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A few thoughts on… hybrid events

Hybrid events are about bringing people together when it matters most.



This content is sponsored by Brella.


Hybrid events are nothing new. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a national public health institute in the US, hosted one back in 2012 because they couldn’t afford to bring attendees together due to budget cuts.


Yet, they also couldn’t afford not to bring their community together. Budgets decreased, but the need for knowledge remained as high as ever.


So, the CDC got creative and hosted a hybrid event to ensure their audience got the valuable information they needed while working within their means.


They succeeded and brought people together when it mattered most, and they didn’t let the distance stop them.


That’s the point of hybrid: bring people together when it matters most, no matter what.

Our present is virtual, but our future is 100% hybrid. Why?


We expect our journey to be catered for. Nearly everything has shifted online; why should events be any different? Business travel will become acceptable someday, but it may never be standard again. If a portion of attendees do not feel comfortable traveling for your event, they will expect to be able to attend virtually – after all, they can do so now.


Event technology is no longer a vitamin, it’s a powerful painkiller. Events need technology to survive, and tech providers have stepped up their game. Unreliable event platforms don’t last long in our current market. As organizers, you have access to more reliable tools than ever before.


A virtual fallback is essential insurance. Hosting a live event with no digital fallback is, quite simply, a dangerous proposition. COVID-19 is one current example, but what about a volcanic eruption that disrupts travel, like the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland in 2010?


The global changes over the past year have melded virtual and in-person together to such a point they are now inseparable. We can conduct our business as normal and communicate with others, no matter where we are in the world.


However, none of these make hosting hybrid events any easier. It’s still a mostly unknown frontier and requires a lot of planning and work.


But one of the best ways to make a hybrid event feel realistic is to ensure your participants can connect. After all, you’re hosting a hybrid event – not a virtual and a physical event. Bridge the divide and connect your attendees.


Hybrid events embrace the best of both physical and virtual events to create an experience that is seamless, engaging and rewarding for all attendees – no matter if it’s a VIP ticket holder in the front row or a first-time attendee tuning in from home.


So how can you achieve this?


The best way is with a hybrid event platform, as this allows you to...

  1. Provide a central location for all attendees to meet online before, during, and after your event

  2. Offer a matchmaking service for all participants

  3. Provide separate meeting areas for physical and hybrid meetings

  4. Educate your attendees on hybrid meeting best practices

  5. Leave transition time between meetings

  6. Facilitate serendipity for virtual participants

  7. Ensure participants can connect before, during and after your event

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