Hybrid event evolution
The “Hybrid Event” continues to be a hot topic for every event planner and organizer in 2021. The Hybrid event concept has been around for a while, but today’s definition of a Hybrid event has changed since 2020.
The global lockdown, resulted in a pivot in the event sector from in-person events to virtual events and conferences. Virtual event platforms proved their worth during this shift from in-person to virtual events. These virtual event platforms allowed businesses, governments, and associations to stay connected with their audience and delegates through virtual conferencing.
As ongoing global lockdowns and restrictions continue, event managers are looking for ways to reincorporate aspects of in-person events, whilst still enjoying the advantages that a virtual event offers.
We welcome you to the Hybrid event – the SMART event, fully packed with features to help engage and drive audience interaction.
So what is a Hybrid event?
A hybrid event can be a conference, seminar, webinar, tradeshow, workshop, or other meetings that combines in-person and digital online elements, accessible in-person & online, which is customized to each audience for an optimal audience experience.
Let’s break down the elements of a Hybrid event:
- Has both online and in-person elements running in tandem.
- Both the virtual audience and in-person audience can engage with presenters and other attendees.
- The event is either live or partly live.
- Highly customised.
Important note: A modern hybrid event is therefore NOT just streaming your live event.
A Hybrid event will include an in-person portion at a physical venue, and an online portion hosted by a virtual event platform like Webcastcloud.
Your virtual event platform will be working hand in hand with your in-person event presenters to facilitate live participation from both your in-person and online attendees. For a hybrid event to be truly modern, you must create meaningful engagement with your in-person AND online audience. Webcastcloud’s virtual event platform will give you a range of tools and features to drive real-time engagement online, including; live chat, polls, Q & A sessions, and more.
Now that attendees have experienced all the additional features & benefits of modern online events, they have come to expect this same standard of quality from all hybrid events.
Virtual events and Hybrid events, what’s the difference?
What is a virtual event?
A virtual event or virtual conference takes place completely online through your virtual event platform. There is not a physical venue, but a virtual venue for your delegates to attend. A combination of live streaming and pre-recorded videos are usually used at a virtual event.
What is a Hybrid event?
Hybrid events take place both online via your virtual event platform, and in in-person at a physical venue. Event organisers, presenters, and attendees can now choose to attend the event either in-person or remotely. Hybrid often places greater emphasis on the live streaming segment and will likely include a smaller portion of pre-recorded video content.
Common types of Hybrid events
Hybrid events continue to grow in popularity, here are some prominent examples.
- Town Hall
- Trade Show
- Continuing Learning Points or Continuing Professional Development Points programs education day.
Big Benefits of hosting Hybrid events?
Hosting a hybrid event or conference on your virtual event platform gives you the best of both worlds!
There are many virtual benefits that you can now strategically implement at your hybrid event while still providing attendees with the traditional option & experience of an in-person event.
What are some of the key benefits of a Hybrid event?
The online portion of your hybrid event can be global, with an unlimited capacity, free from all traditional logistical challenges. Therefore you can now extend your reach significantly and engage with a much larger audience.
The online portion of your hybrid event is accessible to an audience outside of your geographical boundaries. Hosting your event as a hybrid also provides greater opportunity for remote collaboration with a wider range of presenters & experts. Digital event access means that attendees who might otherwise be restricted due to logistical challenges can now easily join your hybrid event online.
Data, Data, Data:
In the information age, data is key to understanding your customers/members and acts as the foundation of strategic business planning. With webcastcloud’s virtual & hybrid event video hosting platform, you will gain valuable online analytics on who your attendees are and how they engaged with your hybrid event. Use our suite of digital tools, like polls, to ask your attendees questions and gain specific insights.
Your event content is by design highly relevant and engaging to your specific audience. When hosting a hybrid event this valuable video content is recorded by your virtual event software. With Webcastcloud’s all-in-one video monetization & virtual event platform, you can easliy convert your compelling video content into On-Demand video. Creating a video strategy can provide year-round ongoing value to both your audience and organization.
Your branded video channel will generate revenue, increasee the value of your offering, facilitating continued learning programs and opportunities to promote your business, and more. Webcastcloud makes it easy to sell your videos online, with many of our clients already using our Video Monetization Platform to create a new revenue stream.
Successful video content strategy:
Have you heard the line content is king? You likely have. So it goes without saying that the value of content across all sectors can not be understated, entire departments, organizations, and industries exist to generate content. It’s becoming evident to event professionals that the role of content is ever-expanding in its importance to winning over attendees and sponsors.
To stand out from your competitors and build value for members/customers you need to provide them with valuable video content. One of the most valuable forms of business-generated video content comes from your events & seminars.
Adding a virtual element to your event will increase the initial upfront cost, however, the increased virtual attendees and sponsorship can easily justify this virtual investment. It’s important to invest in a virtual event software/platform that meets your needs and maximizes overall ROI.
Is your event content suited to a broad audience or considered high value? Then using the up-scaling facilitated by a hybrid event can result in a huge number of virtual attendees. Virtual attendees paying to be part of your event will generate additional ticket sale revenue. Virtual also provides the ongoing benefits of online brand exposure for your organization, sponsors, and exhibitors.
Overall hybrid events give you the best of both worlds while providing higher initial and ongoing returns, at a low virtual setup cost. The ongoing video monetization opportunities that on-demand video content creates are well worth investing your time and capital.
Thought leaders, industry bodies and professionals agree that hybrid events are the future of the events industry. Make sure that you’ve prepared to take full advantage of hybrid.
To find out how to implement a successful hybrid event, contact Webcastcloud today!