What are the benefits of a hybrid event?

February 9, 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."

This means event planners who choose to go hybrid, get the benefit of both the in-person experience as well as the virtual.

So why go hybrid now and not wait until restrictions ease and 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 capitalise on the benefits virtual events can bring. One of the biggest indicators hybrids are the new norm is the fact participants are becoming more familiar with the new format.

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

Event planners need to consider going hybrid in order adapt to changing attendee behaviour and expectations. If you’re looking for reasons to add the virtual component to your event – here are 7 key benefits of adding virtual to your hybrid event. 

Hybrid Event Stage

Why adding virtual to your event can create positive ROI

Event planners are all aware of the benefits of the in-person experience so let’s look at what the virtual component can bring:
  • Increased attendance

    Whilst you’re limited to the venue’s capacity for in-person attendees, virtual events provide an opportunity to reach audiences across the world. By eliminating travel and time-zone limitations (and costs associated with it) your event’s ROI becomes more appealing for planners and participants alike.
  • Thought-leadership

    With more budget available for presenters, consider reaching out to new or previously unaffordable industry thought-leaders or experts. This creates an opportunity to build new connections, give your attendees access to new and in-demand speakers as well as exposing them to new audiences.
  • Networking

    Interactive virtual platforms like Chime Live are designed to facilitate networking online. Whether it be via chat, live polling, virtual break-out rooms, video chat, or connecting via socials, the virtual experience opens up a whole world of new opportunities to engage on a more intimate level between attendees and speakers than ever before. The beauty of an event platform like Chime Live is the engagement 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 irregardless of how they’re attending.

  • 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 on-demand it’s a great opportunity to drive revenue via banner ads, ticketed content, sponsored content or segments, digital swag bags and more.
Virtual Event Sponshorship
  • Data to report on

    The qualitative nature of in-person events make them more challenging to determine if you’ve successfully hit your goals and targets. When you add a virtual element to your event you get the benefit of knowing who attended, when they attended, for how long, what they watched and so much more. You can provide sponsors with data to justify ROI, and importantly, it provides you invaluable data insights to improve on.

  • 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.
  • An opportunity for social connectedness

    With so many travel and lifestyle restrictions impacting the way we connect, virtual events allow for people from across the country and globe to stay connected. When you integrate social media into your virtual event platform, it’s a great way to include both the virtual and in-person attendees and amplify the event’s reach via social networks.

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 can even communicate without using words at all through body language and pheromones, and these can have the most powerful impact.

It’s the elements of in-person interaction which can’t be replicated online that hybrid events can still foster. Event planners should only be opting for virtual events when their audiences, content or restrictions demand it. 

The beauty of a hybrid event gives you the engagement of in-person with the amplified reach of virtual. When executed well, hybrid events have the ability to create truly transformative experiences.

Are you ready to level up your hybrid event game in 2021?

Get the best hybrid event production with Encore

Encore are experts are planning and delivering successul hybrid events – the ones that stand out and keep your attendees coming back. With an unparelleled breadth of service across creative, production and tehcnology you can be confident we’ll have the solutions and ideas to make your hybrid event happen. We’ve even developed a set of industry recognised MeetSAFE guidelines for the safe and responsible delivery of events. Throughout 2020, our production and technical teams implemented these guidelines amidst changing restrictions to ensure room layout, traffic flow, hygiene and technology met local requirements. This means our teams are well versed in delivering hybrid events amidst changing needs. Successful hybrid events all start with a conversation so let’s have one today! Get in touch with our team by sending an online enquiry or calling 1800 099 209.