3 Types Of Hybrid Events

Take an onsite event, use technology to enhance, expand and evolve it, and what you get is a hybrid event.

Hybrid events are not a new concept to the industry. However, due to the pandemic creating a major shift in how we socialize and communicate, hybrid events are ready to shine.

More than ever we are comfortable in the digital space and utilizing the internet to connect - from replacing onsite work meetings with online Zoom calls, to curating virtual moments to reach meaningful connections. As a society we now ‘understand’ virtual events, and so the time has never been better for onsite and virtual experiences to come together and form hybrids.

3 Types Of Hybrid Events

Here are 3 ways to structure a hybrid production and produce a hybrid event

1. Hybrid Broadcast

A Hybrid Broadcast model is when virtual and/or onsite presenters broadcast content to virtual and/or onsite attendees. Broadcasting is used to overcome boundaries of location, so talent can contribute no matter where they are, and audiences can tune in from all over the country or world.

This hybrid model is ideal for taking an onsite production and making it accessible to as many people as possible. Typically this may look like an event with in-person attendees that is live streamed to a virtual audience as well.

The biggest consideration with this Hybrid Broadcast model is that essentially two distinct experiences are happening for your onsite audience and for your virtual audience. In many ways, the one event is split into two productions; the onsite team (aka. A Happily Experiential Team) and the virtual team (aka. A Happily Broadcast Team). These teams must work in harmony, but each is curating a defined event experience.

2. Hybrid Hub and Spoke

A Hybrid Hub and Spoke model means that the event has one main location (the hub), with various other locations connected (the spokes). Typically the hub could be the main broadcasting studio, and the spokes could be smaller venues for presenters/talent, or other pockets of in-person audiences.

In this model there is no defined onsite and virtual audience, as all attendees are sort of both, as each onsite audience interacts virtually with another onsite audience.

This hybrid production model is ideal for connecting localized factions of the same community, or bringing together various offices of the same company. It is an effective way to connect communities across long distances via the digital space, and still provide a physical event experience for attendees.

As we all move in favor of sustainable and eco-friendly events this Hybrid Hub and Spoke model can be an ideal way to radically reduce air travel when thinking about a major event or summit.

3. Hybrid Immersive

A Hybrid Immersive model is where both virtual and onsite presenters and attendees interact in the same space. This model intentionally designs interaction and engagement between the onsite and virtual attendees, and the presence of the online audience is purposely curated more heavily at the physical venue of the event.

Hybrid Immersive is more advanced and more costly than a Hybrid Broadcast model. You need to essentially build an interactive gaming platform in order to create space for connectivity and communication to occur with ease. As well as bring in more hardware onsite to embody the virtual audience.

This hybrid model is really a hybrid experience, rather than a hybrid ‘event’. Unlike the Hybrid Broadcast model where each audience type is experiencing the event in a different way, Hybrid Immersive seeks to make that divide between the onsite and virtual attendee as small as possible. With technology in this space rapidly advancing and the Metaverse continuing to be developed, this hybrid model presents the future of events.