Everything You Need To Know About Planning Hybrid Events

The one-stop shop for resources, tips, inspiration to help you create a memorable hybrid event experience

Categories in Hybrid Events, Tips

Do you have other resources that you think should be a part of this list? If so, share them with us on Twitter (@e180) and we’ll add them to this list.  

The event industry is constantly evolving. We spent the summer of 2020 climbing the steep learning curve of understanding how to host engaging virtual events. As we head into the fall and start looking ahead to 2021, we’re ready to apply what we have learned, to create hybrid experiences that combine the very best elements of virtual and in-person.

If you’re still unsure about the viability of a hybrid future, consider this:

  • Until the arrival of a vaccine, travel restrictions will continue. After months of quarantine, we don’t expect attendees to have a high level of comfort with travel. This means a part of your event audience will be either unable or unwilling to attend your event in-person. This doesn’t mean that the value of events has depreciated. If we’ve learned anything in the past couple of months, it’s this: if the value proposition of your event is strong, audiences will tune in. 
  • After having experienced the various benefits of hosting virtual events (increased reach, brand awareness, lower costs, low barriers to entry, etc), we can safely expect savvy event planners to include certain virtual elements to their in-person programming.

The tide is turning towards hybrid, and event professionals across the industry know it, and will include it  as they plan for 2021. 

While hybrid events have existed for a long time (think, literally every award show ever!), there are many of you who will be hosting a hybrid event for the first time. By now you’ve likely been inundated by a lot of information in the form of helpful how-to articles and webinars.

To make your life a bit easier, we scoured the Internet for the best, most helpful, and comprehensive resources on hosting hybrid events. In the list below, we’ll be sharing some of these resources published by organizations we know and trust. 

Some comprehensive resources on how to plan a hybrid event

> MPI Foundation and Mediasite Events published this comprehensive this 13-page guide that gives you the tools you need to implement your own hybrid event in two sections: one theoretical, one practical. This guide is based on the authors’ experiences, a survey of 1,794 meeting professionals and delegates and 37 in depth interviews with meeting professionals who have conducted hybrid events and delegates who have experienced them. 

> PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute (DEI) is a global organization dedicated to advancing engagement around digital events, meetings and learning. In this guide, they provide 9 actionable tips to help you make your hybrid meeting a success. 

> At times, the best kind of guidance comes in the form of a list of questions. In this article, MeetingPlay outlines 16 questions to keep in mind as you begin planning your hybrid event.

Hybrid event features

> How do you prepare venues for hybrid events? In their blog post titled, Hybrid Events for Venues: How to Prepare for the FutureCvent takes a look at hybrid events for venues. They discuss what they are, break down some of the steps venues should take to ensure success, and give examples of successful hybrid events from recent years.

> You can’t have a great hybrid experience without great production value. Our friends at Endless Events are some of the best in the field. In this article, they break down what it looks like to work with an event production company.

Ideas to engage hybrid audiences

The biggest roadblock that planners have faced in hosting virtual events is audience engagement. This challenge is twice as difficult in a hybrid setting where you must engage virtual and in-person audiences simultaneously. Here are some articles to help you craft a killer engagement plan:

In the blog post on How to Engage Attendees at Virtual and Hybrid Events, we share how a human-centered approach to event experience might be the ultimate key to overcoming the engagement hurdle.

In their article on the ins & outs of hybrid audience engagement Endless Events share more ideas that you can include into your engagement strategy.

Still need more ideas? Check out Plan YourMeetings10 tips for creating interactive hybrid events.

Learn from other’s experiences

> Want to hear from other professionals who are planning hybrid events in 2020 and 2021? We’ve got you covered. In this article, we spoke with five event professionals who answered questions about various aspects of hosting a hybrid event like: how do you decide what aspects of the elements should be live versus virtual? What are your biggest concerns with planning a hybrid event? How do you create a sense of togetherness in a hybrid setting?

> Bizzabo published this list of 18 hybrid event ideas that will help you plan an event that combines the best of virtual & in-person experiences. Featuring examples from brands like Adobe, HubSpot, and Apple.

> Want more? Consider reading Endless Events’s 5 hybrid event examples to inspire your process. Examples include, Webinar World, Growth Marketing Conference, etc.