The difference between Virtual and Hybrid Events – choose the best approach
The event industry is constantly changing, which means necessitating new and innovative services to adapt to new trends and technologies. Therefore, it is of no surprise that the significant trend for 2023 continues to be Hybrid and Virtual events.
Clients don’t often specify the virtual or hybrid element of their event and are unclear about the language but are clear on their requirements if the budget is restricted or keynote speakers can’t attend. But of course, we are there to help them through the process and to identify the best possible solution.
In this article we talk about what’s driving trends in the event industry in 2023, discuss the different event hosting options and how these new offers are driving the market.
Learn which event service could be the perfect solution
To better understand the different event services – it helps to know exactly what each event type is…
- Live events – are in-person events where all presenters and attendees attend at a venue in-person on a given date(s).
- Virtual events – are those that take place totally online.
- Hybrid events – are events which combine aspects of both live (in-person) and virtual (online) events. Our work at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, last year is a great example of this.
The benefits of hosting a Virtual event
Cost is reduced
The whole nature of virtual events is that they remove the need for the in-person aspects of event management. Therefore, this also removes a large amount of cost which comes with in-person events such as venue and staff, attendee travel and accommodation, food and beverage and event materials.
Therefore, the online meeting platform and any associated marketing costs are the main cost of hosting a virtual event. If you’re planning to run an event on a smaller budget, a virtual event could be the perfect solution for you.
Easy to measure results
Depending on the software used, it is now easier than ever to gather data and measure the results of your virtual event. All sessions and attendance are digital therefore, everything can easily be tracked during and reported post the event.
Reports can include attendance levels, the most popular sessions based on attendance, and include who joined when and importantly when they left! Virtual events make it easier to collect feedback from participants by using online polls and surveys which can be completed when the event concludes.
Realistic event experiences
With virtual event platforms now tailored to suit every event requirement – the technology is so well-advanced that it offers an enhanced, tech-rich experience. The event experience is now much more realistic, that it is as close to an in-person event that could possibly be achieved, virtually.
Technology advances also mean that company branding and event sponsorship can feature prominently throughout the platform. Efficiency is improved by example, online registration. With virtual lobbies and waiting rooms, closely replicating those offered by hybrid or in-person events.
The benefits of hosting a Hybrid event
One of the main benefits of hybrid events is that it gives the audience the freedom to choose – for example: attend an exclusive live event or alternatively participate in the virtual option.
Statistics show that hybrid events consistently deliver more attendees sign-ups and attendance. This freedom to choose broadens the reach of the event and leads to a higher number of attendees. But it is not just only attendees that benefit – hybrid events make it easier for busy CEOs or international keynote speakers to attend virtually from any location across the world if they can’t make it in person. A hybrid solution is a great option for anyone who wants to attend but has limited availability to do so.
Better attendee experience
All events rely on creating unique experiences however, the connectivity of the different audiences makes these events more powerful than virtual alone. Much can be gained from streaming a live event online and options such as interactive and messaging services can shape the event in real-time to create greater attendee engagement.
Ultimately this creates a memorable event and a more receptive audience – making hybrid events the perfect solution for trade shows; conferences; and sales/product launches.
Enhanced content and connectivity
Hybrid events broadcast and often record all or some elements of the live programme schedule to the virtual audience. Therefore, retaining highlights such as presentations, keynote speakers or product demonstrations, can be very useful.
These recordings live much longer than the event itself and can be put to good use after the event. This offers the chance to rewatch or use it for marketing purposes which will keep the event in the minds of attendees long after it has concluded.
The security of Giggabox’s Pivot Guarantee
Giggabox offers a ‘Pivot Guarantee’. Life is full of surprises and often these can have a dramatic effect on your planned events, even threaten to change or cancel them!
Our unique ‘pivot’ guarantee means a client can transition from virtual to in-person, or from in-person to hybrid or virtual seamlessly, and at short notice! This gives you the peace of mind that your event will go ahead regardless of any unforeseen issues. A guarantee that others cannot offer.
Does Hybrid signify an end to Live and Virtual events?
Live, virtual and hybrid events will always have their own place because each has its own very discrete and individual benefits.
Virtual events remain popular solutions for those looking to host scalable events, with a low-cost barrier as well as providing networking opportunities for attendees where in-person is not an option.
Whereas, the hybrid event, combining both in-person and virtual experiences, is the most successful option available to event organisers to broaden attendance both online and in person.
For those new to hybrid events – the big difference is, that hybrid events will have some form of an in-person and online element. Whereas virtual events take place purely online and live solely in person. Therefore, if your online event also has a venue for attendees to experience the event at the same time, then this would be classified as a hybrid event.
Giggabox has learned that while virtual events certainly have their benefits, live events will always be an important and possibly preferred part of any event calendar for some. It is the hybrid event that is the new norm!
Get in touch today!
Live, in-person, events will never go out of style, but if you still have questions about incorporating hybrid into your events calendar or need a successful strategy to maximise attendance at your virtual events – then Giggabox can offer any combination of event services to meet your requirements.
Visit our event services area or email firstname.lastname@example.org.