Should Your Next Event be a Hybrid?

18 October 2021

After a spike in popularity, Hybrid events show little sign of dropping off the agenda. Combining the best of virtual and in-person events, there are pros and cons of hosting a hybrid event, which we explore below.

When should I consider a hybrid event?

Hybrid events can be really useful when the reach of the event is an important aspect, they can be helpful for guests that are disparate or dispersed, eliminating travel time and costs, while reducing your event’s carbon footprint.

Location can be a difficult factor in event planning. Hybrid events allow you to host your event over different territories and can appeal to a wide audience regardless of whether they can be there in person or not.

That said, the effectiveness of in-person events is undeniable, so when planning an event for smaller groups, hybrid has less to offer. Our rule of thumb is to keep it personal whenever possible, perhaps organising ‘hub and spoke’ events to combine convenience with character.

Would it be easier to have an in-person event?

If ease is what you’re looking for, hybrid events can offer the best of both worlds depending on what your guests prefer, as there is always a second option. If delegates are concerned about travel, there is the virtual option and if invitees are uninspired by virtual events, then in-person is for them.

Combining both formats unlock the advantages of both. For example, you can easily interact with your audience for an accurate reading on how well your event performed and track event data and engagement rates. Armed with live and virtual meeting places together with delegates insights, sponsorship is easier to sell which can make a big difference to event budgets. An added advantage is the AV support on-site at venues which can be useful in delivering a more professional production than possible using standard virtual meeting technology.

Flexibility is a huge factor in successful events. Hybrid events are easier to manage in, as agendas are more flexible and easier to change meaning that numbers of attendees can fluctuate without too much of an effect on budgets and the overall cost is lower than an in-person event.

However, virtual events have the upper hand, they are even cheaper to host than hybrid events; there is no need for a venue in a lot of cases, less travel costs and you can have a much larger scale of event.

Limits to in-person events compared to hybrid

When it comes to live events, there are some limits you have to consider when deciding between these and hybrid events. Starting with venues – the location and date of your event depend on the availability of your venue, along with this, many venues have limited capacities, this can be solved with hybrid events. As the in-person group would automatically be smaller than if it was a completely live event, limited capacity event venues become less of an issue. Also, as a smaller the space is needed at a venue, there is much greater choice; including many interesting and memorable locations that can make your events stand out from the crowd.

You can only do so much within your budget, the same across all event platforms. That’s why hybrid compared to an in-person events can give you more. By adding the digital component, it becomes much easier and more affordable to extend the life of your event. Not only can you host pre-events, but you can also send out recordings and host follow up Q&A’s.

There’s a lot to consider when making the big decision, overall hybrid events have many advantages when it comes to bigger events over a wide range of locations, but when it comes to large events on a low budget, virtual events could be the easier option. On the other hand, with smaller events or events with a high budget, live events are another valid option.

To start planning your next virtual, hybrid or live event with us click the button below to send us an email, we’d love to hear from you.