Breaking Down 5 Hybrid Event Myths
By now all of us have attended a multitude of virtual events. Everything from concerts, to trade shows, to major product launches have gone virtual over the past two years.
However, there is still quite a bit of confusion surrounding hybrid events. How do you bring in-person and virtual events together into a cohesive event activation? Do people even want to attend hybrid events? We’ve gotten plenty of these questions, and now we’re here to give you answers.
Let’s break down the top five hybrid event myths and discuss how to properly host a hybrid event.
Hybrid Event Myth #1: Attendees Want to Go Back to Fully In-Person Events
While many people have expressed nostalgia for traditional events and a desire to return to the pre-pandemic status quo of packed conference centers, some people want to stay virtual. Hybrid events are an ideal way to accommodate both audiences and reach the largest number of attendees.
Adding a virtual component to your events is helpful for accommodating remote workers, professionals with family obligations, people with disabilities, and others who do not have the time, budget, or desire to travel. Many businesses are also slashing their travel budgets and encouraging employees to attend events virtually in order to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.
Hybrid Event Myth #2: The Virtual Component Is Just a Live Stream of The In-Person Event
When done correctly, hybrid events are much more than just a live event with a livestream option. Watching a livestream of someone in an auditorium speaking to a live audience can be entertaining, maybe even informative, but it’s not an event.
A hybrid event, when executed correctly, is an interactive experience. Both audiences can be engaged before the live sessions with pre-event content that provides introductory information and 100-level content to help them prepare for the live sessions – it should also act as a preview and entice viewers to attend the event by building excitement and anticipation.
During the event, both audiences should have the opportunity to engage and ask questions. Assigning a moderator to keep the chat active and respond to questions from the virtual audience can also help make the session more interactive for virtual participants.
In addition to livestreams, the virtual component of the event can feature virtual exhibition booths, networking opportunities, and on-demand content to provide a well-rounded event experience.
Hybrid Event Myth #3: Live Audiences Don’t Want to Engage Digitally
If you look out into a crowd at a keynote speech, a concert, or any other live event, you will see a sea of people all with their phones out. In their hands, in their laps, in bags kept within a short reach. We’re all connected all of the time. So, make use of your audience’s proximity to technology – it might even help keep their focus on the event rather than TikTok or Instagram.
Bring your audiences together in a virtual space and keep them both engaged. In-person attendees can cast their votes on in-session polls along with the virtual audience. They can also submit questions virtually and engage in the session chat right along with the online attendees. If people can live-tweet an event, they can live chat an event while also paying attention to the content.
Hybrid Event Myth #4: Hybrid Events Do Not Provide Valuable Networking Opportunities
Having two separate audiences does not sound conducive to networking, does it? You would assume that in-person attendees would engage with other in-person attendees on event day, and virtual attendees would be left to network amongst themselves. At that point it’s basically two separate events where both parties are getting subpar networking experiences. However, if you’re hosting hybrid events the right way, both parties will have more meaningful networking experiences than they would at a traditional in-person event.
The biggest benefit of hybrid events in terms of networking, is that attendees have opportunities to network before and after the event. Incorporating pre-event virtual networking for in-person attendees allows them to connect with other like-minded attendees to plan meetups at the in-person portion of an event, rather than relying on somehow running into the right people around the event center.
Virtual attendees can also enjoy networking opportunities before, during, and after the event. The groups can easily co-mingle as well. In-person attendees can join in one virtual chats and video calls alongside virtual participants. Asynchronous networking options such as micro videos (similar to the ones you see on TikTok) can also allow both parties to share ideas and connect on their own schedules. Lastly, with a recommendation tool like Social27’s Recommendation & Prediction Engine, members of both audiences can find people to connect with based on shared interests.
Hybrid Event Myth #5: Hosting Hybrid Events Is Too Complicated
Hosting hybrid events may seem complicated as there are a few more moving pieces involved. However, for most event owners, the most intimidating part should actually be the easiest. It’s 2022, and by now everyone is familiar with virtual events. Attendees and organizers have largely made it over the learning curve. You’re also likely already familiar with planning in-person events. Bringing the two together is much easier than it looks and the two actually complement each other very well.
Go Hybrid with Social27 Virtual Event Platform
Most of these hybrid event myths exist because of poorly executed hybrid events. Finding the right technology to provide a seamless event experience can be tricky as not all are created equal – and choosing the wrong one may mean that you end up hosting a boring hybrid event that will have people doubting the practicality of hybrid events. But hybrid events are the future, and you don’t want to get left behind.
Social27 Virtual Event Platform has all of the tools you need to catapult into the new age of events. With all of the tools needed to provide an optimal hybrid event experience for attendees, organizers, speakers, and sponsors, Social27 Virtual Event Platform is ready to help you tackle all of your hybrid event challenges.