Types Of Hybrid Events

By now, we know that hybrid events are the new norm. But we’re still on the brink of understanding the different types of hybrid events and knowing just how far their reach will stretch.

Mastering different types of hybrid events and understanding how your company can leverage them will place you ahead of the curve.

While hybrid events are becoming more commonplace, organizers are still flooded with questions:

  • What exactly makes an event “hybrid?”
  • What are the different types of hybrid events my organization should leverage?
  • How do we create hybrid events that are engaging and effective?
At Vstage, we’ve developed a go-to guide to help you pick and create the type of hybrid event that’s perfect for your audience and helps your organization reach its goals.  

What is a Hybrid Event, Really?

Hybrid is a hot-term today. Why pick between two great options when you can combine them?

But in the context of events, what does “hybrid” really mean?

The concept is quite simple: Hybrid events are a mix of live and virtual events. They use a combination of in-person and digital elements—each tailored for an optimal experience and increased audience engagement. 

Your in-person audience has the high-touch VIP experience. Meanwhile, your virtual audience “can explore your content and create new connections, conveniently from the comfort of their home.”

While the concept is simple, the reality is slightly more complex. One hybrid event might captivate an audience while another might feel like a Monday morning meeting.

A successful hybrid event must engage both your in-person and virtual audience if it’s to be worth your time and resources at all.  

How to Host a Hybrid Event that’s Actually Interactive and Engaging?

A nail-biting sports event or awe-inspiring awards show is invigorating and captivating in-person. But even on the other side of the country, viewers are wrapped up in the same excitement. Virtual audiences share the same experience—posting on social media, gathering for parties, competing in contests, and responding in real-time with the live audience as if they’re part of the same community.

These large-scale hybrid events reveal what’s attainable when companies take the time to ask, ‘How can we give both our in-person and remote participants an incredible and engaging experience?’

To create a highly engaging hybrid event that captivates your audience and helps your organization reach its goals, its critical to understand the main types of hybrid events and examples of how they look in the real world.  

Hybrid events can bring big results in any industry and for any event.

Here are 17 types of hybrid events and how your organization can leverage them.

Global Town Halls
Hybrid events lend well to town hall meetings, since they’re open to a wide audience. While joining in-person and virtually, attendees can ask questions, share opinions, discuss specific problems or policies, and gather ideas for future direction.

Company Culture Weeks
Modern candidates rank company culture as one of the most important factors when considering career opportunities. You can strengthen your company culture and remind your team that each and every person makes a difference in your community by hosting a hybrid culture week for your employees who can attend in-person and remotely.

Team Meetings
Hybrid team meetings can make a more lasting impression than exclusively in-person meetings since virtual content can be continually accessed and viewed. With a platform like Vstage, hybrid meetings can easily be recorded, making follow up on decisions made during the meetings easier. Team meetings can also be shared with members who couldn’t attend during the time of the event.  

17 Types of Powerful Hybrid Events and What They Look Like in Practice 

Sales Kickoff
A traditional sales kickoff event brings the sales department together to strategize, network, and set their agenda for the coming year. Hybrid sales kickoffs can still motivate, inspire, and educate your sales team and rally them towards common goals. Attendees can join live in-office or remotely from their homes or during sales trips.

Customer Conferences
One major hybrid conference, Empower 21, invited both in-person and virtual attendees. Both audiences could interact with each other, view the agenda, gather speaker information, and attend each aspect of the event.

Hub & Spoke Style
A Hub & Spoke Style Hybrid Event can combine some of the most valuable aspects of live events while minimizing the number of people in the same room and amount of travel required. These events launch from one central ‘Hub’ where the main presenters and attendees are based. Smaller groups of attendees can gather in a number of ‘Spoke’ locations (like meeting rooms, venues, or even private homes) and attend virtually.

On-Demand Live Event
On-Demand Live Events allow you to host a face-to-face event and keep registration open afterwards. Anyone who registers will receive a link to the recording, allowing it to be viewed at any time. Attendees can access the content whenever convenient.  

One Event, Two Audiences
This leading song-writer is also leading the charge in event-planning. Back in 2017, John Mayer shifted from playing for 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden to performing at Los Angeles’ 500-capacity Echoplex during his Dive Bar Tour. While the live audience enjoyed a more intimate and exclusive experience, a large audience engaged with the live-streaming show online.

Live Event with a Virtual-Only Audience
In February 2022, marketing professionals joined together virtually for the SMSS Live Social Media Conference to learn the nuts and bolts of a successful social media strategy. Though attendees were remote, they were able to assess their current social media initiatives through real-life feedback, discussions, and peer-to-peer learning sessions.

Trade Shows
Hybrid events can be leveraged to showcase your customer goods. With a platform like Vstage, you can replicate the live experience of a trade show remotely. Our Expo Booth feature allows customers to talk directly with you as you present videos, pictures, pdf documents, and collect details from the participants of the Trade event.

Product Demos
Always ahead of the game, Apple organized an extraordinary hybrid event back in 2019. CEO, Tim Cook, showcased the latest products and innovations for a virtual and in-person audience. 1000 people sat in front of Tim Cook as he unveiled products like a new iPad, a refreshed Apple Watch, and the cutting-edge iPhone 11. Two million watched remotely from around the globe.  

Light Hybrid
During a Light Hybrid Event, the event takes place at a physical venue and a virtual audience can attend simultaneously. Participation and engagement take place in parallel and during the presentation. Both audiences watch the event or live stream at the same time. Afterward, both audiences can engage in any events or Q&As in person, or through the Vstage platform.

Sequential Hybrid
A Sequential Hybrid Event hosts attendees in-person in a physical venue. To keep communication and engagement throughout the event simple, the virtual event is held afterward with the same content, exhibitors, and sponsorships.

Complex Hybrid
Like Light Hybrid Events, Complex Hybrid Events host physical and virtual audiences at the same time. These events allow for many more cross-networking opportunities, like Q&As, discussion boards, live chats, polls, and communication between audiences. 

Drive-Ins
During Drive-In Events, attendees gather in a large outdoor space and watch a presentation from the comfort of their own cars—just like a drive-in movie theater. This type of hybrid event fits occasions that don’t require much interaction amidst the audience, like a conference or college commencements.

With a Studio Audience
Think sitcoms. Studio Audience Events gather a live audience to watch a production or show in-person. The event (and all the engagement and responses from the live audience) is recorded and then broadcasted for a virtual audience.

Watch Party
These social gatherings bring a group together to watch a specific event or program. For example, in May of 2022, Hulu launched their Watch Party feature, allowing subscribers to watch movies and shows together remotely. This feature synchronizes video playback for everyone watching and provides a group chat to the video. 

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What do Hybrid Events Offer?

Why have hybrid events become so important? These combo events offer new ways to hook and connect with your audience. Attendees can experience social interaction while also accessing the virtual platform where you can host even more content, conduct games and activities, and provide cross-networking opportunities. Merging these worlds boosts community, brand engagement, and conversation across your entire audience.

Hybrid events also provide critical data, like contact information, number of pageviews, amount of time spent at a virtual event booth, repeat event attendees, and activity levels on chat channels. This data will fuel future event strategies and help you refine your marketing approaches and deliver more value to your audiences.  

Plan and Host a Powerful Hybrid Event

Fortunately, today’s technology makes it much easier to create a hybrid event that’s as impressive and engaging online as it is in the physical event space.

At Vstage, we understand what brings people together and makes experiences (both in-person and virtual) memorable. From ideation to creation, organization, and completion, the Vstage team will walk with you each step of the way.

We’ll make sure that your event is a memorable and engaging experience for all of your attendees. Schedule a demo of Vstage today. 

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