Hybrid events can take many forms, and basically any event can be designed as a hybrid. Some common hybrid events are summits, product launches, press conferences, annual general meetings, and fundraisers. The overarching goal of a hybrid event is to create flexibility and expand accessibility for how people can attend, consume or participate in your brand and content. Hybrid events combine various technologies, such as live streaming, video conferencing, microsites and interactive tools, to design a smooth and engaging experience for both in-person and virtual attendees.
Image: Left Lane's Fast Growth Summit London 2022, a hybrid event produced by Happily. Find full Case Study here.
By dividing your event into an onsite and a virtual audience, you can formally structure and curate your attendees and their experience. The onsite experience can be the more exclusive experience that is coveted, highly valued by attendees, with an application process or an invite-only list. On the other hand, the virtual experience still allows your brand and content to be reached by as many people as possible.
One of the greatest benefits of any broadcasted event is its distribution potential. Whether watched live or on demand, once your event is available online via a digital platform, it can be accessible how, when and where you choose, to as many as you choose.
Events with a strong virtual component allow you to better track data and gather detailed analytics of your event through the behaviors of attendees online. Data points such as broadcast attendance rates, session viewership, viewing duration, attendee geo-location, social shares, and microsite link clicks will generate a deeper understanding of the success of your event and allow data-driven decisions for future events.
By having greater control over the attendee experience of your event, hybrid events have the potential to create additional revenue streams through a tiered pricing structure. For example tiers can be structured around onsite attendance, virtual-only, a combination of both, or post-event content viewing.
Include in your sponsorship program different levels of brand exposure and various price points based on the virtual and in-person event environments. For example tiers can be a virtual-only sponsor, in-person sponsor, on demand, or combos.
Guests are given the ability to participate in your event in a manner that suits them and their individual constraints. Mobility, availability, geographical, or financial factors may prevent attendees from participating onsite, and the virtual element will ensure that there are still ways those attendees can connect with your brand and engage with your event.
With the extended reach and audience numbers of a hybrid event, comes opportunities to extend the networking potential for your attendees. On the other hand, the exclusivity of the onsite experience for a hybrid event can be optimized for a higher value of networking, especially when onsite attendees are hand selected through an application process.
By including interactive components via the digital element on your event, you can introduce more avenues of communication and engagement between your brand and the attendees. This can include elements such as live polls, Q&A sessions, chat features, comments, and emoji reactions. This increases engagement and also makes attendees feel more connected to the content and contributing to the overall experience.
With a hybrid event your budget can go further while still increasing the success metrics. By refining the onsite experience and establishing robust virtual elements, your expenses can be decreased in some of the most budget-consuming areas. Costly onsite expenses such as the venue, catering, transportation, staffing, and logistics can be tightened and used to focus on greater reach and impact online.
By reducing the need for travel by guests, having a smaller venue, reducing the number of onsite attendees and more, hybrid events can enable you to heavily reduce the environmental impact of your event.