Ask someone to define the word “HYBRID” and you will likely get a range of results. A car running on gas and batteries? A mixture of animals or plants? Two elements coming together to form a mixture?
All are correct, but what about in the events world? A hybrid event is any customer, prospect, or key stakeholder touchpoint that combines in-person with virtual programming. For example, take your standard NFL game… played in front of 80,000 screaming fans and simultaneously broadcasted on television and streaming platforms.
Or, perhaps more relevant to your world, a conference that encourages in-person registrations but maximizes its impact and reach through live streams of its keynote address on YouTube.
How’d We Get Here
Hybrid events have been around as long as radio and television has enabled audiences from multiple locations to engage with content, but they had to make way for exclusively virtual events over the past 14 months as we collectively agreed to a moratorium on in-person engagements. But with vaccines becoming readily accessible, this buzz-word jargon is recirculating amongst event planners.
What’s the Benefit
Well, plenty, but let’s start with the obvious…
- Increased reach without sacrificing the engagement in-person activations offer
- Enhanced ROI with more access types to put behind paywalls
- Data, data, data…. virtual components are inherently more trackable
Some Examples Please?
Sure, since you ask… let’s go with the infamous Stevenotes, the playful moniker of the keynote sessions delivered by the late Steve Jobs. Here he is introducing the original iPhone.
Another? TwitchCon, the real life in-person “party starting the Twitch community and everything we’re into.” As the leader in esports streaming, it’s a natural fit that they’d ensure the content from this hybrid event finds itself onto its platform.
Things to Keep in Mind
While this format has been around awhile, the pivot to virtual in 2020 will mean that practically every event will need to include some form of hybrid feature moving forward. So here are some bullets to noddle around as you plan your company’s events.
- Segment and prioritize the audience: in-person vs. remote vs. Both. Plan your content distribution accordingly.
- Get creative: knowing that your delivery vehicle will offer opportunities to do so. It’s important and will be appreciated by your audience that you’ve curated a unique viewing experience based on their access point.
- Think forward: five seconds after the event is a great time to capture conversions. Don’t miss that window. But beyond that, think about the tech features you’d like to offer your synchronous or asynchronous audience tapping in from around the world. You’ll quickly realize the sky is the limit with some small inclusions of emerging streaming and engagement platforms.
Ready to take the plunge, but want someone to do some hand holding? Contact us today to plan your next hybrid event.