Let’s start at the beginning, what is a hybrid event?
A Hybrid event is essentially a mixture of your in-person event and a virtual event, combining your online and in person attendees. Hybrid events incorporate a virtual platform (such as YouTube, Facebook, Zoom etc.) that allows your digital audience to engage with the live event and your in-person attendees to attend, well, in person. Sometimes, this may include bringing in remote speakers to join your physical event.
A hybrid event is…
- An experience that caters to audiences in a viewer-friendly way
- Engaging your online audiences with your in-person event
- An integration of technology to facilitate participation between a live and virtual audience
- Including speakers who can’t attend physically via your online platform
1. Increased reach & attendance
It’s a misconception that your audience can only take part in person or virtually – there’s no in between. You may think that by hosting a hybrid event, you’re splitting your total attendance however, the opposite is true. Hybrid events allow you to increase your reach and gain more attendees… not fewer.
2. Increase engagement with your audience
Utilising online polls, competitions and quiz platforms, virtual and in person audiences can actively participate and engage with your content from their phone or computer, meaning they can talk, share, like, comment and much more.
3. More powerful sponsorship opportunities
72% of corporate sponsors are interested in participating in a hybrid event, as long as they can effectively reach both audiences. That’s because hybrid events are incredibly valuable for sponsors, for a couple reasons.
Reason one is the increased reach. More attendees at your event means a larger lead pool for them, which is the #1 reason for sponsorship.
They can communicate 1:1 with interested parties while also interacting with online virtual attendees. Some demographics, particularly Millennials, prefer virtual communication, which may lead to increased participation at their virtual booth.
Reason two is the increased opportunities for sponsorship. Instead of sponsoring strictly live collateral, they can sponsor livestreams, event apps and more.
This also offers you more flexibility in your sponsorship prospectus – you can have live sponsors, virtual sponsors, or both.
4. Reduced environmental costs / impact
Over the covid pandemic, we’ve already seen the impact that reduced travel has had on the environment. Emissions have plummeted. Some reports predict global energy usage to drop 6% – which might not sound like much, but it’s the same as the whole of India going dark.
By taking your event to a hybrid platform, delegates can still take part in your event while also doing their part to decrease carbon emissions.
5. Feed your marketing pipeline for the year
Instead of keeping your event exclusive, you can easily repurpose and reshare digital content to keep a steady stream flowing to your audience.
For example, you can share the entire livestream (or certain pieces of it) to promote your future event. Sharing your livestream also ensures constant visibility for sponsors who are a part of the stream.
You can also determine future marketing campaigns from your previous content. Was there a session that attracted a lot of attendees? Maybe you can expand on it.
6. Improved Return on Investment
Increasing your event attendance through your hybrid events, can translate into greater views for sponsors and more sign ups after the event. You can also gain data to provide more accurate reporting on your performance for example, how many viewers logged in, how long attendees logged in for, when viewings were highest etc.
7. Valuable Data
On of the advantages of Hybrid events comes from the data and insights it shows. For example, at a live event, you can do a head count and estimate how many viewers participated in a session however, with hybrid events, you know the participation numbers, how they engaged and when they dropped out of the session.
For sponsors, well, they gain essential info on traffic and attendee engagement, helping them prove a positive return on investment.
8. Addressing the changing needs of your audience
Let’s be frank, it’s impossible to say how the COVID-19 pandemic will change the world when it passes, however, one thing is for certain and that is that the crisis has changed how we use technology in our daily lives.
Your audience has shifted their needs, and your event needs to adapt to continue providing them. Keeping only live events in your event portfolio may no longer be the safe play anymore.
Hybrid events allow you to cater to both demographics: those who wish to participate live, and those who want to participate in their own way.
We hope you found this article useful.To discuss live streaming your hybrid event, give one our friendly team a call on 0121 667 7898 or drop us an email, [email protected] and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.