10+ Tips for Planning Great Hybrid Events

hybrid event planning

Hybrid events are the future of modern-day event planning. If you’re planning a hybrid event, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, you’re likely wondering what will help make your hybrid event as impactful as possible. We’ve compiled a list of the most important tips to follow when planning hybrid events. Use our tools to make your next event amazing!


hybrid event tips


What is a Hybrid Event?

Hybrid events are events that have both in-person and virtual aspects that all work together. Hybrid events allow participants to experience the event from wherever they are — whether they want to be in-person or online. The world is in a constant state of flux with the availability of travel and gathering, so a hybrid event is a fantastic way to ensure everyone who wants to participate in your event, can. Read our most recent blog to learn more about what a hybrid event is!


10 Tips for Making Your Hybrid Event a Success

  1. Acknowledge BOTH audiences
  2. Use proper time management
  3. Dress for the camera
  4. Create shared experiences
  5. Celebrate your sponsors
  6. Offer the content for download
  7. Keep event registration flexible
  8. Use the power of social media
  9. Lower your costs
  10. Prepare for the worst. 


1. Acknowledge BOTH Audiences

Making sure both audiences feel important and acknowledged is very important. Hybrid events are all about ensuring that the event is different from both a traditional, live perspective as well as a virtual event. You don’t want your in-person audience to feel like they should have stayed at home, and you don’t want your virtual audience to feel like they’re just watching a stream. Engage and interact with both groups — encouraging them to interact with each other — for the best results. 


2. Use Proper Time Management

If you have an event with two different audiences all over the world, time management is key. Starting late or early can make your audience feel like a hybrid event is too difficult to manage. Keep to a schedule and ensure presentations start on time so that your virtual audience as able to log on and not miss anything. 


3. Dress for the camera

You may have a lovely houndstooth blazer that you wear to in-person events, but dressing for the camera requires different choices. Small, complicated patterns often appear fuzzy and weird on screen, and bright or reflective materials can come off in a bad way. When dressing for your hybrid event, make sure you and your presenters remember to dress for the camera, not just to impress!


4. Create shared experiences

A key tip for planning a great hybrid event is to ensure that both your live audience and your virtual audience get a similar takeaway. Plan and create experiences that both audiences can engage in at the same time. Using polls, Q&As, and apps to help both audiences integrate with each other will help the hybrid event feel cohesive. 


5. Celebrate your sponsors

With hybrid events, you don’t have the ability to strategically place a poster with all your sponsors’ names. Call out your sponsors regularly throughout the program, introduce sponsor banners on screen, and potentially give sponsors a couple minutes to speak themselves (either as a recorded video or live). Hybrid events allow you to give sponsors more facetime with the attendees, so this can be a huge selling point as well as a way to properly thank them. 


6. Offer the content for download

Since most, if not all, content in a hybrid event is recorded you can offer participants a chance to download and keep the content for themselves. This can make attending an event feel worth it as there is a tangible takeaway. This also allows participants a chance to be in the moment and enjoying the event, as they’ll know they can look back and take notes another time if they so choose. 


7. Keep event registration flexible

In uncertain times you don’t want to sell virtual only or in-person only tickets. Hybrid event tickets can be sold as hybrid, potentially with a preference of in-person or virtual so you’ll have an average base. This way, closer to the date you can receive final numbers of who will be in person and who will be virtual, and if you have to turn the entire event into a virtual event no one will feel taken advantage of or that they lost out on an in-person experience they were promised. 


8. Use the power of social media

Create event hashtags and even Facebook groups to connect your participants. Live tweeting the event will create an air of excitement and ensure that participants who are virtual have a heads up for different parts of the event. Social media will allow you to share videos and photos of the in-person side of the event as well as collect media from those who are virtual. Social media is a fantastic way to connect, and the platforms can be utilized to connect your two distinct audiences with each other.


9. Lower your costs

Hybrid events have the potential to cost less than traditional, in-person events. You can use smaller venues and save money on snacks and refreshments. You should also consider negotiating with vendors (venue, catering, lights, sound, etc.) to receive money back if the need to cancel arises. Do your best to plan to lower costs so that all ticket prices can be lowered and make virtual attendance feel worth it.


10. Prepare for the worst. 

If there’s anything we can be certain of, it’s that nothing is certain. Make sure that you have gathered all the information you need to prepare for when anything goes wrong. Put together a game plan for turning your hybrid event into an entirely virtual one as seamlessly as possible. Make sure that you have backups for your virtual side as well (triple test the internet connection and make sure you hardwire as much as possible for example). Whatever could go wrong, write it down and have an action plan in place.


The Most Important Tip to Planning a Successful Hybrid Event

An eleventh tip we have for planning a successful hybrid event is to work with Intelligo! We specialize in hybrid events that will leave your audience excited and happy to have attended. Our platforms are completely customizable to fit your event, and we have a dedicated support team for every event we run. If you want to plan a hybrid event that will knock the socks off both virtual and in-person attendees alike, work with Intelligo! Contact us about your next event, we’d love to work with you!

Are you looking to host your own hybrid event?

Hybrid Events in 2021: Definition, Pros & Cons

hybrid event in 2021 with pros and cons

What are Hybrid Events?

Hybrid events are events where in-person and virtual aspects are combined. Hybrid events are a mix of live and online participants who get to experience the event in its entirety. As the world navigates the return to in person events, many people will still look for an alternative that allows them to participate in the events without having to be physically present.

That’s why hybrid events are such a fantastic opportunity for businesses looking to provide adequate support and options when it comes to their events. Hybrid events are inclusive of participants who wish to attend without travel as well as those who seek a more personal touch. Read on to learn about the ins and outs of hybrid events and they can take your event to the next level.

What makes an event a hybrid event?

A key factor of hybrid events is that both in-person and virtual participants get to experience every aspect of the event. Hybrid events are not just streamed video of the live events, hybrid events allow virtual participants to engage with the material as well, ensuring that everyone can participate in the material and engage with one another.

If you’re developing an event and hoping to make it hybrid, be sure that both parties feel they received equal attention and importance. If in-person participants experience a virtual event that has snacks they will feel their money and travel time was wasted. On the other hand, virtual participants who experience what is essentially a live stream will wonder why the event was called hybrid when they were treated more as viewers than participants.

The key to making your event truly hybrid is to provide value to both sides. Ensure that virtual participants can still ask questions, network, and peruse content, and make sure that in-person participation is viewed as valuable and worthwhile by giving them the VIP treatment. Make sure your audience is engaged with the content and with each other so your event feels worthwhile, regardless of being virtual or in-person. 

What are the advantages of hybrid events?

There are many advantages to hybrid events. The key advantages of a hybrid event are:

  1. Higher audience participation and engagement
  2. Reduced Costs
  3. Environmentally Friendly
  4. Increased Sponsorship Opportunities

One of the primary advantages of hybrid events is that anyone can participate in the event regardless of where they are and what their travel budget is. Many people bow out of conferences or trade shows simply because they don’t have the time or budget to travel. Hybrid events allow these people to enjoy the event and experience all the benefits without having to sacrifice multiple days to travel or the additional expenses.

The same goes for those who don’t enjoy virtual events and find face to face contact far more meaningful. These people can engage with the content and others in a way that is more beneficial to them, and vice versa for virtual participants. 

Hybrid events are less expensive to run, as with half your audience virtual you don’t need to rent as large of a space, provide the same kind of refreshments, or subsidize tickets and travel. This reduction of travel and event space is also better for the environment, which can be viewed as a huge benefit especially for largely corporate sponsored events.

Finally, hybrid events have a lot of sponsorship opportunities. With hybrid events, your sponsors will be able to record messages or directly engage with all your audience members. This is a fantastic opportunity for sponsors as the event will have a larger audience and can participate directly in parts of the event they wish.

Are there disadvantages to hybrid events?

As with all event styles, there’s never going to be a perfect option. Three disadvantages to hybrid events you should be aware of are:

  1. Technology Issues
  2. Extra coordination needs
  3. Struggling with change

WIth hybrid events, technology is your friend, but it can also pose a challenge. When half your event is relying on steady internet connections, power, lighting, and other technology, if something goes wrong the entire virtual side of the event can be impacted. Replying so heavily on internet and power connections (for both the event planners and participants) can be difficult and lead to problems. Extra testing and preparation is needed when it comes to utilizing the technological side of a hybrid event to its full potential. From a planning and coordination standpoint, hybrid events do tend to take more work.

This is because rather than having all your audience on one side, they tend to be split down the middle. You’ll need coordinators for both in-person and online participants, as well as someone ensuring the two groups can engage with each other as well. The extra coordination needs of hybrid events can be difficult, especially if you’re a small operation. 

The final disadvantage of hybrid events comes down to businesses and participants who don’t enjoy the change towards a focus on virtual. Many people have loved in-person conferences and events for years, and the idea of switching to a virtual or hybrid event is daunting and difficult to accept. Some people will never have an interest in virtual networking, that is why if you are hosting a hybrid event you’ll need to encourage your audience that their preferences will be catered to, and this isn’t always an easy task.

Is my event a good fit for a hybrid event?

Most event types can easily be converted to hybrid events. Networking events, trade shows, conferences, product launches, or global town halls are all events that can be adapted into hybrid events with little to no hiccups.

Large scale events are the type of events that can find great value in the power of hybrid. Small scale events like client meet and greets, team bonding activities, or awards ceremonies are best suited to remain entirely virtual or entirely in-person. This is because when there are only a few people participating, it is often the virtual side who gets excluded and doesn’t receive the same kind of value from the event. 

If you have more questions about virtual and hybrid events, please contact us! Intelligo provides world class technology to facilitate your virtual and hybrid experiences. Increase your audience engagement and get the most out of your next event with Intelligo!

Are you looking to host your own hybrid event?

What is a Hybrid Event? We delve into the what and how

real world event audience connecting with hybrid event

2020; the year COVID thrust the events industry into the digital age, for better or worse. With event planners and organisers around the world getting to grips with best practices and trends for virtual events, there is a new beast on the horizon; The Hybrid Event. So as an event planner, organiser or producer what is the meaning of a hybrid event and how do you successfully run one?

What is a hybrid event

First up, what is a hybrid event? 

A hybrid event is a combination of a traditional real world event and a virtual event. You’ll have an audience on site at your event and online on your virtual event platform of choice, such as Intelligo. 

How much these audiences interact, if at all!? Is something you as an organiser need to decide for your audience. You may even decide that the best result for you is to have a series of virtual events leading into one exclusively real world event. However, we think there are huge advantages in bringing the two worlds together.


What is the difference between a hybrid event and a virtual event?

 Secondly, unfortunately, this likely means more work for you as an organiser and potentially more cost. However, this can be offset through your larger audience reach! 

You now need to provide content, interaction and networking opportunities for both audiences. This means working out a strategy for each audience and most importantly where they meet. 

You could take a simple approach with all audiences viewing the same sessions and providing dedicated networking times and areas for the two audiences to interact. Alternatively, maybe you would like to bring your hybrid audience into the main stage via the “third screen”. Providing a digital link between the real event and the virtual word, highlighting the discussions, polls and even bringing audience members up live for questions at the end of sessions.

Even with the simple approach outlined above, you’re going to need to ensure high quality camera coverage of your sessions and a method of streaming to your platform, please speak to your preferred AV provider or read our article on how to live stream. You may be bemoaning the additional cost here but remember this is your content! It now has a much longer tail than just the people in the room. It’s also worth noting it’s much easier to gather detailed data on the virtual audience engagement, giving you the information you need to improve your event year on year. 


How can I run the best hybrid event?

We’re going to be honest here, no one knows! 

This is an exciting new space for the events industry. The good news is that the fundamentals are exactly the same, it’s about providing your audience with quality content with opportunities for fun and networking. At their core all events are social so you need to ensure that both audiences are engaged and hopefully with some opportunities for cross over! 

As always, approach your event with a great plan, which reflects your audience’s needs and content requirements. Followed up with good marketing and social media engagement. You’ll be on the road to success.


Hybrid Events Are Here To stay

What we can say with certainty is that hybrid events are here to stay and a fast growing sector. We’re truly excited for this new frontier of events.  It’s not going to be easy and there will be mistakes along the way. However, We look forward to the best parts of virtual and real world events coming together to create an even better future for the events industry. It’s not going to be easy and there will be mistakes along the way. 

Hopefully this article has provided you with the insights you need to start working out how to host a hybrid event. 

We’ll be regularly keeping you up to date on hybrid event best practices as they develop! So check back in soon