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What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Event?

Veronica Brundle - May 26 2021, 3:26:34 PM

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many of us work, with its effects likely to last well into the future. Many more adults will be employed as remote workers over the next few years, meaning businesses must adapt their processes surrounding meetings and events. 

If you’re a business owner or team leader worried about the alienating effects of conducting meetings via Zoom, we have an excellent solution for you: hybrid events. As the name suggests, hybrid events combine the team-building benefits of live meetings with the convenience of virtual conferencing software. Such events usually take the form of a work party, strategy meeting, or celebration, and can be attended in-person or via a live streaming link. 

Hybrid event planners do not put the needs of live attendees before those joining remotely. Instead, they harness the powers of modern technology to facilitate dialogue between live and virtual audiences. In other words, engagement is key to success when organizing a hybrid event. If you spend a little time getting to grips with hybrid event trends, your remote workers will feel valued, engaged, and motivated. 

What are the primary benefits of hybrid events?

Wondering what a hybrid event could do for your company? Here are just a few of their compelling benefits:

1. They can facilitate a cohesive company culture

Providing opportunities for employees to interact and make friends can significantly enhance the success of your business. According to a large study exploring the impact of inclusive company cultures, people with a best friend at their workplace are around seven times more likely to feel engaged in their job. 

By organizing plenty of hybrid events, you can increase opportunities for employee engagement and relationship-building. By allowing virtual audiences to talk directly with live participants, as well as like and share content with co-workers, hybrid events go a significant way towards creating a cohesive company culture. 

The idea that remote workers and in-office workers are deeply divided is a tired old trope that doesn’t suit the contemporary workplace. By hosting innovative networking events, your workers will feel happier and more connected than ever before.

2. They can boost attendance figures

Even the most exciting work parties and events can be difficult to squeeze into the diary. From unexpected medical appointments to parenting duties, we’ve all been there! The convenience of hybrid events, however, means even your busiest employees can join in with the fun. 

As hybrid events are accessible from home, workers can remain committed to family responsibilities while pursuing professional networking opportunities. Remember – the more people can attend your event, the more your workforce will get out of it. 

3. They can boost the reach of your event

According to a recent study of a hybrid event, 98% of attendees claimed they would not have attended in person. By including a virtual option, therefore, hosts of hybrid events boost their chances of reaching new audiences. 

Let’s suppose you’re hosting an internal product preview, for example. If an employee who would not have attended in person decides to attend virtually, you may persuade them to attend more events in future, perhaps even in-person. 

4. They can be used for promotional purposes

One of the best things about hybrid events is that they can be recorded and clipped to create promotional content. Whether you’re generating content for internal purposes or to attract new clients, real-life footage of your employees in action could help to boost your brand’s reputation and boost engagement from various angles. 

5. They can generate sponsorship opportunities

An impressive 72% of corporate sponsors claim to be interested in supporting hybrid events. Thanks to their ability to reach new audiences and boost attendance levels at corporate events, hybrid events could help you clinch an attractive new sponsorship deal. 

6. They’re better for the environment

Large, in-person events can have a detrimental impact on the environment if attendees are required to travel long distances. Event planners intending to offer catering featuring meat products and disposable cutlery and cups leave an even greater carbon footprint. If you’re hoping to improve your brand’s eco-credentials, therefore, hybrid events represent a fantastic step towards going green. 

7. They’re cost-effective

Budgeting for an in-person event can be very challenging, as you have to factor in costs for travel, venue hire, catering, and much more. By opting for a hybrid event, you can cut costs by hiring a smaller venue and reducing the need for catering. While you will, of course, have to cover the cost of streaming technologies and event networking tools, these pale in comparison to in-person expenses. Remember to shop around for good deals and offers – as more people embrace the benefits of virtual conferencing software, tech companies are offering increasingly competitive rates. 

8. They offer an excellent return on investment (ROI)

Thanks to the scalability and reach of hybrid events, they could easily boost your company’s ROI. For example, increased attendance could improve views for sponsors, encourage new audiences to sign up for your newsletters, or enhance brand visibility. In the long-term, this could translate to increased profits and funding opportunities. 

9. They respect the needs of audience members

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way that many people live their lives. While some people have taken on more caring responsibilities, others have discovered that virtual events simply suit their personality better than in-person events. As people become accustomed to the ‘new normal’, businesses that fail to provide virtual attendance options may face issues. Hosting hybrid events is the perfect way to demonstrate your willingness to work around attendees’ circumstances and adapt to a changing world. 

10. They produce actionable data

It is much easier to collect valuable data from hybrid events compared to in-person alternatives. At a live event, the best way to estimate how many people participated is to do a headcount or ask people to fill out feedback forms, neither of which promise accuracy.

With a virtual event, on the other hand, you can easily gather trackable metrics such as traffic and attendee engagement. If you’re running an event featuring parallel ‘rooms’, you can easily collect data about which sessions attract the most attention. Just remember to harness the data to create bigger, better events in future!

Originally published at May 26 2021, 3:26:34 PM. Updated on Sep 30 2022.

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