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A Guide to the Most Popular Hybrid Event Formats

A Guide to the Most Popular Hybrid Event Formats

Hybrid events are among the leading trends for meetings for the remainder of 2021 and beyond and it’s easy to see why so many groups are excited to leverage this format moving forward. First and foremost, hybrid events combine in-person events with all the best aspects of virtual events.

The virtual component of hybrid events offers several benefits, including:

  • Increased reach: Attendance is no longer limited to those who join in person. Virtual attendees can join from anywhere in the world.
  • Added convenience: Virtual attendees don’t have to travel to attend your event. Instead, they can fire up their laptop or mobile device and join the event in real time.
  • More cost effective: Hybrid events offer the potential to cut costs by keeping the in-person component more intimate.

Additionally, hybrid events offer the benefit of flexible formats. There are several ways to host a hybrid event, each with its own appeal. The type of hybrid event you choose is dependent on your vision for your event, but we believe that you can’t go wrong with any of the formats.

The LAI Live team has compiled a list of the most common hybrid event formats and provided it below. Take a look at the possibilities for your next hybrid meeting:

A True Hybrid Experience

Most likely what comes to mind when you think of a hybrid event – people attend both in person and virtually. Elements of the experience, including the keynote speaker(s) are consistent for both audiences, but there are also components that are exclusive to the in-person audience and those that are exclusive to the virtual audience. Learn more on how to prepare to go hybrid with your event.

A True Hybrid Experience

The Studio Experience

The speaker presents in a more intimate setting, whether just for the virtual audience or in front of a small crowd as well. Having even a small crowd is enough to capture the energy and feedback one expects from a live event. Check out our hybrid approach for the Inova Health System's most recent event.

The Studio Experience

The Watch Party

Attendees join together for small in-person groups to watch a live or recorded stream of the speaker/session. This opens an event up to a wider variety of speakers as scheduling conflicts and travel accommodations become less of an issue. 

The Watch Party Hybrid Glossary


A watch party on a larger scale, in this format, the hub represents the location where the event is taking place. Instead of just one watch party, there are multiple watch parties, which also serve as mini events with their own content and networking opportunities. These are the spokes.

Hub-and-Spoke Hybrid


Format in which the in-person component of the event is prerecorded but is presented to virtual attendees unedited to match the live experience as closely as possible.

Simulive Hybrid Glossary

The In-Person Reception

Contents of the event are presented in a virtual format; however, the reception and other networking opportunities take place in person.

The In-Person Reception

The On-Demand Experience

Allows virtual registrants to view the sessions and content from the in-person component post-event.

The On-Demand Experience Hybrid Glossary

The Trending Hybrid

An in-person-centered hybrid event type without the no recording/no documenting restrictions that are often present at events. Attendees are encouraged to record and take pictures during the event and post them onto social media. There is no paying virtual audience, but those following posts from the events will get highlights and soundbites of much of the key content in their feeds. 

The Trending Hybrid


This event is intended to be attended in person, but logistics are in place should the need arise to transition to a virtual event – whether partially or fully. While this option is available, the LAI Live team does not recommend it due to the fact that the nature of this format typically results in the virtual experience being considered an afterthought. Check out our blog on co-planning for hybrid and virtual events.

Just-in-Case Hybrid Glossary

Start Planning Your Hybrid Event Today!

The LAI Live team members are experts at producing hybrid experiences that provide the best of all worlds for in-person, hybrid, and virtual attendees. Still not sure what a hybrid event stands for? Learn more here. Interested in chatting about ideas for your upcoming event? Get in touch with us by:

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