7 Reasons Hybrid Events Are Essential Event Strategy in 2021

Hybrid events are the perfect way to blend physical and digital spaces, bringing events to life. Hosting a hybrid event is a great way to incorporate the best of both worlds, getting us one step closer to the return of live events.

Be proactive with your event planning this year. Whilst in-person events may be on the horizon keep in mind travel sentiment. Start planning an event because you don’t want to be behind the market in securing venues, speakers and attendees.

Even if you’ve never hosted a hybrid event before, you shouldn’t let that deter you. The time is perfect, and the technology is more accessible than ever. Hybrid events allow you to cater to two demographics: those who wish to participate live, and those who want to participate in their own way.

What is a Hybrid Event?

Hybrid events combine elements of live, in-person events with digital, online mechanisms. The aim of such an event would be to give both live and digital audiences the same real time experience. In addition, those audiences would have the ability to ‘interact’ with each other.

The simple ideology of the hybrid event approach would be having a segment of your participants attend the event in-person while the others attend remotely via a virtual platform. For example, an annual business kick off conference is hosted in London and live-streams its sessions to a UK, European or even worldwide virtual audience.

To achieve the desired outcome of the same experience the event has to be planned with both types of audiences in mind in order to be well executed.

The 7 Benefits of Hybrid Events

The chances are that the majority of your employees are working remotely. This means they may be communicating less with their colleagues. As a result, they will likely feel less connected and may even be less engaged.

  1. Increased reach & attendance
  2. Higher engagement with your audience
  3. Greater Time/date flexibility
  4. Increased event data & feedback
  5. Ease of scalability
  6. Reduced travel & accommodation costs
  7. Reduced environmental impact and costs

It may feel like hosting a hybrid event, you are dividing your audience. In reality, the opposite is true. Hybrid events allow you to increase your reach and gain more attendees, not fewer.

As it stands and for the foreseeable future, there will be attendees who would love to attend, but cannot for one reason or another. With a hybrid event, you lower the barrier to entry for both demographics. To that extent, a hybrid event significantly increases your reach. Making your event more inclusive to a larger audience than a live event.

Event Engagement

Adding a virtual element to your live event opens up many more engagement opportunities, both during and post-event. Your virtual audience is actively participating from their mobile devices or desktop computer, meaning they can talk, share, like, comment and much more.

For example, you can host polls during sessions that include both the live and online audience. Or, you could have a Q&A session with a speaker live, then invite them to have a Q&A with your online audience. This can be either at a dedicated production studio (such as the Onyx Events partnership with Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, in the New Forest) or at a mobile studio setup at your offices or a similar suitable location.

‘Audience First’ Planning

How can you keep track of all these engagement avenues? The easiest way is to start with your attendees. What will their journey look like, whether online or offline? By planning your event audience-first, you ensure that you weave in the necessary engagement opportunities that make the most sense to them.

Sustainable Hybrid Events

We’ve seen the impact that reduced travel has had on the environment. Our city’s streets are empty where they once were congested. Emissions have plummeted. Many of Onyx Events clients now have a respect and increased desire for sustainability with their events. Hybrid events are another step closer to helping achieve this target.

While there is still very much a desire for face-to-face meetings and conferences, going hybrid is a great way to accommodate attendees who might feel more conscious about their personal carbon footprint.

This way, they can still take part in your event and enjoy it, while also doing their part to decrease carbon emissions. Going hand in hand, hybrid events can significantly decrease travel costs. When budgets are tight, hybrid events are excellent for bridging the gap between cost and results.

Looking to host a successful, engaging, and interactive Hybrid Event?

Uncertain times call for creativity, innovation and even a change in mindset. Thinking of ways to reach your teams and target audiences via a unique hybrid event offers plenty of opportunities. For these types of events to be successful and engaging they key takeaway is that your attendees should always come first.

As part of the transition to live events it’s all about how you can create engaging virtual experiences that simulate in-person interaction. A hybrid event may be the perfect business solution for the current situation but they also present many benefits that your company can carry forward into future event strategies.

If you’re interested in explore these benefits of Hybrid events, get in contact with a member of the Onyx Events team today.

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