Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is the combination of an event with the physical presence of the participants, including virtual participation of participants. The main goal is to reach a larger number of people (or participants), regardless of the location of the event.
These types of events can be meetings, congresses, international trade fairs, training courses, workshops, conferences, seminars and others.
Why are hybrid events so important these days?
Hybrid events not only have a wide reach but have also been a great response by the business travel and events industry to the public health emergency of 2020.
A hybrid event today offers much more than just a solution to geo-restrictions. It also offers more dynamic content so you can integrate remote attendees as if they were there at the event.
The pros and cons of a hybrid event
Hybrid events have advantages and disadvantages from the perspective of the participants as well as the organizer.
Disadvantages of a hybrid event
Although hybrid events combine the best of both worlds, we would also like to point out some disadvantages:
- The biggest downside to hybrid events is the reliance on technology. Even if you have a good infrastructure and internet connection, it can interrupt the whole online part in case of problems.
- At a hybrid event, negotiating with sponsors can be more difficult, as experiences of the marketing potential are not yet entirely clear.
- Social interactions between on-site attendees and online attendees are limited.
- Not every participant has the appropriate infrastructure to follow the event without interruptions with large amounts of data.
Advantages of a hybrid event
A hybrid event brings great benefits, as fewer resources are needed for more participants.
- A larger number of visitors and participants. The maximum number of participants is theoretically unlimited.
- The time and cost savings are enormous. From booking lower capacity venues to attendee travel costs, there are significant cost savings for everyone involved (organizers and attendees).
- A hybrid event allows multiple events to be held simultaneously at multiple locations.
- It is easier to analyze the impact of the event as it is possible to measure the reach and the opinion of the participants through other digital tools such as polls.
- Event content can remain online for as long as you like. Recordings or summaries of the event may be made available online.
- Greater audience participation is achieved. Not only during the event, but also actively on digital platforms by sharing information, “liking” publications and other actions.
How to organize a hybrid event?
The organization of hybrid events consists in letting an event take place in two dimensions. To do this, it is first necessary to create a plan that includes all the phases and processes of the event, as well as the tools needed to fulfill the plan in both modalities.
Hybrid events are a bit more complicated to organize than just face-to-face or virtual events.
Determine the technology required for the event
In the case of hybrid events, the technology must be chosen in such a way that it connects the event on site with the participants. The connection should work in both directions so that virtual participants can also be involved in on-site events. This not only requires a live transmission but also options for real-time communication.
A recording should also take place if the technology should fail. In this way, virtual participants can watch a lecture again later.
Selection of the date, time and location of the event
In the case of a hybrid event, you should definitely analyze where the majority of virtual participants are located. Due to the different time zones worldwide, you should make sure that the most important events do not take place at times when a large number of virtual viewers are sleeping.
World championships and the Olympics are good examples. Sponsors and participants react very sensitively to bad timing.
Determine the target group of the event
Defining the target audience is a key aspect. One should understand which participants can best be reached through which channels.
Prepare a suitable program of events
Virtual viewers and on-site participants have different needs and expectations. In addition to lectures, participants can also expect opportunities to network on site, see products live and try them out. The social and practical aspect is of great importance here.
Virtual participants are primarily interested in the information.
Selection of the virtual event platform
One should choose a platform that offers multiple functions and, if possible, gives participants equal rights. The comments section, uninterrupted real-time streaming, subtitles, event recording, and translation features are just a few of the themes.
Connect personal and virtual participants
Interaction between both types of participants should also be sought. This is probably one of the biggest challenges of a hybrid event.
In any case, it will be difficult to connect the virtual participants with the on-site participants, because the on-site participants do not travel to act virtually on site.
In hybrid events, not only the spectators have to be online. Top-class speakers can also be invited, even if they do not have to travel to the event.
Training of speakers for the event
Exhibitors and speakers are used to having the audience in front of them. However, in a hybrid event, presenters should also engage the virtual audience. It is of great importance here that the organizer opens up these possibilities and sensitizes the speakers to this.
Measuring the success of events
In the case of hybrid events, the key figures for measuring success should also be carefully considered.
Firstly, the different participants have different needs and secondly, the measurements must be made in different ways. Some factors are
A total number of visitors, participation rate, the satisfaction of participants (through surveys, reactions on social networks, degree of recommendation).