The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically advanced the use of digital technologies in society and business. Employees are now working from home in record numbers and meetings are increasingly being completed virtually, rather than in person.
Virtual events are also on the rise. People are quickly becoming more comfortable in digital spaces.
Since the world is now opened back up, hybrid events have been the talk of the town. Attendants now have more options and can choose how they wish to attend many events.
Read through our Hybrid Events Complete Beginners Guide to learn what is involved, and how they can help your business.
What are Hybrid Events?
A Hybrid Event is a seminar, trade show, career fair, conference or any other gathering that uses a combination of in-person and virtual elements.
They are prearranged events that allow the attendees, remote or on-site, to interact and engage with one another. Although Hybrid events are one sole event, it can provide two different experiences for two distinct audiences.
The concept of hybrid events is not new. A classic example of hybrid events would be the televised sports events, concerts, and award shows. Hybrid events help people with similar interests and common goals to network, learn, and share information with each other.
Imagine the Champions League, or the MTV music awards. Both events are broadcasted live for millions of spectators around the world. Both events also involve attendees. These are perfect examples of traditional hybrid events.
“For those who cannot make in-person events, hybrid events ensure conferences and meetings can continue with live and digital elements across international borders.” – The Convention Centre Dublin.
Digital Hybrid Events
Hybrid Events are great for a bunch of reasons. For example, individuals who wish to attend your event, but are unable to attend in person still have the option to attend online. Hybrid Events held online can also help market your event and increase its awareness also.
A hybrid event can take many forms and serve many different organisational goals. Let’s dive into a few of the most popular hybrid event formats.
Hybrid conferences are the perfect blend of physical and virtual conferences. Hybrid conferences are both where physical and virtual attendees can network, watch speakers share valuable information and enjoy panel discussions live and online.
Online attendees may only have access to a few live speaker sessions and panels with access to online breakout rooms for networking.
Planning hybrid conferences require some tools to help you get it all done. For hybrid conferences, the most essential tool is to have virtual event software that allows you to share the conference online and livestream the complete conference.
Management software is another tool that is much needed for a hybrid event. A combination of both virtual event and management software would be a great option for hybrid conferences.
- Job Fairs
A hybrid job fair can be the perfect approach to combining virtual and in-person hiring fairs. In a hybrid job fair, you can bring together recruiters and the local job seekers in a physical venue for a more intensive in-person communication.
It also offers companies virtual exhibit booths where remote candidates can view vacancies and apply for the available positions. With companies offering more remote job positions, hybrid job or career fairs can be a great opportunity for employers and candidates alike.
Educational institutes can host a hybrid job fair by partnering with the team of hiring managers and recruiters to find the right candidates at both physical and virtual settings. Employers are provided with all the relevant tools to gain meaningful analytics with candidate engagement and satisfaction.
Therefore, a hybrid event is a win-win situation for both the parties.
- Trade Shows
Hybrid trade shows are the new way forward after the pandemic. They can accommodate both, those who can travel and those who would like to attend but are unable due to scheduling, budget or a number of other concerns.
A hybrid trade show needs to predominantly showcase products & services, allow attendees to submit orders, and company reps to garner leads both in-person and virtually. Product listings, order sheets and live chats can be a great way to help sellers interact with attendees and generate new business.
- Hybrid Presentations
A presentation that integrates physical and virtual events together seamlessly is known to be a hybrid presentation. Hybrid presentations engage both their audiences where they can listen to speakers, network with both online and offline attendees, and participate in multiple activities.
Having access to a digital audience online, speakers or hosts can share information in-person to local attendees and virtually to the global one.
With hybrid presentations, people attending virtually can always have engaging discussions for each session, participate in live polls, exchange business cards digitally and more.
If attendees are unable to travel for some reason, they always have the option to attend it virtually.
Hybrid exhibitions, it’s more about the creation of improved value.
Hybrid exhibitions can be a great opportunity for organisations like museums and art galleries to educate a worldwide audience. They can host their exhibits at a physical venue and let people around the world access it through virtual media.
Hybrid exhibitions can be great for nonprofit organisations and schools where they can showcase their work, and celebratory events. vFairs offers a poster hall for hybrid exhibitions where hosts can display research, projects, artwork, and more for attendees.
Hybrid exhibitions can be tricky to host, however. Exhibitors always want displays that can be easily accomplished. Displays should be easily assembled, have their own aesthetic, weigh almost nothing, and must have the ability to reconfigure in two more shapes and sizes.
Things have changed very much for the exhibitors as well. With hybrid events becoming the future, exhibitors now must merge the virtual and the physical world.
Hybrid exhibitions can provide the perfect combination of flexibility, portability, innovative design, and an event with two experiences.
Hybrid Event Benefits
A Hybrid event is one sole event, but it can offer two experiences to entirely distinct audiences.
With the ability to provide the best of both worlds, virtual and in-person audiences can enjoy various benefits. The audience can enjoy social interaction, have access to a virtual platform, perform games and activities, and access cross-networking opportunities.
Here are some of the biggest benefits to hosting hybrid events online.
- Increase Attendance Count
Hybrid approach provides attendees with the opportunity to either take part virtually and in-person, according to their preferences. This approach can provide massive audience reach.
An in-person event will have an upper limit to the number of virtual attendees the organisers can have but with virtual audiences, there is practically no upper limit.
Therefore, you can increase the reach and maximise the capacity of your event to its full potential.
This hybrid combination assists attendees who may have problems being physically present at the locations, to join virtually through an online platform.
Hybrid events technology comes with the ability to collect valuable data and insights from in-person and remote attendees. Remote and in-person attendees can provide feedback through polls, questionnaires, and surveys.
Consolidated feedback is more easily collected with a mobile event app.
Goals and analytics solutions of the event can provide the event organisers with in-depth data-driven insights that can be used to better understand the attendees’ behaviour.
With measurable results, the organisers or the hosts have the opportunity to improve their events from time to time based on this feedback.
- Facilitate Audience Feedback Online
Hybrid events provide a greater return on investment (ROI) because of the massive reach and scalability of the event. This leads to more attendees, more sponsors and more business for you!
Furthermore, it leads to an increased lead generation for the exhibitors as well.
Hybrid events provide you insights to the event including audiences’ behaviour patterns and interests. You can easily track the digital footprints of the virtual attendees which helps them gain a greater understanding of their behaviour.
Attendee feedback can also be taken through the virtual platform which makes it easier to analyse, interpret, and record attendees’ behaviour, preferences, and feedback about the event.
Hybrid events are becoming increasingly popular due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. Many businesses and organisations around the world are beginning to see the value and future potential in hybrid events.
Anyone can host a hybrid event. Hybrid events have various types such as conferences, job fairs, hybrid presentations, virtual trade shows, and more.
Hybrid event marketing will work wonders for your event. Hybrid events have many benefits such as increased attendee numbers, greater feedback through data analytics and measurable results.
VIMAR Digital Marketing
If you would like to learn more about Hybrid Events, or need assistance with digital marketing for your business, book a free consultation with VIMAR today.