By | Kimberlee Meier | whereby.com
It may have taken the COVID-19 pandemic to really push the use of hybrid events (we had no other choice, right?). But they seem to be here to stay. Not only can they reach people in other time zones, but hybrid events are also cheaper, more engaging, and give us content we can repackage and use in other marketing channels.
And once you know how to organize hybrid events and you’ve invested in the right tools and technology, hosting them is a relative cinch.
In this piece, we’ll look at:
- What are hybrid events?
- Why we think hybrid events are the future
- A four-step plan to hosting a successful hybrid event
Ready to launch your next event? Let’s go 🚀
What are hybrid events?
Hybrid events are a mix of digital and physical elements to broadcast an event to attendees.
The goal of a hybrid event is to merge those attending virtually and in-person into one audience and have them participate in the same activities and discussions. A successful hybrid is when everyone has the same experience – no matter how they choose to attend.
As hybrid events become a permanent part of our marketing strategies, we need to figure out how to create an environment where we can organize and launch them easily. One study found that 71% of marketing professionals are now looking for better tools to engage virtual attendees. And nearly 60% want a solution where they can manage in-person and hybrid events under one roof.
When talking about hybrid events, there are two types: external and internal. External events are usually organized for people outside your company, like customers, and can be used for things like:
- Live product demos
- Trade shows
Internal hybrid events (for teams and stakeholders) can include events like:
- Training webinars
- Team socials
- Quarterly meetings
- Leadership summits, and more.
There are many reasons, like the flexibility and the fact that people can attend them from anywhere, that have convinced us that hybrid events are the way of the future.
Why we think hybrid events are the future
I know what you might be thinking – hybrid events sound like double the work of hosting either a virtual or in-person event.
If you do them well, hybrid events bring you the best of both worlds because they bring you a ton of benefits like👇
Your event will get more reach
People who can’t make it to your event in person (or who don’t want to) will have the option to attend virtually.
Polls from recent hybrid events show that overwhelming numbers of people wouldn’t have attended if there wasn’t a way to virtually. Offering people a choice to participate in-person and virtually means your event can not only reach more people, but attendees have more flexibility with how they join in.
Your audience is more engaged
Keeping an audience engaged throughout an event isn’t easy.
Hybrid events give event organizers a way to merge in-person and virtual elements, like Q&A sessions and virtual forums to keep people engaged. By building a space where your audience can talk to each other directly and engage with the speakers, event organizers can build an audience-first vibe that gives attendees a better experience.