What is a hybrid event?

The definition of Hybrid lies with the audience experience, not the technology.

The definition of Hybrid lies with the audience experience, not the technology.

A hybrid event is an event which is designed from the start to have two separate audiences; one live and one online.

It is effectively two events in one.

Each audience is treated equally, with no audience feeling as though they are less important than the other.

Both audiences have a separate and distinct user journeys which designed for differently.

They both accesses the same content, although some additional content may be exclusive to one or the other and some may be presented in different formats.

There are many questions to ask yourself when it comes to determining whether hybrid is right for you.  Here are eight:

  1. What are my attendees’ priorities?  Hybrid isn’t the answer to everything.  Focus on your audience.  What do they want to learn?  How do they want to receive content?  Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to find the right event format.
  2. What are my company’s priorities?  Is your focus on increasing reach or is it on creating meaningful connections between a small group of participants?  The answer to these questions will determine the best event solution.
  3. Where are my speakers and attendees located?  We have all become much better accustomed to engaging with each other digitally.  This can be a real advantage if you’re running a global event with geographically dispersed speakers and delegates.
  4. Have I considered the different models of hybrid events?  There is no one size fits all approach for hybrid events and there are many models that can work for different priorities and objectives.
  5. Have I considered different user journeys?  A true hybrid event is one where each audience is treated equally and both audience experiences are designed to be as good as each other.
  6. Do I have the right expertise to deliver two events in one?  The technical and creative skills required for in-person, hybrid and virtual events are all different.  If you know hybrid is the right way to go, consider partnering with someone who has those skills.
  7. Do I have a very fast turnaround?  True hybrid events cannot be turned around within a couple of weeks. If time is a significant factor, consider pure virtual – it doesn’t mean you can’t have interaction between delegates.
  8. Do I have the right budget?  While hybrid saves on certain areas such as venue hire, catering and travel, the manpower required to deliver it is often higher.  A team with fully integrated skills in both areas will help make the budget stretch as far as it needs to.

It’s true that hybrid events have a lot going for them, offering the best of both worlds to planners and delegates.

Done well, a hybrid event can broaden your audience and exposure, offer a global perspective, and provide a richer experience for everyone involved.

But a hybrid solution is not a silver bullet, one size definitely doesn’t fit all, and it’s important that event professionals are empowered to make the right decisions based on the priorities of both their business and their audience.

We’ve been creating virtual and hybrid events since before the internet was a thing: Our expert service offering is driven by experience, not circumstance. As a result, we are trusted by some of the biggest names in the world.

If you’d like to discuss your options in more detail, do get in touch.

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