Find inspiration with the best hybrid event examples in 2021.
In late 2020, when COVID-19 vaccines were starting to appear, the idea of hybrid events captured event professionals’ imagination. A hybrid event could, in theory, be the ultimate event, getting the “best out of both worlds”: the enhanced reach and accessibility of virtual events and the connections and networking of in-person gatherings.
But in practice, it wasn’t clear how to manage a successful hybrid event that would engage both virtual and in-person audiences. The complexity of such an event coupled with lingering fears about COVID has held back many event organizers from going hybrid.
Still, many event organizers took the leap this year and went through the difficult test of organizing a hybrid event. But which ones were the best? And why were they successful?
Next, we outline the best hybrid event examples so far in 2021 and the best hybrid event examples to come later this year.
Best Hybrid Event Examples So Far in 2021
In 2020, when very few event organizers were venturing into hybrid events, the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) hosted one of the early hybrid event examples that would pave the way for other organizations to follow suit. The World Education Congress (WEC) Grapevine was widely lauded thanks to slick broadcast-like production, an exclusive agenda for virtual attendees, and detailed safety protocols for in-person attendees.
The event was not only a demonstration that hybrid could be done but also showed how it would succeed in the current environment.
Following that roaring success and armed with insights on how to host a hybrid event, MPI geared for an event better achievement in 2021.
WEC Vegas, hosted at The New Caesars Forum in Las Vegas between the 15th and 17th of July, attracted an impressive 1238 in-person attendees and 1,520 best match appointments in the Hosted Buyer program.
The event organizer hired two talented emcees, Christine Cashen and Tami Evans, who skillfully built rapport with virtual and in-person audiences.
Additionally, the event perfectly bridged the gap between in-person and virtual attendees by implementing an NBA-style Fan Cam and a 1:1 live chat.
In terms of health & safety, MPI implemented a thorough Duty of Care Plan that received a 97% overall satisfaction rate. The plan included:
- Temperature checks for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status
- Display ribbons indicating attendee’s level of personal comfort onsite
- Hand sanitiser stations throughout the meeting space
- Appropriate Signage to reinforce spatial distancing
BizBash Connect Las Vegas
Unsurprisingly, one of the exceptional hybrid event examples in 2021 comes from another well-established name in the industry: Bizbash.
Bizbash Connect Las Vegas, hosted at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, attracted over 700 attendees for the in-person gathering and more than 1000 virtual attendees.
Bizbash set up a Digital Health Passport for attendees to ensure a safe event, verifying a negative COVID test.
In addition, the spacious event venue and an intelligent design of the floor plan allowed attendees to keep social distancing at all times but still be able to interact and network with colleagues.
Importantly, BizBash did not opt to simply livestream the in-person event for the virtual audience. Instead, they offered exclusive content to virtual attendees, such as a DJ battle, interactive trivia, and a morning workout.
Similarly, the event’s emcees and speakers made an effort to engage both audiences simultaneously, working the cameras like TV presenters and answering questions and comments from online attendees.
Big 5 G Event
The Big 5 G Event is the go-to event for telecom professionals who want to stay up to date with the current 5G landscape and the technology innovations in the field. The conference delves into all things 5 G: networks, transport, enterprise applications, and more concerning the new generation of mobile wireless technology.
It was a great hybrid event example, with a mix of virtual and in-person audiences and speakers. The event offered several content tracks and agendas for online and in-person, showcasing how hybrid events do not necessarily need to provide the same exact content to both audiences.
Moreover, the 5G event featured exclusive onsite workshops such as the 6G Summit and the Women in Telecoms Focus Day, where telecom experts explored the next stage of connectivity and discussed fostering a more diverse and inclusive telecommunications community.
Ignite 2021, by PCS Software, is a leading transportation & logistics technology conference.
PCS Software recognized that in-person events would never be like before the pandemic. Crucially, people in their audience could have disparate confidence levels regarding travel and face-to-face gatherings.
So, they decided to go hybrid for the first time, embracing the enhanced accessibility and reach offered by this event format.
To do so, PCS Software chose InEvent, the best all-inclusive technology solution for hybrid events. Leveraging the platform, PCS Software could live stream to their virtual audience while providing a seamless registration and check-in solution for the onsite component. And, they created a passionate and engaged event community, offering an event mobile app where both types of attendees could easily check the agenda, interact with speakers, and network with colleagues.
Best Hybrid Events Coming Up Next in 2021
FinCon 2021, taking place at the Austin Convention Center in September, will be a hybrid event bringing together personal finance brands and content creators to meet, collaborate, and learn from each other.
Distinctively, the conference will offer attendees access to the “FinCon Central” hub, including exhibits, live podcasting, and video booths.
Furthermore, FinCon21 will give attendees the opportunities to connect with fellow creators via the event app, set up local meetups, and do business with sponsors & exhibitors via one-on-one chats and video calls.
Content Marketing World
Content Marketing World is the place to be for all content marketers. The conference has announced they will be hosting a hybrid event this year, combining a traditional face-to-face event in Cleveland and a simultaneous digital experience. The event features over 100 sessions, workshops, and industry forums presented by the leading brands and thought leaders.
The virtual component will include live-streamed keynote presentations, digital breakout sessions, one-on-one and small group meetings with sponsors, and birds of a feather meetups with like-minded attendees.
Regarding safety, the event organizers will require all attendees and staff to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test administered within 72 hours before arriving at the event.
Showcasing the importance of venue selection for hybrid events, CMWorld’s venue of choice will be the Huntington Convention Center, a premier location holding industry-leading safety certifications and offering state-of-the-art technology. Crucially, the convention center has introduced the latest safety upgrades such as touchless door openers, sliding doors, UV germicidal irradiation, anti-microbial handrails, MERV 15 air filters, air ventilation filters to create the safest indoor environment for all guests and employees.
360º is a unique opportunity for event professionals to learn the must-know insights on hybrid event planning from leaders in the industry.
The event, hosted in New York on the 23rd of September, will feature talented and experienced professionals such as Jenny Hoffman (Global Creative Strategist @ Spotify), Liz Caruso (Event Specialist & Consultant @ Liz King Events), and Nicole Nichols (Associate Director of Events and Marketing @ The New York Academy of Medicine), who will explore hybrid event engagement, creativity, and monetization among other topics.
Apart from the education opportunities at play, the event is expected to provide an excellent hybrid event example. Indeed, InEvent will offer both virtual and in-person attendees a taste of what hybrid feels like at its best: an iconic venue in the heart of New York City, immersive experience with video walls, amazing content, networking opportunities, connections between in-person and virtual, and more.
Don’t miss out! Sign up now for a 360º hybrid event experience!
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