Benefits of Creating Hybrid Events

benefits of hybrid events


The last couple of years have been difficult for companies wishing to connect and network with new leads and customers and forge new partnerships through live events.

Lockdowns and social distancing have all but closed off hosting physical gatherings. Even when lockdowns are lifted, a live event is still a risky proposition as a new outbreak could be just around the corner, ready to slam the doors shut on your plans without warning.

However, for every obstacle thrown up by the pandemic, new opportunities always present themselves. You may not be able to reliably gather people in a physical location any time soon, but hybrid events deliver a viable solution that might just be the solution that covers all your bases.

Will hybrid events take over as the new standard, what are they, and how can your company benefit? Let’s find out.

What are Hybrid Events?

Hybrid events are combined live and online events that deliver more options and convenience to attendees.  When attendees cannot arrive in person, the online portions of the hybrid event platform can still deliver value through video streaming, virtual event booths, and video conferencing.

Using innovative technology, a hybrid event platform  can increase the level of engagement of attendees while delivering the same content across all platforms. There are a few different formats hybrid events can take.

What a Hybrid Event is Not

Engagement is the key to a successful event, which is why a hybrid event is not:

  • A streaming session you set up from your phone
  • A Facebook live video with your group members
  • A Video on Demand (VOD) service delivered after the event

The above services are purely online events with limited engagement possibilities, and there is no alternative physical location for people to visit.

A hybrid event requires the same level of planning and attention to detail as a physical version, while striving to deliver a consistent experience across all platforms so everyone gets equal value whether they attended in person or online.

When to Create a Hybrid Event

Any event that can be hosted physically or would work just as well as an online event is the perfect candidate for a hybrid event.​

Hybrid events are a fantastic opportunity to increase attendance not just for a local audience but also attract leads and sponsorship deals from further afield. If the content you are presenting is relevant to a global audience, a hybrid event platform can make your material just as accessible to an international audience as it is to a local one.

Internal Hybrid Events

An internal event of any type is one that targets people who are internal to the company,  including stakeholders,  employees,  executives, and leadership. Many organizations operating today have created a sizeable remote workforce, many of which would not be able to attend an event in person. Hybrid events allow everyone to participate, regardless of location.

External Hybrid Events

An external event is one that focuses on leads, customers, prospects, and clients. As you know, today’s climate makes it challenging to plan an event while dealing with the logistics of lockdowns and social distancing. A Hybrid event platform gives you more options and more control over your event’s potential for success.

Incredible Benefits of Creating Hybrid Events

Hybrid events provide almost limitless possibilities in reaching a broader audience to further cement your brand in the marketplace and generate leads by casting a wider net.

Here are a few more exciting benefits hybrid events can deliver that make them worthy of consideration even when there’s no pandemic holding you back.

1. Hybrid Events Provide More Options

​While many people prefer person-to-person contact, others may appreciate the option to attend via a broadband link. Still, others will enjoy the flexibility of doing both; they will attend in person one day and virtually the next according to their circumstances.

Attendees who cannot visit in person can choose the presentations they wish to attend while avoiding scheduling conflicts and travel restrictions.

2. Remove Attendee Number Limitations

The space you have available and health and safety regulations will always put an upper limit on how many people you can host at an event. Hybrid events can significantly increase the number of people you can reach at a time.

3. Cast a Wider Net

Because hybrid events and live events cater to the different needs of your audience, many event organizers have concerns that they will split their audience. However, the hybrid and live components deliver a consistent experience that creates the potential for reaching an even wider audience than using either method alone.

A live event in the current conditions can leave many with no way to attend. Other potential attendees may live too far away to make travel costs manageable. Then you have the people who can only participate in one day of the event but would still like to access the presentations remotely for the other days they can’t.

Of course, you also don’t want to alienate those clients or prospects in a lockdown or quarantine situation.

When hosting an online event, you are not restricted to geography because streaming technology allows you to broadcast anywhere in the world. If attendees have access to a suitable internet connection, they can attend your event wherever they are. Your only restrictions are budgeting for the necessary bandwidth and dealing with timezones.

Hybrid events where everyone can access the same material regardless of proximity create a massive potential for your event.

4. More Sponsorship Opportunities

As events grow in popularity, more and more companies are starting to see the value in gaining more market share through sponsorships. A sponsorship is a “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” situation. The sponsor generates more leads by connecting with your attendees, and your event gains a cash injection which you can use to create even more value.

You may think that the online aspect of a hybrid event makes it tricky for sponsors because they can’t throw up a booth to engage with foot traffic. However, quality event management software provides virtual booths where attendees can watch presentations from event sponsors or engage in real-time communications using chat or video conferencing.

5. Reduced Travel and Parking Costs

Attendees will appreciate the lack of commuting to attend your event, as well as the money saved if they were planning on flying to your location. Travel is expensive for long-distance attendees because they not only have the transport costs, they also need to book accommodation and deal with all the other incidentals associated with travel.

Attendees are not the only ones who can benefit from not needing to travel to a hybrid event. Guest speakers, sponsors, and event partners could also stream their presentations online from a location convenient to them.

Sponsors participating in a hybrid event can also save on transporting as many staff to manage a booth at your event. A smaller team can handle the booth, while offsite staff could qualify the leads and run communication channels.

6. Valuable Analytical Data and Metrics

Ensuring you sell enough tickets to your event is critical to its success. However, attendees are more than the value of a ticket price. Registration details can provide a wealth of data about your demographic, such as their profession, but once inside your event, their behavior can give you even more insight into the wants and needs of your target market.

Monitoring behavior at a physical event is tricky. However, the virtual portion of a hybrid event will deliver a ton of data points for you to analyze. You can quickly gauge the popularity of a presentation, review engagement levels with sponsored materials, or see how many visited the virtual lobby and for how long. Knowing how many engaged with networking or breakout sessions can also reveal what worked well. When you plan your next event, you will understand what your audience liked the most and can plan to give them more of that.

7. Longlasting Effects

When you are going to the trouble to stream live content over the internet, there is very little extra work involved in recording it.

You can use the media files to create another revenue stream from the content created for the event. Package it up and sell it to people interested in attending but couldn’t make it to the physical or online versions.

Recorded media could also be an added bonus for attendees who would like to have access to the material for later review or sharing with colleagues. You could create a premium ticket tier that charges for the recorded content and delivers it a few days after the event.

8. More Control Over Costs

A hybrid event means you can sell more tickets, which means you can create more revenue for not much more outlay. The more people that attend a physical location, the more square footage you will need to host them. Renting prime real estate can get very expensive, and then you’ve got the added costs of catering, security, and insurance which all increase along with your attendance levels.

Once the infrastructure is in place for delivering your content digitally, selling extra tickets does not significantly increase your costs. The extra ticket sales will more than cover the costs for the extra bandwidth you may need to deliver a lag-free experience.

9. Reduced Environmental Impact

We are all looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact, and people are paying more attention to the companies that are making inroads in this regard.

Reduced reliance on transport and the associated carbon emissions does a little bit more to help the environment. Large gatherings of people tend to produce a lot of plastic and general waste. Hosting your event online will significantly reduce the cleanup bill and the burden to the environment.

10. Control and Flexibility

If you are still on the fence about how hybrid events can help, consider if all of your planning for your next physical event was ruined because of an unexpected lockdown.

We’re all aware of the current pandemic doing precisely that, but disruptions can also come from natural disasters or bad weather.

A hybrid event program provides a backup solution you can fall back on. You may have to make some adjustments, but at least you will still be able to engage with your attendees.

Are You Ready to Take Advantage of the Benefits of Hybrid Events?

The past couple of years has given many businesses a wake-up call at just how vulnerable they can be to government regulations and their influence on market forces.

We will eventually be free of the pandemic’s grip, but making sure we are prepared for the future could mean the difference between keeping the doors open or shutting them for good.

Hybrid events are a logical backup solution for an unpredictable economy, but they also deliver many other benefits as well.

People will always prefer to meet and do business in person, but they will also appreciate alternatives that will keep the wheels of commerce turning when social gatherings aren’t possible.