The Three Factors That Make a Hybrid Event Successful

2020 was a year that pushed the event industry to rethink its strategies. It had to find ways to keep pace with technology to stay afloat. But not all were successful.

In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, some event companies had to close up shop. But there were also those that accepted the challenge and found a way to weather the storm. 

Some hard lessons were learned and event companies that successfully adapted are now looking forward to the new era in this business. 

Enter hybrid events. 

These events are an amalgam of virtual and in-person events. They give the event industry a chance to continue to provide amazing experiences and remain profitable. 

However, you shouldn’t fall for the misconception that you only need a virtual streaming platform to host such an event. Quite the contrary, hybrid events require the same setup as physical events. And the virtual streaming platform is there to boost participant interactions and engagements. 

But don’t get this wrong. The complexities of organizing and hosting a hybrid event are a great chance to boost the accessibility of your events and increase their reach. 

And this article will explore what you can do to organize amazing hybrid events. 

The Factors

Factor #1 – Create Shared Themes and Content

Providing high-quality content is critical to a successful hybrid event. The goal is to keep your audience at the edge of their seats regardless of how and where they join the event. 

So, how do you determine the content and the themes of your event? 

It’s almost the same as with in-person events. You base the content and theme on the event’s scope, sponsors, audience, stakeholders, and goals. 

Therefore, it’s vital to take the time to map out the event as it’ll be perceived by the participants. You need to apply this approach for virtual and in-person audiences as well as the speakers or presenters. 

After all, both virtual and in-person events offer a slightly different experience and feel – they each offer something unique to the audience. But it’s your job to make sure that those experiences perfectly align with what you’re trying to achieve. 

Of course, the theme, branding, and creative content must be shared virtually and in person. This usually means adjusting the venues to ensure consistent delivery for both. 

Also, media assets are to be shared across the board. This applies to both the digital and the printed content (though digital assets are usually ready first). 

The idea is to allow attendees to download, share, or stream everything seamlessly. This is particularly important if your event is to act as a portal between the virtual and the real world. 

Factor #2 – Consider the Time Zone Factor

Keep in mind that an event’s virtual delegates and participants dictate the start of the event. 

This may be obvious but it’s absolutely critical to account for their time zones. Otherwise, you could inadvertently create overlaps or gaps in your event. 

This part is also essential to ensure that worldwide audiences can join. 

But how do you achieve that? 

You may want to start the event later and limit the live presentations and experiences. Usually, it works great if you make the keynote speech marking the beginning of the event at around noon. You might also want to keep that speech to 20-30 minutes, which is ideal for keeping the audience, particularly the virtual, interested. 

Speaking of audience interest, you have to account for their attention span. 

The reality is that online participants have a shorter attention span. Due to that, it could be smart to make all presentations shorter and as interactive as possible. For example, Q&A sessions at the end of presentations can keep audiences engaged and interested for longer.  

Also, you should consider breaking up the event’s program into a good mix of virtual and live presentations. But be careful not to make the virtual audience feel left out, particularly those unable to make it to the live presentation for time zone reasons. 

Factor #3 – Set Expectations for Both Audiences Early

It’s vital for your audience to be ready for what’s coming. This means that you need to ensure virtual participants know how to join. Also, don’t neglect to inform your live presenters that there will be both physical and virtual attendees. 

One of the best ways to achieve that is to make this fact clear in your promotional and marketing activities. This will allow potential participants to join the event based on their travel restrictions and comfort level. 

Better yet, it’s recommended to set up a live chat where potential participants can engage well before the start of the event. With that, you’ll be able to gauge audience sentiment and answer questions concerning the registration process and attendance. 

The live chat feature also enables you to understand your audience’s needs and expectations better. On that note, it’s important to avoid overwhelming them with tech solutions or trying to cram everything into a relatively short timeframe. 

Instead, focus on attendee priorities and the feedback received in the live chat. Use the data to inform your schedule, kick-off time, and the balance of live and virtual keynotes. 

Of course, the whole point is to let attendees know about your plans well before the event. This is the best way to improve your event’s overall attendance. 

Hybrid Events – The New Standard

When all is said and done, hybrid events are here to stay. It’s probably safe to assume that all events will become hybrid moving forward, with some sort of virtual participation based on the event type. 

The key thing to remember is to plan the event with your audience in mind. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the same experience and level of engagement for those on-site and online. 

And, of course, all participants should have access to materials, presentations, and other event features. 

It’s true that achieving this could be tricky, especially when you wish to target global audiences. But we’re here to help. 
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MootUp was developed to provide advanced options for creating interactive and immersive booths that maximize sponsor and company exposure and engagement. All these capabilities across work in the widest range of devices possible including smartphones, laptops, and tablets without any installations.

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About MootUp

Founded by 20-year virtual-reality veteran, Danny Stefanic, MootUp is a truly immersive virtual event platform. The 3D web technology that powers the platform has evolved over the years to enable 3D environments accessible across any device from laptops, mobile phones, and VR headsets.

The MootUp team is a passionate group of developers, technologists, strategists, and account managers who all believe in the power of technology to help solve business challenges and connect communities around the globe.