What Is A Hybrid Event?

Posted by Sophia Duplin

A hybrid event is any in-person conference, trade-show, celebration, presentation, workshop, or lecture that has an added virtual component for live streaming. Hybrid events utilize webcasting and webinar technology and add components like breakout sessions, chatrooms, live polling, sponsorship and networking opportunities, custom websites, and virtual technical support staff to ensure a seamless and integrated event.


Many are saying that our post-Covid event landscape will be dictated by Hybrid Events, and it’ll be rare to host or attend a live event without some added virtual component. This is especially true for business-related events, corporate communications, and professional development. Large Companies such as Facebook and Microsoft saythat Events larger than 50 people are not likely to return before Q3 2021, probably even later than that.


The cost-savings of producing a Virtual Event or Hybrid Event over a full, in-person Event is extraordinary. Think about the travel costs, carbon emissions, and lost productivity time companies have to account for when they try to get a national or international audience together. Organizations are experiencing larger ROI through Virtual Events because they are able to scale to larger audiences with a fraction of the time and money it requires for the same event to take place in-person.


Because of these reasons, the Virtual Event market size is expected to surpass $404.45 billion by 2027, according to Grand View Research.


Although the benefits of switching to virtual sound like a no-brainer, there is one reason why aspects of in-person events will inevitably, and rightfully, return: human interaction.


Although the event tech industry is working hard to Humanizing Virtual Events through interactive chatrooms, breakout sessions, live polling, Q&A, etc., there is not yet any virtual feature that completely replaces the magic of in-person events and the opportunities they provide to create new relationships and expand your network.


That’s why Hybrid Events are the future.


Organizations are able to scale to global audiences, while maintaining opportunities for the organic networking that is so pivotal of Virtual Events.


How Can I Produce A Hybrid Event?

Producing a Hybrid Event can be simple..., if you partner with the right company. Event Tech companies will have webcasting services to provide you with on-site equipment to record your live presentations. Your webcasting service provider should automatically stream the content to an online platform.


Live-Streaming is the bare minimum that you should require out of your event tech partner. You should seek out a platform that can also:

  • Crowdsource questions and polls from your virtual audience

  • Incorporate virtual attendees into breakout rooms and networking sessions

  • Creates custom registration landing pages and event webpages

  • Host eCommerce

  • Is Mobile-Friendly

  • Can run reports and analytics on your virtual attendees


The key to a Hybrid Event is making your virtual attendees feel just as important and included in the event. These event members can more easily log-off or become disengaged in event content if you don’t make it an engaging and exciting experience for them as well.


Hybrid Event Example

Massachusetts-based Lahey Hospital & Medical Health Center worked with BeaconLive to produce and deliver a Live, Multi-Day, Continuing Medical Education Webcast experience for over 100 attendees the weekend of October 23.


Info Graph for Virtual Events


The Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.


The Lahey Hospital & Medical Center trusted BeaconLive to seamlessly deliver their three-dayTopics in Internal Medicine Virtual Conference. As this was The Lahey Clinic’s first time taking this annual event virtual, they specifically chose to work with BeaconLive because of our commitment to event customization, commitment to customer service and experience in Continuing Education delivery.


The Lahey Hospital & Medical Center worked closely with the team at BeaconLive to tailor the event specifically to their needs. BeaconLive delivered an end-to-end solution. We executed all of the pre-event production, from the physical onsite video capture & equipment setup, to the virtual customized event web pages and manual upload of registrations.


The Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s branding and design were visible throughout the event for all attendees. Three different speakers presented over the course of the three days and the Event had four exhibitors. Exhibitor Information, download-able resources, and links to further information were available for attendees. Full attendee reporting and analytics were available for the Lahey Clinic during and after the program. Continuing Nursing Education and Continuing Medical Education Credits and Certificates were provided for attendees.


“The course went very well, we have received nothing but positive feedback from attendees and faculty. Thank you BeaconLive for all your help, support and patience with us!” -Kimberly Scroxton, CME Program Manager



Topics: Hybrid Events, Hybrid Events: Best Practices, Hybrid Events: Pre & Post Event, Hybrid Events: Promotion & Planning

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