. These events can expand the customer base. It helps companies target an entirely new set of customers and induce them to attend the event.
While virtual events lack the engagement provided by a physical event, hybrid events can bridge this gap and provide engagement similar to that of a physical event. It also establishes networking and interaction between the physical and virtual events. Moreover, it takes into account the needs of both sets of audiences and keeps them engaged.
Reduces Environmental Costs
Hybrid events reduce the need for travelling thereby leading to a reduction in carbon emissions. It also reduces the usage of paper and plastic and further reduces environmental costs. The presence of the virtual component of the event makes it easier for more people to attend the event without visiting the event venue. The reduction in the need for catering further reduces the use of plastic.
Hosting hybrid events is a great way to save money and host your event at a very low cost. Using the hybrid model reduces the number of physical attendees. This further leads to a reduction in catering, travelling, lodging and renting costs. It results in cost savings for both attendees and the organizers.
Helps In Data Collection
Hybrid events consist of the virtual audience. One of the most significant features of virtual events is that it lets you collect attendee and event-related data in real-time. Moreover, it also lets you track the path followed or taken by the attendee while navigating through the platform. Furthermore, you can identify the areas and sessions that saw the most engagement and vice versa. The data collected through the hybrid event is used to amendments in marketing strategies and plans.
Better Accessibility and Flexibility
Hybrid events are more accessible than physical events as they can be attended from anywhere without any geographical limitations. People can join the event through their phones and laptops. Moreover, the event can be attended by simply entering the event URL into the browser. Hybrid events also provide the attendees with more flexibility as to the way they want to attend the event. They can either attend physically or virtually according to their convenience.
Better Sponsorship Opportunities
Hybrid events have a greater potential to attract sponsors as they promise better audience reach. The flexibility and accessibility of hybrid events over physical events have made them an effective alternative for sponsors. Hybrid events help increase brand visibility and brand impact.
How To Host A Hybrid Event?
Choose A Hybrid Event Platform
Investing in the right hybrid event platform is the key to its success. Identifying your needs and making a list of the features you want in the hybrid event platform facilitates decision-making and helps you make the best choice.
Cater to Both Online and Offline Audiences
Hosting a hybrid event requires you to cater to the needs of two completely different sets of audiences. It is important that none of your attendees feels neglected or left out. Therefore, while planning your hybrid event, you must always keep in mind the needs of your offline as well as online attendees. You can also include features that promote interaction among physical and virtual attendees. Moreover, you must train your speakers to address both audiences during Q&A sessions, quizzes and live polls. This improves the overall event experience.
Plan and Create Information Rich Content
A hybrid event consists of both online and offline audiences and, the content strategy for both sets differ from each other. Therefore, while creating content, you must take into account the needs of online as well as offline audiences. Moreover, the content you produce should add value to the attendees and must be loaded with meaningful information.
Conduct a Trial Run
Conducting rehearsals before the event can help you check all the equipment and ensure that everything is running perfectly. You must also check all the content, including the presentations, videos, and images to avoid any chaos at the eleventh hour. Early identification of the issues will give you the chance to make improvements.
Conduct Technical Check
Technical glitches are an inevitable part of any virtual event. The presence of a virtual component in the hybrid events makes them prone to technical troubles. Therefore, it is essential to check all your technical software and equipment thoroughly. This will help make sure that your hybrid event runs smoothly and also reduce the attendee drop-off rates.
Provide 24×7 Support
The hybrid event platform must act as your hybrid events guide and provide live support during the event to the attendees. Before selecting a hybrid event platform, you must check if it has a 24×7 support feature. Having an experienced team in place will help you quickly fix the technical issues.
Focus on Pre-event Promotion
Pre-event promotion is integral to a hybrid event. You can promote your event on social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can also include email marketing in your pre-event promotion strategy. Proper promotion of your virtual event can help increase your event attendance.
Taking feedback is important to build trust among your audience and collect data about the ideas and opinions of the attendees. It helps gather information about their experience and gather improvement suggestions. This will further help you take a corrective course of action in future.
Hybrid events combine the benefits of both virtual events and physical events. Therefore, hosting hybrid events instead of virtual events is a great option.