As live events and festivals continue to experience disruptions and restrictions, hybrid events are becoming more common - but more than just a tool for reducing potential health risks, we predict this dual in-person and online option is set to become the preferred event delivery method of many national and international organisations, pandemic or not! Not only do hybrid events allow us to bring together people from totally different sides of the country (or world) for a common purpose and goal, but they also provide all the capabilities of the latest online event technology - while still incorporating the good old-fashioned energy and engagement that only real-life interactions can bring.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is a lot more than setting up a webcam and microphone in the corner of a room!
Hybrid events will always utilise a combination of online and in-person elements at the same time, to help facilitate the celebration, collaboration, learning and sharing of experiences and information between individuals and/ or groups.
Yes, there is usually a physical location (aka event HQ) where the organisers, hosts and any other important stakeholders are based, and where the bulk of the event proceedings will occur or be broadcast from. This physical presence allows for face-to face interaction between key parties, to give the event a dynamic real-time feel. Selected guests may also be on location, while the remaining (often a majority) attendees will participate from their home or another location, by logging on to an online event platform.
Online attendance via apps or virtual platforms are made available to all attendees, offering a range of tools that allow them to view event information, chat and interact, ask questions and network with other guests, organisers and hosts. It’s important to have as many of these opportunities as possible so online guests remain engaged and interested, despite not being there in person.
The event proceedings include both live and pre-recorded content such as speeches and videos, entertainment and performances, games and quizzes, and can even include home delivery of meals, gifts and event packs to give all guests a similar experience as possible.
When done well, a hybrid event brings in-person and online attendees seamlessly together, with very little division or differences, and is bursting with possibilities and opportunities for a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.
Basically, a hybrid event should be just as good, if not better than a live-only event!!
Five reasons to go hybrid: 1. Increased attendance: Going hybrid means more people can and will come to your event! Whether it’s because of a pandemic and physical distance, an illness or family emergency, the cost of tickets or even a scheduling clash, running a hybrid event will give guests who might not have otherwise been able to attend, the opportunity to join in and participate from wherever they are. Instead of 150 locally based guests, you’ll now attract hundreds of national or international attendees… 2. Good for the environment: The fewer people travelling, whether by air, car or otherwise, the better it is for the planet! If being environmentally conscious is part of your organisational values and goals, a hybrid event can help you actively reach eco-targets and reduce your events carbon footprint. You can still feature that international keynote speaker without having to fly them in, plus you’ll use fewer single-use products (water bottles, notepads etc) and energy (lights, aircon etc) too! Read more about going green at your next event in our recent blog HERE. 3. More cost efficient: Aside from reduced travel and transport costs for both the organiser and the attendees, hybrid events provide a range of cost-saving benefits. From room hire, catering and staffing to operational costs – with fewer people on-site, the main costs of your event will be significantly lower. However, there will of course be a cost for the online component of the event – while this is still significant, it’s not quite as high as an in-person only event. 4. Variety of content: Generally, people don’t want to attend an event just to watch a video, but with a hybrid event, this expectation is automatically lowered. Guests know to expect a combination of content – live-streamed, pre-recorded and online components. Not only does it make your event more interesting, varied and dynamic, but it also allows you to pre-plan and control certain content, reducing the risk of things going wrong on the night/day. 5. Be COVID-safe: With the pandemic continuing to play havoc with our lives and businesses, and new strains of the virus emerging, it’s never been more important to ensure your event is COVID-Safe. While we can follow all the Government guidelines for physical distancing and hygiene, the risk still remains, and some people are righty wary of attending big and crowded events. Hybrid events give attendees the option, depending on their preference and level of comfort and at the end of the day, it’s their safety and experience that counts most! Read more about planning a COVID-Safe event in our recent blog HERE. So, if you want the best of both worlds, the convenience of online with the personalisation and authenticity of real-life, then a hybrid event is what you need. Head to our Virtual/Hybrid section of the website to see some real life examples of the hybrid events we produce. Get in touch with us today for help with planning and producing your next successful hybrid event!