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3 Hybrid Event Formats: The Most Popular Options for Cross-Channel Experiences

Michael Doane
Michael Doane

The most important part of getting your hybrid event right is picking the best format for your attendees.

Do you want everyone engaging in real-time for networking purposes? Does your online audience want education that’s more self-paced? Could smaller coordinated meetups be a better option than the traditional city-wide?

The 3 options below directly address these questions and are among the most popular formats for hybrid events.

Live Stream / Real-Time Virtual

This option is the most common. Keynotes and some breakouts are live-streamed and offered to both face-to-face and virtual audiences at the same time.

Many conferences also offer recordings of sessions, or Conference Proceedings, after the live streams as on-demand content.

EXPERT TIP: Charge non-attendees for access to Conference Proceedings for increased content revenue.

Live Event + Virtual Before OR After

Some planners are offering virtual content and events as a lead-up or wind-down from the in-person portion of their conference. These virtual events are unique from the planned face-to-face activities and serve as a way to extend the life of a conference.

EXPERT TIP: Exclusive in-person activities can drive attendance through FOMO and create unique experiences for face-to-face attendees.

This is what IAEE means when they say “see what can only happen here” about Expo Expo’s live event.

Small Meetups w/ Content Streamed to All

This is a newer option that is gaining popularity. Small regional meetups are planned where attendees can network, watch the live stream together, and experience the larger conference as smaller groups.

EXPERT TIP: Mix and match these three options to find a unique format that’s right for your audience.

This is what PCMA is doing by bookending Convening Leaders’ 2021 virtual live streams with regional in-person meetups.

Get the Comprehensive Guide to Planning Hybrid Events

This article is just one part of the full guide.

In this guide we’ll explore:

  • Popular hybrid events formats that you can use to plan your hybrid events
  • How to create cross-channel experiences to bring your in-person and online audiences together
  • The elements that make up a hybrid events platform and considerations for choosing the right software

Download it here.

Event DesignEvent Management

Michael Doane

Michael Doane is a writer, marketer, and web developer who has fallen in love with the events industry. At CadmiumCD he teaches meeting planners about the benefits of event tech. As Marketing Manager


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