Why Organize a Hybrid Event?

Contrary to one might think, hybrid events are not a novelty or the result of a health crisis. For years, event organizers have been creating event websites, sending email streams or advertising online.

However, quarantines, measures and other restrictions related to this crisis have played an accelerating role. To be more precise, the focus has shifted to include more digital aspects within events. One question remains; why organize a hybrid event? Do all events need to become hybrid to meet market expectations? What are the advantages and best practices for setting up a hybrid event?

Read the blog to learn more about this topic!

Hybrid Event: Pros and Cons

There are many advantages to hosting a hybrid event. However, as an event organizer, you must pay attention to some points for the event to be successful for all participants.

Advantages of a Hybrid Event

1. Inclusion
This format removes certain obstacles encountered by people who wish to register. They can access content without having to move around. This serves as a time-saving arrangement and a simplification in terms of organization: no need to schedule one's commute, book transportation and hotel, attend the event at a specific time (with the potential availability of replay), etc.
2. Reputation
Hybrid events are an opportunity to go the extra mile regarding the participants' experience. You allow your participants to choose the format that suits them best. By allowing physical and digital access to your event, you significantly increase its reach and, therefore, its reputation (as it becomes accessible to more people).

3. Ecological Aspect
As the public is becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental protection, limiting travel, especially by plane, can be a powerful argument in favor of a hybrid event. Indeed, avoiding a round trip during the day to attend an event is possible. Consequently, this contributes to limiting the carbon footprint.

4. Economic Aspect
In terms of costs, sponsors, or exhibitors at trade shows often turn out to be more generous since the scope of the event is much larger. The consequences for them are, therefore, potentially improved.

5. Experience Brought to Your Participants
Even though in-person meetings are always very important, organizing hybrid events allows you to offer your participants additional experience and increase engagement. As an organizer, it allows you to reduce the no-show rate.

6. Your Community's Engagement
Finally, another significant advantage of the hybrid event is the 365 engagement. Digital content is available on the platform during the event, but the link between participants and among participants and organizers may continue throughout the year. You can create a real community around your event due to the distribution of on-demand content, the link between your participants, and the sending of questionnaires.

Focal Points When Organizing a Hybrid Event

Thinking about your event strategy in a hybrid way has many advantages, but there are a few things to consider to take full advantage of. In particular, we are thinking of:

  • Budget control: If there are two formats, you shouldn't double the budget

  • Participants' experience: ensure that the online experience of participants is as engaging as that of participants attending in person and vice versa

  • Different paces between in-person and remote participants: ensure that the experience is as agile as possible between in-person and digital and that the strategy is seen in its entirety and not separately

Five (5) Best Practices for Organizing a Hybrid Event

To make your hybrid event a success, here are five (5) best practices to adopt:

1. Consider an Inclusive Strategy for Both Formats
Even though the event organized combines both face-to-face and digital, the fundamental principles of event planning should still be applied. You must clearly define your objectives to determine your needs (messages to be shared with the target, partners, choice of speakers, number of participants, budget, etc.). It is also necessary to reflect on the contact points between the two channels. Your main challenge would be to design your event to engage the entire ecosystem.
2. Create Relevant Content for All Audiences

You need to create content that is suitable for each participant. Remember that people who attend the event in person don’t need the same content as those who use the digital platform. For example, a live webcast and a replay of the speeches will be necessary for remote participants. For those present, it will be even more necessary to provide for the possibility of questions being asked and to offer a microphone or display the day's schedule and an access plan.

Furthermore, it is important to adapt to the specific needs of some participants. This includes people who don’t speak the language spoken during the event. By choosing a platform that offers multilingualism, you can invite people from all over the world without fear of a language barrier.

3. Optimize the Participants' Experience through Interactivity

The major challenge of hybrid events is interaction with the public. It is crucial to keep the attention of all participants, even those participating remotely, who can be more easily distracted. To do this, don’t hesitate to plan surveys, quizzes, chats, word clouds or networking moments to maintain the dynamism of the event.

Tip: Allow all participants to interact with the content offered to them via the same tool. For example, as part of a presentation, the chat can be visible to all participants (on-site and remote), and they can ask questions about it.

4. Measure Your Event’s Performance to Adapt Your Strategy

Measuring the impact of your event is as important as its seamless operation. You need to identify what worked and the areas for improvement to optimize your next events. With a hybrid format, you'll have many data sources: registration forms, check-in (on-site and online), session viewing time, mobile app connection, etc.

5. Choose a Suitable Platform

To conclude about the best practices to adopt in organizing a hybrid event, remember that it is essential to choose the right tool. It is vital to choose a platform that may facilitate the link between in-person and remote and that offers participants the opportunity to exchange before, during and after the event. An all-in-one management platform saves time and offers an unparalleled experience for all participants.
You now have a glimpse of what it means to organize a hybrid event; it has the advantages of in-person meetings and online gatherings, such as the broadcast of content and the facilitation of a community throughout the year. The various quarantines and lockdowns have shown us that human contact is also essential.
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