Josie Says...

Live vs. Hybrid & Virtual Events

As conference organisers we appreciate the joy of bringing people together with a shared purpose. Whether it is a social event, professional conference or awards ceremony, understanding the type of event which is best for your desired outcomes is important.

When considering live vs virtual/hybrid events, knowing which approach is most beneficial for your event comes down to a few different factors. These factors include things such as the size of the event,  the budget, and of course the location of your attendees. Live events require all the attendees to present in a physical location at the time of the event, virtual events are those in which everyone attends online, and hybrid events combine the two, where some people attend in person and others attend online.

Live Events

There is one obvious, very significant benefit to live events: the value of face-to-face interactions. In-person interactions drive deeper connections between all those attending. The opportunity to meet others in person, to network, to see and physically feel new products, and to experience the atmosphere, are all benefits that only a live event can deliver. Keeping in mind that a large majority of people will choose to attend an event mainly because of those opportunities for networking and social interaction, live events will always hold great importance in the industry as an effective form of communication.

Hybrid Events

Hybrid events combine the best of both worlds. When comparing virtual vs hybrid events, a hybrid event allows for some of the audience to attend in person, whilst others attend virtually. This is a great way for businesses to expand their overall reach, by making their event and its content accessible to individuals may be limited by logistical or financial reasons. This approach eliminates many of the physical barriers for both organisers and attendees, reducing costs and production overheads at the same time.

If we look at virtual vs hybrid events, hybrid events allow for far greater quality in production values. Event hosts or producers are able to appear from a studio, which can be completely customized to suit the event (think TV show set-up style!), offering superior lighting and sound, adding to the overall event experience.

Working to effectively incorporate virtual elements (such as live video streaming and Q&A sessions) into an in-person event can be a successful way for companies to grow whilst ensuring inclusivity and diversity within their business.

At a time where live events are not possible, you’ve probably been wondering about virtual vs hybrid events. Hybrid events are the preferred solution over virtual events. Hybrid events not only enable far better quality production values, the overall general result and content delivery is much more impactful, resulting in a greater return on your investment.

Virtual Events

Virtual events have gained a lot of traction this year, following restrictions being placed upon live events due to the global pandemic. Thankfully, virtual events generally offer a significant reduction in production costs and can be produced and presented much more quickly than live events. Virtual events have enabled businesses to continue to engage their audiences and stakeholders, even during a time where in-person events are not possible.

Accessibility is a huge factor; virtual events allow for accommodation for many more attendees than would be possible with a live event, since the limitations on venue size do not exist in a virtual setting. Prohibitive logistical and financial limitations on attendees are removed or at least reduced with virtual events too, enabling companies to expand their audience reach beyond their home city or country.

There are many benefits to hosting your event live, virtually or in a hybrid format and finding the correct format will require detailed planning and preparation. Considering the easiest options for your attendees may help to decide whether or not you proceed with a live or virtual format. Budgeting will hold a large proportion of you decision making as live events tend to be more costly than virtual, although it is worth considering the licensing implications associated with virtual or hybrid events. Taking into consideration these factors, choosing your format should be simple and effective to get the most out of your event.


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