The Art of Hosting a Hybrid Event

Hybrid events are becoming increasingly popular among organisers, providing a flexible experience for both virtual and in-person attendees. Ensuring a seamless event involves selecting the right hybrid event platform, consulting with experts and much more.

This enables participants to engage in various breakout sessions and enjoy interactive elements like trivia or polls. Live DJ sessions during breaks add a refreshing touch before diving into afternoon Q&A panels.

Curious about what a hybrid event involves and the key planning considerations? This guide addresses all your questions about the dynamics of hybrid events.


What is a Hybrid Event?


A hybrid event is like a special gathering or conference that brings together the best of both worlds, you can either join in person at a physical venue or hop online from anywhere. It’s where everyone, whether they’re physically there or virtually present, can connect and enjoy the event (source: Vievma).

These combo events are not just fun; they’re also a great way to make your participants excited and create a strong connection with your brand. Plus, you can get useful data that can power up your future event plans, helping you improve and bring even more value to your audience. 


Reasons for the Growing Popularity of Hybrid Events


Since 2019, hybrid events have witnessed a surge in popularity. Adding a virtual component to in-person events brings significant value, enhancing outreach and impact at a reduced cost. Beyond cost-effectiveness, hybrid events offer benefits such as promoting diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, reducing the carbon footprint, and delivering high-quality content.

Equipment Needed for a Hybrid Event


Choosing the right virtual platform is as crucial as selecting a physical venue. A reliable and secure internet connection, clear sound through speakers, distinct audio via microphones, comprehensive content and attendee capture through cameras, and attention to other necessary aspects are essential for a successful hybrid event.


Types of Hybrid Events


Hybrid events can be broadly categorised into two main types: internal, designed to benefit your company’s internal stakeholders, and external hybrid events, which are customised for customers and clients.

Internal Hybrid Events

Internal events are initiatives designed to benefit your company’s internal stakeholders, including employees, leadership, and staff. For many companies, convening all internal stakeholders in a single physical location for a meeting is often impractical.

This is where hybrid events come into play. Select a venue, such as your company’s headquarters, and then livestream the meeting to the rest of your company.

Here are some examples of common internal hybrid events:

  • Sales kickoffs
  • Global town halls
  • Larger team meetings
  • Company spirit weeks

External Hybrid Events

External events are programs tailored for your customers, prospects, clients, and others. Transforming your live external event into a hybrid format can attract more attendees and reduce your carbon footprint.

External events that can be adapted to a hybrid setting include:

  • Conferences and trade shows
  • Customer conferences
  • Product demonstrations


How Can You Determine If Hybrid Events Align with Your Needs? 


The most effective approach is to pause, reflect on your organisation, and envision what a hybrid event could entail.

Initiate this exploration by posing essential questions to delve into the core of the hybrid event concept:

  • What are the goals for your event, considering both in-person and virtual aspects?
  • Who constitutes your audience (both in-person and virtual), and what are their expectations for this event?
  • Are you planning to incorporate an exhibitor expo, and is a virtual exhibit hall part of the plan?
  • How about sponsorship opportunities? Are you considering live sponsorships, virtual ones, or a combination of both?

Engaging in this thought process and discussing it with your teams regarding resources and potential challenges will provide clarity on what approach makes the most sense for your circumstances.


What to Think About Before Hosting a Hybrid Event


Prior to hosting a hybrid event, it’s crucial to carefully consider several key factors to ensure its success. This includes clarifying your event goals and seeking expert advice to ensure a seamless conference.

Clarify Event Goals

Defining the goals and objectives of your event is crucial. Clearly outline whether your primary focus is on in-person engagement, virtual reach, or finding a balance between both. Understanding the unique needs and expectations of your target audience is equally important.

Engage a Reputable Hybrid Event Management Expert

Collaborating with an expert in hybrid event management can significantly impact the seamless integration of virtual and in-person components. These professionals bring expertise in selecting the right technologies, designing engaging content, and managing logistics to create a cohesive and memorable experience for all participants.

Consider Accessibility and Inclusivity

Taking your event’s accessibility and inclusivity into account is vital. Design your hybrid event to accommodate diverse audiences, regardless of their location. Implementing accessibility features, such as closed captioning and translation services, can enhance the experience for virtual participants.