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What are hybrid events?
Hybrid events are a mixture of live and virtual events. Here, for example, the organizer only invites very relevant people or locally based participants on site for lectures. The lectures are then broadcast online at the same time for the general public.
Hybrid Events Definition: analog + digital = hybrid
In the hybrid event definition, it should be noted that, like physical or online events, the event consists of several components, such as:
So if you're planning a hybrid event, you should first consider what you want to focus on and which components are particularly important to you.
What seems easy at first glance turns out to be quite tricky in retrospect. Many event organizers are adapting their events to the changing requirements. In doing so, care should be taken to ensure that there is a harmonious interplay between digital and analog.
Anyone who wants to hold face-to-face events in the future should not replace them with one or the other. The communication should therefore show that it is an extension or even an improvement of the event.
With hybrid events, there are simply much greater opportunities to reach multiple people on different channels. Furthermore, even speakers, presenters or other guests can speak virtually. In addition, less travel saves time and money, and there is even the possibility of attracting the desired speakers who might have declined if they had traveled long distances.
However, the complexity should by no means be disregarded. New concepts and competencies are required for hybrid events. After all, you are planning an event that is to take place at two locations. The supreme discipline here is to combine these two worlds as well as possible so that they do not exclude each other but complement each other.
Hybrid events have advantages and disadvantages: Both worlds should therefore be perfectly exploited. Of course, there are no optimally polished solutions for this yet, because these first have to be tested and worked out.
What is the difference between digital and hybrid events?
Digital events are particularly well suited for conveying content (know-how, news). The opinion of some people who have already tried digital events result with the conclusion that content works, but the rest does not.
Digital events are also well suited for entertainment during breaks. Here, for example, the break can be used for yoga, "Behind the Scenes" insights or DJ sets.
Hybrid events are particularly well suited for entertainment, networking, live music or awards, for example at award ceremonies when live music is played or at a B2B networking event. This is simply a better way to realize or transport conversations and emotions.
At hybrid events, the headline entertainer can be switched on virtually. In this way, you benefit from the pull effect and presumably also from the fact that he or she accepted in the first place. After all, traveling to a physical event involves considerably more effort for him or her.
Which event formats are suitable for hybrid events?
The following event are particularly well suited as hybrid events:
- Business events (product presentations, trade fairs, exhibitions, congresses or sales shows)
- Business events (meetings, congresses, workshops, conferences, corporate events or general meetings)
- Cultural events (media events such as award ceremonies, art exhibitions, concerts or festivals)
- Political events (speeches, policy keynotes, public meetings or gatherings).
- Sports events (tournaments, championships or Olympics)
The advantages and disadvantages of hybrid events
Guests anywhere in the world can participate in events.
- More reach beyond geographical borders
Costs are minimized and the opportunity exists to increase international reach. Speakers and experts can also be connected from outside despite scheduling bottlenecks.
- Place and time become a minor matter
The factors of place and time are removed with a hybrid event. In the case of a recording of the live stream, it can even be viewed around the world in the future. This also opens up a whole new audience.
- Attractiveness for sponsors
Hybrid events are becoming increasingly interesting for sponsors. They are not only visible for the participants on site, but also for the digitally connected audience. Especially in combination with a social media live stream, a hybrid event becomes extremely interesting.
- Interaction via channels
Using chats and surveys, opinions and questions can already be addressed during the event. Especially for this type of event, the digital experience and communication of the participants is particularly important. Interaction tools with Q&A, chat, and survey functions make for even more engaging events.
Hybrid events minimize the need for travel. This not only saves CO₂ emissions, but also saves the participant downtime during the trip. It also avoids discarded meals on site and the transportation of all furnishings.
The very fact that not all participants have to travel to a specific location brings a drastic cost saving. You are also flexible in choosing the event location and can adapt it to the budget accordingly.
- New technological possibilities
The biggest challenge is to create the optimal connection between online and live audiences. You can get help here from various event management softwares.
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- Significantly more complex
The registration processes alone, which have to be brought together, require a lot of know-how. Each participant needs the different access data to the right part of the event.
It is therefore particularly important to have an experienced partner or service provider at your side and to use a suitable virtual event platform to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
- Networking of both participants (online and onsite) requires the right online platform
Some event platforms such as STREAMBOXY have chat functions through which online and onsite participants can communicate. You can see there in the chat who is participating onsite and who is participating as a virtual participant.
- Sophisticated broadcast image
If you want to give both groups of participants an optimal broadcast image, it's not easy. However, good event locations and AV service providers manage this without any problems. å
A camera in the far corner of the meeting room might have been okay in 2020. In the meantime, however, attendees simply expect more. An experienced service provider can help make an unforgettable experience out of the event.
Hybrid events: examples
The Oscars are an example of hybrid events. During the pandemic, one of the events with the world's largest reach had to be hosted hybrid due to Corona restrictions.
Passcreator was allowed to perform on-site attendee management using wallet cards. STREAMBOXY also uses this integration for hybrid events.
The hybrid event is a real balancing act between virtual and face-to-face visitors. These experiences need to be reconciled. Content is conveyed in different ways at such events.
It must be ensured that the video transmission works perfectly and that the speakers are also prepared for it. Last but not least, it should not feel like two different events.
Together with the right tool and support, you can achieve the goal of creating an event with two experiences.
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