Hybrid Event: Which event format and which advantages?
What is a Hybrid Event?
It is a live event supplemented by virtual elements to engage those who cannot or do not want to attend physically.
The classic hybrid event uses technology that allows online participants to connect with the on-site participants of a live event. The content is the same for each participant.
Different solutions allow on-site and remote guests to connect with the speakers and each other, as well as to give feedback or ask questions about the actual topic or event itself.
A hybrid event can create an environment in which online participants can be as active as their on-site colleagues.
Why organise a Hybrid event?
Travel restrictions and new travel habits make it more difficult to hold traditional international events.
Their initial objective is best achieved with a multi-city, multi-location or combined event, especially when guests come from more than five countries. It is also essential to consider the target group and the main objectives of the event, as these fundamentally influence the appropriate format of the event.
The magic of live events cannot be entirely replaced by online solutions. However, the aim is to give as many guests as possible the opportunity to join the event and, with the help of virtual platforms and interactive elements, to connect participants and stakeholders on site with online participants.
What format for hybrid events?
1- "Organise an event in several cities or in several places".
This can involve participants from multiple countries, cities or locations being connected.
In #MeetSafe, our partner Special Effect International focuses on events where the audience of two or more live events are connected online, enjoying the experience of the live events at the same time.
Both concepts are based on the same principle of organising small events in different cities at the same time, in order to ensure a higher overall participation. In the short term, participants are more likely to travel within their countries or to neighbouring countries rather than to more distant destinations. Within a given region, regulations are likely to be very similar, so similar restrictions may apply when leaving or returning from a foreign country. It will be easier to travel by private car or to take a quick flight to nearby locations, just as it will be easier to get home if something goes wrong.
In the case of multi-site events, large local events are divided into smaller groups at different venues in the same city.
Two solutions with the same advantage:
A wider audience can participate, while participants and presenters have a greater sense of security if they travel to a closer destination and meet people from the same area. With fewer participants in each venue, guests benefit from a more convenient and manageable environment with a more intimate atmosphere. Participants will have more confidence and be more willing to attend such events in person.
It is very important to involve and engage participants interactively online, as well as to ensure their personal contribution to the overall community experience. Solutions to enhance the visual experience, interactive tools, content are solutions used for virtual events.
Guests can follow certain elements of the programme only via streaming, while enjoying their personal presence at the venue. Presentations from all venues in all cities are streamed, allowing each participant to have access to the full content of the event, while local programmes offer a unique live experience to guests on site.
2- "Organise several events in one place".
Presentations are held in several meeting rooms at the same location, which ensures a larger audience on site, which is complemented by online participants.
Despite the larger attendance, we can offer the highest level of security and comfort, making personal presence more compelling.
As in the case of multi-city events, meeting rooms, participants and speakers are connected. In addition, each participant can enjoy all the live sessions, as speakers rotate between meeting rooms. Organisers divide participants into groups based on specific criteria or areas of interest; the programme and content are tailored accordingly. In smaller rooms, it is easier to create a more friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Speakers can get closer to the audience; participants can make new connections more quickly, allowing the audience to leave with a greater experience. As all participants are in the same place, it is easier and safer to carry out organised or individual social programmes.
It is useful to keep in mind solutions that link different venues, events, audiences and participants online, and also stimulate interactivity. This concept offers new possibilities for small multi-room venues with spacious social spaces, compared to large-scale venues.
What are the advantages of a hybrid event?
● Attendance is higher than for traditional live events, as a large proportion of online participants would otherwise miss the opportunity to attend.
● These events allow for more flexibility, comfort and security for participants, as well as greater trust in the organisers / organising companies.
● Hybrid events can be organised in a sustainable way, even if circumstances have changed.
● Innovative technology with a focus on interactivity will be given more prominence, including for on-site participants, as it brings the audience closer together, makes presenters more accessible and facilitates follow-up.
● The online space offers new opportunities for communication, content sharing, networking and marketing, while having great community building power.
● The added value offsets potentially higher technical and space rental costs. Minimising travel costs and increasing the number of participants (both on-site and online) can reduce costs per person.
● Hybrid events will also gain ground in the exhibition field. Maximum participation is guaranteed for organisers and exhibitors, both on the stands and in the programmes, as potential customers and partners who cannot travel in person can also be involved.
Want to know more about online solutions and the engagement elements of a hybrid event?
As a member of the GLOBAL CYNERGIES network, a sourcing company for hotels and venues in thousands of destinations, Elisabeth CLARES can meet your requirements for face-to-face or hybrid meetings. It is also possible to offer you a 100% digital solution to organise an event in a virtual space.