Hybrid Event Management: Complete Guide and Tips for Planning a Hybrid Event

The events industry is facing its most challenging period ever, and the pandemic isn’t going away any time soon. As a result, event planners have had to completely pivot the way they run events, bringing them online and working hard to make sure they flourish in a different environment.

But while the events industry has moved online, the need for in-person human interaction still prevails. And, as and when restrictions start to be lifted, hybrid events will become a big part of how events are run, offering attendees the best of both worlds.

So in this, we examine what exactly hybrid events are, how to plan one, and what you need to do in order to make yours successful.

Creating a successful hybrid event requires planning and brainstorming. Are you hosting an internal or an external event? Do you have the tools needed to market and promote your hybrid event effectively? What are you hoping your attendees will get out of this event? Answering these questions and more will help you as you begin to build out your hybrid event program.

When to Host a Hybrid Event

The first decision you must make is whether to include a virtual component to your event at all. Does it make sense? When should you host a hybrid event versus an onsite event versus a virtual event?

Hybrid Events

Hybrid events are the perfect solution for those programs that can effectively be held both onsite and virtually. Below are some examples of perfect hybrid event programs:
  1. Trade shows
  2. Conferences
  3. Sales kick-offs
  4. Global town halls
  5. Product Launching
Hybrid events are also extremely useful solutions when many of your attendees who would normally attend in person can’t. Below are some examples of when an attendee who normally might be on site for an event may have to attend virtually:

  1. The attendee cannot or does not want to travel due to health or safety concerns.
  2. The attendee’s organization has limited travel spend and, therefore, cannot travel to the event.
  3. The venue where you will be hosting the onsite portion of the event has capacity limitations, so not all attendees will be allowed to gather onsite.
A best practice may be to send out a Pre-event survey to garner the current situations and feelings of your invitees. If you get the sense that many would prefer the option of attending virtually, a hybrid event may be the best way to go.

Onsite Events

Entirely onsite events should be planned when it is of the utmost importance that all your attendees are there in person. You know that most of the content will not translate well virtually, and there isn’t a good alternative to communicate it, so an onsite experience is the best way to deliver the information. Here are some examples of events that you might want to host onsite:

  1. Small customer luncheons
  2. Team bonding outings
  3. Awards ceremonies
When you do host an onsite event, safety will be the number one priority. Make your attendees feel comfortable by offering a self-service check-in option and plan your seating arrangements to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Virtual Events

Entirely virtual events should be planned if you cannot host an onsite event, have a small budget, or if the information you want to share can be effectively shared via video. If there is no need for people to attend in person, don’t waste the money or time. Reassign those assets for future onsite or hybrid events. Here are some examples of effective virtual events:

  1. Webinars
  2. Frequent team meetings
  3. Customer success groups
  4. Study groups
  5. Executive panels

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