Should Your Next Event be Hybrid?

Sep 13, 2022

Forward-thinking corporate communications professionals understand the need for their events to reach the widest audience possible. Considering that we’ve had two years of public gathering restrictions but still live with an air of uncertainty over the future, this is the most critical time for you and your organization to get it right.

The responsibility of deciding what your next meeting will look like will determine how the message is supported, controlled, and delivered. Choosing the most suitable livestream format – in-person, virtual only, or hybrid – will help determine the level of impact your message will make.

Let’s compare all three formats so you can make the most informed choice possible.

Why hold a live in-person event only?

After almost two years of social distancing, most people are more than ready to attend in-person get-togethers again. Whether working in the office or having Christmas dinner with extended family, society is prepared to embrace the sense of normalcy we enjoyed in 2019.

The same goes for live events. Many people thrive from the energy, excitement, and interactivity that come from attending an event in a large group. We’re used to building and nurturing face-to-face relationships, and a warm handshake is a long-honoured tradition of bonding with others.

However, many people are still hesitant about being in a large group. Especially with the flu season approaching, there’s an element of fear that society will be locked down and large events will need to be canceled. There are also concerns with travel restrictions and vaccination requirements.

All of these factors can limit the attendance levels of your event, while a return to public gathering restrictions could shut it down entirely.

Businesswomen participating in hybrid virtual event, taking notes.

Is a virtual-only event a better option?

Back in 2020, as the pandemic took hold, online events became a novelty. People were conducting meetings from unfinished basements, porches, and kitchen tables. There were often children or pets in the background, to the amusement of attendees. People were usually dressed for the occasion (at least from the waist up), but the tone of the events was somewhat more casual. To its credit, society embraced this new way of connecting with others.

Some people may ask why they would return to in-person events with the technology in place to hold them in a virtual format. They may believe that people are used to virtual events, finding them more convenient (and safer) than attending in person.

They may have a point. However, as a communications leader, what are your people saying? We’re hearing from our customers that their audiences are tired of meetings on the computer. The novelty of Zoom-like events is over, and it’s time to get back to the big in-person groups they’re used to attending.

Holding a virtual-only event, you’re covered in the event of a lockdown. However, your attendance might severely drop if attendees have moved past virtual-only events in favour of those held in person.

Should you choose a hybrid event?

The hybrid model combines in-person and virtual formats. This gives people the ability to choose their preferred way of attending. Whether enjoying the event in person or engaging from home, attendees are provided with the same level of access and interactivity, helping you deliver an exceptional event experience.

Hybrid events offer the same features to all attendees as the other types, including registration, real-time voting and polling, Q&A sessions, remote presenters, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, fun activities, and much more. You can incorporate slides and recorded video into your event without diminishing the experience for either audience.

The hybrid model also provides robust analytics so you can see what your audience loved most about your event and help you identify areas of improvement. The data is available right at your fingertips for quick and easy strategic decision-making.

Best of all, because you satisfy all your attendees’ attendance preferences, you’ll be capturing a much larger audience than you would with the other two event formats. With the hybrid model, you’ll be maximizing the reach of your message and making a lasting impact on your attendees.

Business collogues attending corporate online meeting.

Should I hire a professional livestream production team?

You know how challenging it can be to host any type of event. When you need to broadcast live, another level of complication is added to the mix.

Livestream production companies have the streaming experience and advanced technology to manage the entire event for you. These specialized technical experts handle all the switching duties, moderate your Q&A sessions, set up teleprompters, audio systems, and screens, operate cameras, and much more.

In other words, hiring a livestream production company gives you the best chance of hosting a successful, unforgettable hybrid event.

If you’re considering a hybrid event but have already planned an in-person or virtual-only event, it’s easy to upgrade to hybrid. Talk to your service provider or a LiveMeeting expert for more information.

Partner with the right livestream production team

Whether you’re planning a live in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, having the right technical professionals working with you behind the scenes is critical to making the overall production much easier for your team.

Your dedicated LiveMeeting production crew has all the technology you need for every type of event. Whether you’re planning a conference, AGM, town hall, or any other livestream, we’ll take care of the production needs so you can simply focus on delivering your message and enjoying your event.

Discover our streaming solution to learn how our cutting-edge technology will elevate your next livestream. Contact us today for a free demonstration!