Hybrid Events: What are they and why do they matter?

Hamilton Hamilton

The nature and logistics of events have been transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. Even though many events have been canceled, many organizations, businesses, and consumers are excited about innovative solutions for continued engagement. Hybrid events offer event managers many opportunities to engage attendees and boost business impact. 

What is a hybrid event?

A hybrid event is a trade show, conference, or other meeting that combines live, in-person activities with a virtual, online component. A hybrid event takes place in both physical and virtual space. 

Everyone is familiar with the joys and logistics of connecting with other people, organizations, brands, and products in person. However, the ongoing pandemic is forcing many events to be canceled, postponed, or changed dramatically. Virtual events offer attendees and companies the opportunity to connect in the digital world. Virtual events tend to be more dynamic, special, and engaging than regular social media engagements. Additionally, they often have live opportunities for experiences with other participants. In-person events facilitate face-to-face, multi-sensory experiences. Virtual events allow for live group chats with participants from all over the world, on-demand content, pre-recorded content, gamification, polling, 360-degree navigation of digitized environments, and more. 

When paired together, in-person, and virtual events can maximize the potential audience reach and optimize the possibilities for connection. In the hybrid event model, virtual events complement and extend in-person activities. 

Hybrid events are ideal solutions today, and it looks like they are here to stay. A study conducted in 2021 showed that a majority of U.S.-based respondents believe they will continue to attend both virtual and in-person events after the coronavirus pandemic.

An Example of a Hybrid Platform

Hybrid events can take many forms, as the possibilities are endless. In fact, hybrid platforms do not have to be tied to a specific event, but rather can be leveraged as a sales tool to complement a virtual or in-person event.  

One of the finest examples is the recent award-winning partnership between Hamilton and Zimmer Biomet. 

To extend the scope and reach of their Medical Education events, Zimmer Biomet hired Hamilton to create a digital experience that could be leveraged as a pre, during, and post-show sales tool. Together, Hamilton and Zimmer Biomet created an immersive, 360-degree, panoramic, digital event space. The virtual experience allowed visitors to enter the digitally constructed space, explore embedded videos, take self-guided tours, register for Medical Education sessions, engage with marketing collateral, and more. To learn more about this hybrid event and experience the virtual platform, visit this webpage

The Benefits of Hosting Hybrid Events

Although the proliferation of virtual and hybrid events was inspired by the restrictions of the pandemic, there are many benefits and hybrid events may become a part of the normal array of promotional offerings. 

Hybrid events offer benefits to both attendees and businesses. Hybrid events extend the opportunities for brand and community engagement beyond the time frame and location of the physical, in-person events. 

The virtual component of hybrid events offers the space for post-show programming. Through this outlet, attendees have the opportunity to learn more, and brands have time to cultivate leads. Furthermore, guests who were not able to attend the in-person activities can connect with the products, sales reps, and other fans. Extending the brand programming beyond the showroom floor allows guests to experience the products in a way that can be incrementally more integrated with the activities of daily lives. This drives engagement that can fuel sales. 

Hybrid events also provide numerous contexts in which brands can learn about their potential and existing customers. Event directors can measure viewership and engagement on multiple levels. Collecting metrics about virtual booth attendance, sponsor engagement, and viewing patterns can empower brands. 

Get Expert Help for Your Next Hybrid Event

Your brand deserves a customized, immersive experience that reflects your vision, messaging, marketing priorities, and business growth objectives. Hybrid events can create lasting impressions, and to make the most of these lucrative opportunities, many businesses seek expert help. 

For over 75 years, businesses, organizations, and communities all over the world have trusted Hamilton with all of their event needs. Working from the motto, “whatever it takes,” the Hamilton team is eager and prepared to fulfill your unique vision and goals. Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency that designs, produces, and executes integrated experiences that drive meaningful connections between your brand and your audience. Hamilton EXTEND® is an award-winning virtual brand and event solution that compliments and enhances your in-person engagement strategies. Hybrid events are emerging solutions that are critical for success in today’s markets. Now is the time to partner with the agency that has been leading the way for decades. 

If you would like to learn tips to increase engagement at your next hybrid event, read this article. 

…and for the ultimate hybrid event solution, contact Hamilton today!