How to Host a Hybrid Event in 2021

Hybrid events can seem like an oppressive topic. That’s why we take this great idea and point it to meaningful insights and practical conclusions.

Now you’ve probably heard the term hybrid, that’s all the events industry is talking about lately. And there is a good reason for that. Hybrid opportunity predictions are indeed the future and important strategy organizers should pursue in 2021.

But hybrid events are still a relatively new topic and there is a lot of confusion about what it really means to present them. This guide to hybrid opportunities explores the different aspects of hybrids, offering practical examples and advice from industry leaders so you can have confidence in your hybrid strategy.

What is the hybrid?

Let’s start over. A hybrid event integrates key local and virtual audiences to create a holistic experience. Live and digital opportunities have their respective advantages: if executed correctly, hybrid opportunities can take advantage of them. While the technology is still evolving, we have chosen this definition of work after discussions with our customers and partners:

The difference between a hybrid event schedule and a hybrid event

An important difference to recognize is that it is likely that all future events are not hybrid. We hope that strict face-to-face and strictly virtual events continue to provide unique value to event organizers.

While face-to-face events were the reference channel for audience engagement before 2020, and virtual events were the reference channel for all years 2020 and 2021, event teams will use a combination of these ongoing channels as part of a planning program. hybrid events.

That said, especially in 2021, when the size of the face-to-face audience is likely to remain limited, hybrid events that personally enhance the virtual participant’s experience will be a key tactic in the organization guides.

Why organize a hybrid event?

In addition to the ‘everyone does’ mentality, it is important to know why. I mean, why are you organizing this event? And why a hybrid event instead of a personal or virtual event? Here are some reasons to help you find the answer:

• There may be participants who are unable to travel due to health and safety concerns or international restrictions

• You may also have people who just don’t feel comfortable traveling or attending events in person

• Since business and personal budgets were very successful last year, your guests may not have the money to attend your event

• Your location may contain new maximum capacity limits that are not in line with the expected number of participants or goals

If you’re not sure what applies to your event, send a survey before the event (anonymously can be helpful to make people feel good) to pinpoint interest and get an idea of   how you like it finds. It can serve your audience better.

Examples of hybrid events

More than ¾ of the event organizers have not yet hosted a hybrid event. However, there are a handful of organizers who have had successful hybrid experiences. We’ve collected some of the best examples of hybrid skills that other professionals can learn from.

Update 21

Previously, hybrid events depended on patchwork and virtual solutions. But Empower 21 switched to a dedicated hybrid platform, creating a unified audience. Physical and virtual participants registered exactly the same way and had access to the same 49 sessions, ranging from lunches and panels to conferences and workshops. Even better, advanced integration allows participants to communicate in person with their virtual colleagues.

WEC Grapevine

Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the event organizer, described WEC Grapevine as ‘two events planned and presented simultaneously with a major takeaway to turn our profession into recovery’.

In practice, this meant a five-day face-to-face conference in Texas, with a low digital experience on top. They held 23 simultaneous sessions and five general events for 1,739 participants. A total of 608 people visited in person. The results were phenomenal, with a participant satisfaction of 93%.


Junction started as a single hackathon in Helsinki, Finland. Finns would go to the capital to experiment and demonstrate the technology

Hybrid probability models

When it comes to hybrid events, the possibilities are endless. This new era of events offers the opportunity to push the boundaries and test new ideas that we never thought about. But freedom can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start, so determining how other benefits approach the hybrid can be useful.

Last year, we organized thousands of events and saw several models and models. These are some hybrid models that can help you start brainstorming and give you an idea of   what is possible.

A place

This model consists of a space for a local audience that is virtually accessible to a much wider audience.

With a hybrid event platform, you can easily support on-site planning and production, providing virtual attendees with an excellent online experience. With this model, you can plan a live event while thinking and integrating the online audience perfectly. This model offers several challenges, such as captivating and presenting a virtual audience or establishing contact between personal and online visitors. But in general, it is one of the easiest ways to plan and improve a virtual event for virtual participants.


A network model offers several simultaneous face-to-face meetings that are virtually connected to each other.

The key to this model is a technology that can support multiple sessions that can take place worldwide. A network model allows participants to have a unique and intimate experience on the site while having virtual access to other sessions and participants.

Hub and talk

This model is a combination of the first two, consisting of a central face-to-face event broadcast elsewhere for much smaller face-to-face events (with the option to expand to virtual participants who can also call from elsewhere). Essentially, it is a series of micro-events virtually linked to a single main stage experience.

The Hub and Spoke model offers the thrill of a big event and opportunities for local events and networking. While the budget for these types of events may be the highest, it offers a truly connected and potentially global experience, allowing them to offer ‘spoken’ opportunities based on their local regions.

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