Everything you need to know about Hybrid Events.
In a time where the future of the events industry remains uncertain due to the growing restrictions of the global pandemic, the events industry has had to adapt and change in order to continue providing events across the world, which has seen an increase in the popularity of virtual events. Here at Eclipse, we have always strived to be innovative and creative when working with our clients and in 2021 will continue providing the best in audio/visual support and event management.
Hybrid events are the next stage of virtual eventing, the idea of a hybrid event has always existed as a way to extend the reach of a live event beyond the limitations of space and distance. Since the use of live events has faced such challenging restrictions in the last year we will see a sharp increase in the number of virtual and hybrid events in the future.
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What is a Hybrid Event?
To put it simply, a hybrid event is a combination of a live and virtual event because they can incorporate virtual, in-person and live streaming elements with ease. A hybrid event will allow your virtual attendees across different locations to participate and engage during the event in order to provide an immersive online experience. For an event that is able to cater to any online audience in a viewer-friendly way, with a hybrid event you will experience a seamless combination of technology between a live and virtual audiences. Hybrid events will allow presenters and audiences to confidently come together in a virtual event regardless of where they are in the world, these events are going to be the foundation that supports the industry’s transition back to live events when restrictions are lifted.
What are the benefits of hosting a Hybrid Event?
Hybrid events do have a significant advantage over the traditional live event because regardless of where your online attendees are in the world, they will be able to experience the event and take part virtually. Think of hybrid events as a way to actually do ‘something’ in a time where people feel like they are not able to do ‘anything’. At least for the near future hybrid events are likely to be integral in enabling as many events as possible to still go ahead as planned. There are many benefits to hosting a hybrid event:
- An increase in event reach and attendance. Without geographical restrictions, a hybrid event will allow you to reach more virtual attendees as people will not be required to travel to your event which will see a rise in your audience attendance.
- Optimal audience engagement. Hybrid events enable your online audience to interact, engage and contribute to the event in real time, we believe the key to audience engagement is engagement quality and frequency. There are many ways for your attendees to have a interactive experience including live polling, surveys and Q&A’s, here at Eclipse we are always on hand to help you build your hybrid event agenda.
- Reduced costs. A hybrid event is an effective and innovative way to bridge the gap between costs and results. The reduction in costs will be benefited not just by you the event organiser but also your prospective virtual attendees.
- Lower emissions with a reduced impact on the environment. With an increasing demand for businesses across the world to lower their carbon footprint and reduce emissions dramatically, converting events to virtual and hybrid will facilitate the quest to be greener.
- Increased flexibility. Hosting an online event that is hybrid is the prime solution if due to unforeseen circumstances your live in-person event is unable to go ahead.
- Enhanced data collection. A key benefit of hosting a hybrid event comes from the insight and data you can easily and efficiently collect. You would have all information including exact audience attendance, session interaction and attendee participation.
How do you run a Hybrid Event?
When hosting a hybrid event, it is important to remember that these events can have various appearances because the event will depend on your choice of format and unique audience. However, at Eclipse, we have a few hybrid event ‘must haves’.
- Choose an enticing theme with engaging content. An online audience will mostly rely on the content of your hybrid event so you need to present your content in an enticing and engaging way. Dynamic images, interactive components and entertaining hosts are an example of how you can guarantee a positive audience experience.
- Select a suitable virtual event platform. You will need to consider the live and virtual content you want to use and find a platform with the capabilities to optimise your online content. Finding the right online platform can be difficult, which is why Eclipse are always here to help you in any way with your event.
- Be creative with audience engagement. The keywords to remember here are vibrant imaging, interesting speakers and interactive programming. Hybrid events can offer a whole host of simple yet effective engagement tools like live streaming to allow your online attendees to be completely immersed in your event experience.
- Fast-paced sessions. We suggest you keep your hybrid events on a shorter time scale than you would a live in-person event because you want to keep your audience engrossed and tuned into the online session. Short and sharp sessions should be considered as what might usually work in a live event space may need to be adapted to suit a virtual space.
- Effective marketing. A hybrid event can attract audiences from all over the world which can increase the number of attendees who experience your event. This makes your hybrid event marketing even more important because you will want to advertise your event to as many people as possible, using your online tools like email and social media pages are a crucial way to market your event effectively. We suggest you keep a cohesive style and event brand that can thread through both live and virtual spaces.
What is next for the events industry?
After the UK and the rest of the world recovers from this recent pandemic it is likely that due to the easy accessibility of online technologies, that event organisers will continue using hybrid events for years to come. You will have already have invested and diversified your own infrastructure for providing virtual events which means you will always be prepared to make any event hybrid as and when needed. Hybrid events are an innovative, effective and simple way to spread your event’s message on a global scale. here at Eclipse, we are here always available to answer your questions and to give advice on what your hybrid event will need.
Remember that with Eclipse, anything is possible!