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Your Hybrid Event Questions Answered

Have a question about hybrid events? The LAI Live team is here to help!

The LAI Live experts are ready to discuss all things related to hybrid events. Here are our answers to some of the questions we've been getting recently about the hybrid event format. You can reach us at 202-783-0300 when you're ready to connect with our team and start brainstorming ideas for your next meeting.

You can also watch our team directly answer your hybrid event questions in the on-demand Events Plan V virtual and hybrid event series. Check out our latest Plan V installment on hybrid events.

What is a hybrid event? Does LAI Live offer hybrid event solutions?

Hybrid describes an event – be it a conference, tradeshow, board meeting, or other type – that is produced to include content for both in-person and virtual audiences. LAI Live team members are experts at producing hybrid events and can help you create an equally engaging experience for both your in-person and online audiences no matter which stage of the planning process you’re in.

What are the advantages of hosting a hybrid event?

The hybrid format gives you the opportunity to extend your event to its maximum potential audience. Some of the main advantages of going hybrid include:

  • Expanding your reach. While the in-person portion of the event may sell out, the virtual portion will give people who are unable to attend in person the opportunity to attend from anywhere in the world.
  • Broader keynote speaker options. Taking traveling logistics and location restrictions out of the equation opens up the possibilities of securing speakers who may not have been able to participate in person.
  • Greater flexibility. Opting to go hybrid with LAI Live ensures unmatched freedom for you and your audiences. By including both in-person and virtual components, you’ll have more options when it comes to venue selection, format, and all other aspects of hosting an event.

Which hybrid event format is right for my event?

There are a wide variety of hybrid meetings you could produce and the one you choose depends on your overall event goals. Some of the most common hybrid event formats include:

  • The True Hybrid Experience
  • The Studio Experience
  • The Watch Party
  • Hub-and-Spoke
  • Simulive
  • The In-Person Reception
  • The On-Demand Experience
  • The Trending Hybrid
  • Just-in-Case

We’ve created a hybrid events glossary that defines each. Check it out and see which type best suits your next event. 

Curious about what one or more of these entails? No matter the format you choose, the LAI Live team can help produce it. Our clients typically select one of the hybrid formats listed above, but we can customize any format to bring your vision for your event to life.

What are some of the challenges of hosting a hybrid event?

As with fully in-person or fully virtual events, the hybrid format is not without its challenges. Some of the challenges you may encounter when planning a hybrid event include:

  • Creating a unified experience: The first key to success when planning is to remember that the hybrid format is one event, not two. If forgotten, there exists the possibility of inadvertently planning one in-person event and one virtual event that run parallel to each other rather than integrating together. Choosing the right virtual event platform and having an event planning partner, such as the LAI Live team, are two steps you can take to ensure you’re hosting a hybrid event rather than a composite one.
  • Keeping both audiences engaged. While a portion of your event’s content will overlap, something that’s a hit with one audience could be a miss with the other. That’s why, when planning hybrid events, it’s important to create exclusive content catered to both groups. Additionally, while opening up the event to a wider audience will expand your reach, differing time zones add another layer of complexity to the planning and should be considered when planning out your agenda.
  • Team functionality. Given the dual nature of hybrid events, well-defined roles are a must for your in-person and virtual teams. Any gaps or breakdowns in communication can lead to difficulties during your event and a poor experience for your team, talent, and speakers. There should be no question as to the tasks each member of the team is responsible for and it’s highly recommended that you rehearse several time to iron out any difficulties before the day of your event.

At LAI, we can help you tackle these challenges, navigate the hybrid format, and deliver a stand-out event experience that meets your overall goals.

Has LAI Live produced any hybrid events? What do they look like?

We’ve had the opportunity to work with many clients on a variety of hybrid events in most formats imaginable. See highlights from some of our recent projects on our website.

Which technology platforms does LAI use to produce hybrid events and how does it sync with the live experience?

As with fully virtual events, LAI Live is platform agnostic. Our flexibility allows us to work with all virtual platforms and venues to match your event goals and user experience needs. We’ll help you deliver an experience that’s the best fit to wow your organization and your audience. Read up on our hybrid platform comparisons.

Can my in-person audience interact with the virtual audience in a hybrid setting?

Today’s technology makes it possible to create opportunities to connect your in-person audience with virtual audience members from all over the world. There are various options for integrating your audiences for parts of your hybrid event. When you work with the LAI Live team, we’ll help you implement these creative solutions and incorporate components that will make it feel like everyone is together in one place. Learn more about getting audiences involved through gamification.

How can I create the best experience for my hybrid audiences?

The key to creating the best hybrid experience is knowing which aspects of the event are best shared between the in-person and virtual audiences, as well as when and how to implement content that is exclusive to either group. There may be features of your event that will enhance the experience for the in-person audience while doing the opposite for the virtual audience – think loud noises – and vice versa. The LAI Live team members are experts at planning content that connects your audiences, while also engaging them in ways that align best with the medium on which they’re attending.

What are some best practices LAI recommends for hybrid events?

Like in-person and virtual events, hybrid events come with their own set of guidelines and best practices. Some of the quick tips we can offer as you plan your next event are to:

  • Acknowledge your virtual audience
  • Create specialized content for your in-person and virtual audiences while providing a consistent experience
  • Allow for flexible registration
  • Test your technology multiple times to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

Take a look at our Hybrid Events Acronym for a more detailed breakdown of what to consider when going hybrid.​​​​​​​

How does the cost of hybrid event production compare to the cost of a fully in-person or fully virtual event?

Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach, the LAI Live team helps build and produce hybrid events based on each of our clients’ unique requirements. As such, costs will vary depending on the chosen hybrid event format, as well as other elements you wish to include in your event.

How does managing talent differ in a hybrid format?

We provide all the same talent management services for hybrid events that we do for in-person or virtual events. If your talent is booked through Leading Authorities and appearing in-person for your hybrid event, we’ll handle travel, accommodations, and all the other logistics as we would for an in-person event. If they’re appearing virtually, we’ll provide any training needed to ensure they’re comfortable with the technology available to them and ready to wow your audience with confidence.

One of the perks of leveraging a virtual speaker for your hybrid event is that it opens your meeting up to more potential speakers. With travel and accommodations taken out of the equation, there are more opportunities to bring in big-name talent or speakers outside your location at cost-effective rates.

Does LAI anticipate that the popularity of hybrid events will be sustained into the future?

Yes! Even as in-person events become the norm again, the flexibility and expanded reach that hybrid events provide means that groups will not want to abandon virtual event elements entirely. Hybrid events are here to stay and that’s a great thing for the industry.​​​​​​​ See what others in the industry are saying about hybrid events.

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Do you have more questions?

Send us your questions and we'll have an answer for you. Reach out to our team today to get more information on hybrid events and how you can utilize this format for your next meeting.