You know what's so cool about hybrid events? They break down those pesky attendance barriers and say "see ya 👋" to geographical limitations. Plus, they've got your back with a built-in plan B, giving you all the flexibility you need.
So, about planning them…are you ready to wade through the wide world of hybrid event platforms? Choosing the perfect platform can seem like a wild goose chase (and nooot the good kind), but this guide is here to help make sense of that tricky task.
What is a Hybrid Event?
A hybrid event is a type of gathering that combines both in-person and virtual elements. It's like a cross between a traditional, physical event (think conferences, concerts, or trade shows) and an online event (like live streams or everyone’s favorite webinar).
Picture this: A business is organizing a conference. In a purely in-person scenario, attendees would travel to the conference venue to listen to speakers, network, and participate in activities IRL. In a completely virtual scenario, attendees would log into an online platform and tune into the conference from their devices, commenting and asking questions and getting put into breakout groups.
A hybrid event merges these two formats. The conference still takes place at a physical venue with speakers and in-person attendees, but it's also broadcasted online for virtual attendees. This way, people who can't make it to the venue (maybe they're in different countries, have schedule conflicts, or health concerns) can still participate in the event.
So in essence, hybrid events are designed to offer the best of both worlds, giving participants the choice between in-person and virtual attendance while increasing accessibility and reach for the event organizers. You have to love that.
What Is A Hybrid Event Platform, and Why Do You Need It?
Hybrid event platforms are digital spaces that help you host events combining in-person and virtual experiences. Whether you're a small business owner, an event planner, part of a non-profit, or even a government body looking for new community event ideas, these platforms can be game-changers because they make the planning and participating process smoother for everyone involved.
Top 6 Hybrid Event Platforms
- Goosechase: Goosechase is an online platform designed to create engaging, interactive experiences. It shines in its user-friendly interface, allowing anyone to create an "Experience" with just a few clicks and creativity. Top features include real-time leaderboards, custom branding options, and a comprehensive reporting dashboard. It's priced based on the number of participants and the length of the event, making it flexible for various budgets. Goosechase is particularly useful for team-building and icebreaker activities, encouraging engagement with speaker sessions, prompting guests to take creative photos and videos no matter where they’re participating from, and collecting feedback on the event.
- Hopin: Hopin is a virtual event platform offering a suite of powerful features such as virtual networking spaces, interactive sessions, and customizable event stages. Its interface is simple and clean, which makes it easy for both event organizers and attendees to use. Hopin has a pricing structure that accommodates a range of needs, from free to enterprise-level options. It's a fantastic full-service choice for conferences, workshops, and networking events.
- Cvent: Cvent is a comprehensive event management platform providing solutions for event registration, app building, venue selection, event marketing, and more. It offers a wide array of features, with a focus on data analytics and attendee management. Its interface may have a steeper learning curve compared to others, but it's quite powerful. Cvent uses a quote-based pricing model, which is tailored to the specifics of your hybrid event. It's excellent for large corporate events and trade shows.
- Whova: Whova is a popular hybrid event software known for its robust networking and engagement features. It has an intuitive user interface and offers features like live polling, Q&A, attendee matchmaking, and an event agenda. Whova's pricing varies based on the size and nature of your event. It's particularly effective for academic conferences and business networking events due to its powerful networking tools.
- Hubilo: Hubilo is a virtual and hybrid event platform that offers a suite of features such as virtual booths, networking lounges, and audience engagement tools. It has a user-friendly interface and offers pricing based on the requirements of your event. Hubilo is particularly good for virtual trade shows and exhibitions thanks to its virtual booth feature.
- Bizzabo: Bizzabo is an event tech platform offering tools for event marketing, analytics, automation, and personalization. Its interface is sleek, modern, and design-forward without sacrificing UX. Pricing is custom and available upon request. Bizzabo excels in corporate events where strong branding, marketing, and data analysis are critical.
Tips for Organizing Successful Hybrid Events
Organizing successful hybrid events requires an especially keen focus on the guest experience - because not only are you planning one schedule of events, you’re orchestrating multiple depending on how many ways you’re facilitating people to join.
- Planning and Strategizing for Hybrid Events: Hybrid events combine the logistics of both in-person and virtual events, so meticulous planning is key. Start by defining your event's goals and identifying your audience's needs. Then, decide on the content and activities that would work best in-person versus online. Remember to coordinate timings across different time zones if you have an international audience.
- Ensuring Seamless Live-streaming: The virtual component of your hybrid event is only as good as its live-streaming quality. Make sure you have reliable technology and a stable internet connection for a smooth streaming experience.
- Leveraging Networking Tools for Better Connections: Networking is a crucial part of any event. For hybrid events, it's important to facilitate connections between live guests and virtual attendees. With Goosechase, you can send event-wide or targeted messages to participants at any time, fostering interaction and promoting networking. Also, consider employing tools like breakout rooms, Q&A sessions (Whova makes it easy), and virtual meeting spaces (cc: Hopin) to keep the conversation flowing.
Remember, a successful hybrid event is not just about using the right tools, but how you use them to connect and engage with your live attendees and guests tuning in from home. Lean into creativity and fostering connections, and you'll be on your way to yet another unforgettable event.
What is Goosechase?
At Goosechase, experience is everything. Originally inspired by scavenger hunts, Goosechase is an online platform that enables organizations and schools to engage, activate, and educate their communities through delightful interactive experiences. Sign up and try creating a free recreational Experience, or check out our Pricing!