What are the benefits of a hybrid event?

February 21, 2021
Encore Research

‘Hybrid’ is defined as the combination of two different elements. In the context of hybrid events, it’s;

"a physical meeting in which an online audience also participates. Essentially, both the physical as well as the online audience come together and participate in the same experience or content at the same time, from different locations."

IMPACTPLUS

The benefits of a hybrid event for meeting and event planners lie in the benefits of hosting both the in-person experience as well as the virtual.

So why go hybrid now and not wait until restrictions ease so we can go back to ‘normal’?

The short answer is, the days of only in-person events may be long gone. Restrictions don’t appear to be easing anytime soon, and event planners are starting to capitalize on the benefits that hybrid events can bring. Another growing indicator for an adaptation to hybrid is the fact that participants are more engaged and are enjoying the new format.

According to IMPACT, in 2021, video (including web conferencing) is projected to account for 80% of all internet traffic.

The shift to hybrid events reflects changing attendee behavior and expectations. If you’re looking for reasons to add a digital or streaming component to your event – here are some key benefits of hybrid events. 

Why adding virtual to your event can create positive ROI

Event planners are well-versed in the benefits of an in-person experience, so let’s look at what adding in a virtual component can bring:

  • Increased Attendance

    While a venue has capacity limitations for in-person attendees, hybrid events provide an opportunity to reach audiences across the world. By removing the need to travel, you’re effectively able to increase your number of registrations and appeal to a broader audience.

  • Thought-leadership

    If cost-savings leave you with a larger budget, consider reaching out to presenters who may have previously been out of reach or who are new. This creates an opportunity to build new connections, give your attendees access to new and in-demand speakers and gives presenters exposure to new audiences.

  • Networking

    Interactive virtual platforms like Chime Live are designed to facilitate engagement and networking online. Whether
    via chat, live polling, virtual break-out rooms, video chat, or connecting via social feeds, the digital experience opens up new opportunities for presenters and attendees to engage on a more intimate level than in the past. The beauty of an event platform like Chime Live is the connection created between the in-person and virtual
    attendees. Rather than treating them as separate audiences, the platform is designed to be all-inclusive, giving each attendee the same experience no matter where they login from.

 
  • A New Revenue Stream

    Take advantage of the online environment and seek creative virtual event sponsorships that will bring in more revenue and ultimately increase your ROI. If you’re streaming your event live or offering it on-demand, it’s a great opportunity to drive revenue via banner ads, ticketed content, sponsored segments, digital swag bags and more.

  • Data to Report on

    The qualitative nature of in-person events make it a challenge to determine if you’ve successfully hit your goals and targets. The benefit of a hybrid event that introduces a virtual element, is in knowing who attended, when they attended, for how long, what they watched and so much more. This gives you the ability to provide sponsors with data to justify ROI, and importantly, it provides you invaluable insights for improvement.

  • On-Demand Viewing

    A key benefit to adding a virtual component to your events is being able to stream it live or on-demand. This eliminates any time-zone or scheduling conflicts and means your audiences can access the content at a convenient time. Similarly, allowing attendees to view on-demand extends the life of content investment beyond event day.

  • The Opportunity for Social Connection

    With travel and lifestyle restrictions impacting the way we connect, hybrid events provide the benefit of social connection with people around the world. Integrating social media into your virtual event platform is a great way to connect your participants and amplify the social reach of your event.

Why you need to keep the in-person experience

Humans are social by nature. We need to belong, to connect, and to share moments. We even communicate subconsciously through body language and pheromones, with powerful impact.

The benefits of a hybrid event lie in the elements of in-person interaction and the benefits of adding a virtual component. When executed well, hybrid events have the ability to create truly transformative experiences.

Level up your hybrid event game and earn CE credits!


 

Get the best hybrid event production with Encore

Encore are experts at planning and delivering successful hybrid events – the ones that stand out and keep your attendees coming back. With unparalleled creative, production and technology solutions, you can be confident in the end-to-end production of your hybrid event. We’ve also developed a set of industry-recognized MeetSAFE guidelines for the safe and responsible delivery of events. In response to the pandemic, our production and technical teams implemented these guidelines amidst changing restrictions to ensure room layout, traffic flow, hygiene and technology safeguards meet local requirements. Our teams are well-versed in adapting to the needs of any hybrid event. A successful event starts with a conversation. Let’s have one! Get in touch with our team!