When clients have conversations with our planners, the number one question they ask recently is, “Should I host a live event or hybrid event?” While we love any event format, for your event strategy to provide the ROI you want, you do have to be intentional about deciding which format is right for you! So, today, we’re sharing some of the questions we run through to help clients decide so you, too, can ask yourself when you’re in this predicament.
What is your budget?
Live events have always been expensive, but in 2022 with inflation and recovery from the pandemic, costs are greater than ever before. One of the largest costs for events is the event production and audio-visual line item. So, if you offer a hybrid event, your tech labor and audio-visual costs are going to be quite high because you’ll need additional equipment and techs to manage live streaming, recording, session facilitation, and more. So, while hybrid events are fantastic, consider if your budget can accommodate the additional costs associated.
P.S. Our team can help you budget plan if you’re feeling lost!
Who is your target audience?
If your target audience demographic is at risk, they still may not be comfortable meeting in person. Offering a virtual component as a part of a larger hybrid event may be the best option to help them feel comfortable and included wherever they are. With this, there’s a secondary question of simply which one they prefer. If you blew your virtual events out of the water but always struggled with live event attendance, hybrid is probably an ideal option for the best of both worlds.
Where is your target audience located?
Do you have a huge global audience? It’s more likely they’re going to log on virtually than fly across the world. So, we’d recommend choosing a destination where your greatest level of engaged attendees is centralized to get them in person, then offer a hybrid option for those logging in from far away locales. But, with this, make sure the live event location is in a time zone that would work for virtual attendees to log in as well.
What is the goal of the event in question?
What are you trying to get out of your event? Do you want to make it a revenue driver or create intentional partnerships? Perhaps you want to broaden your audience and build out your lead pipeline. There are pros and cons to both live events and hybrid events, but if you’re trying to generate tons of leads, offer hybrid for greater reach. If you are trying to build deep connections and relationships with clientele, go live only.
Do you have an attendance goal?
Hybrid events are better suited for large conferences, meetings, or trade shows. Smaller, more intimate events, say less than a few hundred people, are better done fully live with everyone face-to-face. You have to think about your investment in the tech and where you’ll be getting ROI. If you have more attendees, it surely makes sense to extend your reach with hybrid. But if you only want the event to be a hundred or two hundred people, getting all those people in the same place is the best idea for ultimate event engagement.
What type of hybrid event would you be considering?
Yes, there is more than one way to produce a hybrid event! You can have your entire audience virtual with only speakers live in the studio, you could do a traditional format where speakers and a handful of attendees are live with a virtual audience or an in-person event that allows virtual attendance at some sessions but almost runs a separate virtual event for those attendees. Many people don’t realize there are many ways to go about this! So, deciding on hybrid isn’t as simple. You want to choose how hybrid will manifest for your organization as well.
How much time do you have to plan the event?
If you have less than six months to plan, we’re going to say it’s time to think about virtual events again. While you can absolutely produce a live or hybrid event in a few weeks, in order for it to be truly intentional, drive revenue, and create innate connections, you need more time to plan.
Hosting a Live Event or Hybrid Event & Need Planning Assistance? EBA Has Your Back.
Our team has been back on-site, helping clients plan, produce, and execute both live events and hybrid events for months now. We would love to support your team in choosing the right event format for you and making it happen! Let’s chat on a complimentary 20-minute strategy call!