Hybrid events have many advantages and are ideal if you want to reach both in-person and virtual audiences. Organizations and event planners are moving to hybrid events to provide more value and improve ROI.
Hybrid events have been around for a while. But it wasn’t until COVID-19 that they’ve become more popular. According to a Event Manager Blug study,
Hybrid events will likely take over. The proof of this is the high ROIs and people working from home, which has become mainstream. These events provide a balance between fully virtual and in-person events.
Read on to understand hybrid event advantages and disadvantages.
Hybrid Event Advantages
With hybrid events, you can reach out to both virtual and in-person attendees seamlessly. Here are some advantages of hybrid events:
1. Increased Audience Attendance
Combining in-person attendance with a virtual element opens the door for a larger audience than a strictly virtual or live event. While you can have a limited number of in-person attendees, the virtual event platform makes it easy to stretch your limit to higher levels. Besides, it allows attendees from different parts of the world to attend the event. This is a win-win situation given the recent COVID-19 protocols that limit travel and gatherings.
2. Opportunity to Track Valuable Data
The modern event industry is highly data-driven. With a hybrid event platform, you can track real-time data and, in many cases, pass it through to a CRM for for actionable insights.
You can track certain key metrics, such as user engagement, session viewing time, booth visits, location, and audience dropout rates. Event metrics combined with other key metrics help improve and make future events better.
3. Powerful Opportunities for Sponsorship Revenue
Hybrid events create a perfect opportunity for sponsors to reach a wider audience both virtually and in person. A larger number of attendees means sponsors can promote themselves effectively. The fact that there are virtual and in-person audience segments is an appealing prospect to sponsors.
4. Build Strong Communities Around Events
Hybrid event technologies allow you to keep the virtual environment available on-demand for weeks and months after the live days end. This not only allows attendees to access content and sessions on-demand, but also participate in ongoing topic driven forum discussions.
Hybrid Event Disadvantages
While hybrid events sound great, hosting them is not always an easy. Several downsides of hybrid events include:
1. Can Be Difficult to Plan and Execute
Hosting a hybrid event adds many challenges. It requires the planner to rethink the elements and concepts to cater the event experience to two completely different audience types. You also need to dedicate time to choose your hybrid event technology and strategies effectively; otherwise, the event might end up flop. Finally, you need a team of tech-savvy individuals and partners to coordinate and produce the event.
Running a hybrid event requires a larger investment. You have to supplement the in-person event expenses with a virtual event platform. Hybrid events also require an AV production crew at the physical venue to capture and stream the live sessions.
3. Different Attendee Experience
In most hybrid events, there is always a gap between the in-person and virtual attendees’ experiences. It’s difficult to strike a balance and give both segments a similar experience. This leads to heightened technical demands, making event organizing more challenging.
The Bottom Line
Hybrid events can be highly successful when well-executed. However, you need to adjust your strategy, staffing, budget to pull off a successful hybrid event.