🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

A hybrid event combines elements of both virtual and in-person gatherings, allowing for a unique and dynamic experience that blends the advantages of online connectivity with the engagement and interaction of face-to-face meetings.

Are Hybrid Events the Growth Hack You Need?

Blend the energy of in-person gatherings with the convenience of virtual connections to break through to bigger global audiences and drive meaningful business outcomes like never before.

I’m sure many of you have tuned into a virtual event over the past couple years. 

With in-person gatherings on hold, going digital kept us connected when we needed it most.

But let’s be honest – staring at screens for hours can get old pretty fast. 

As wonderful as virtual events have been, they just don’t capture the magic of being together in person. 

Even now, we’re all craving that powerful experience of human connection.

This is why hybrid events are so exciting! 

They give you the best of both worlds by blending physical and virtual elements into one unified experience.

Whether it’s a tech conference, fundraising gala, or networking mixer, hybrid opens up a whole new world of possibilities. 

Now people across the globe can meaningfully participate without geographical limitations.

And the cool thing is, going hybrid doesn’t water down the in-person event at all. In fact, it enhances it! 

Virtual attendees expand your reach and diversity of perspectives. Just imagine the vibrant exchange of ideas when you get people together from all walks of life.

So how do you go about creating an awesome hybrid event

First, let’s look at what defines this new frontier.

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One Event. Two Experiences.

Skillfully engage both your in-person and online attendees through our cutting-edge hybrid event production services.

What Defines a Hybrid Event?

Hybrid events allow guests on-site and virtual participants to connect in a single event space, benefitting everyone. 

Create immersive hybrid events that combine in-person activities at a venue with interactive participation by online attendees.

Hybrid events offer a thoughtfully crafted experience that caters equally to both on-location and online attendees.

Successful hybrid events create a true “No-Gap” environment where remote guests never feel isolated from the main in-person event.

While hybrid events can include meetings, social justice conferences, tech trade shows, non-profit galas, awards ceremonies, or informal mixers, some basics remain the same across all formats.

1. Synced Agenda and Programming

Content should resonate with in-person and virtual viewers for a smooth and engaging experience for everyone. 

How? Try these programming ideas:

  • Multi-Format Sessions: Blending live and on-demand content for varied schedules and attention spans.
  • Production Considerations: Venues, stages, and tech equipped to support remote viewing and participation seamlessly.
  • Thoughtful Scheduling: In-person event times thoughtfully consider online time zones for maximal access.

2. Holistic Networking and Engagement

Meaningful interactivity before, during, and after the event drives impactful connections. 

Popular tactics include:

  • Pre-Event Matchmaking: Linking aligned attendees for scheduled 1:1 video meetings.
  • Integrated Polling and Q&A: Merging online and in-room participation.
  • AI Recommendations: Personalized networking suggestions based on interests.
  • Virtual Roundtables: Encouraging deeper dialogue in small group video chats.
  • Hybrid Lounges: Informal networking areas linking virtual and on-site guests via video.
  • Digital Contact Sharing: Enabling attendees to exchange info to extend conversations.

3. Consistent Event Support and Resources

A consistent experience enhances satisfaction by providing:

  • Unified Registration/Onboarding: Identical access to platforms, logistics and contacts.
  • Ongoing Technical Support: Dedicated help desk serving both online and on-site.
  • Mirrored Communication: Equal access to content, schedules and engagement opportunities.

With these core elements strategically executed, hybrid events unlock significant benefits beyond convenience and cost savings.

How Hybrid Events Can Supercharge Your Goals

Hybrid events open up a world of possibilities that can help you achieve your organization’s most important goals on a whole new level. 

Imagine your mission reaching two or three times as many people – that many more people to help you create a real impact. 

As you start planning for your next event, keep these hybrid superpowers top of mind.

1. Bringing People Together in a Powerful Community

For mission-driven groups like charities, associations, nonprofits, and causes, hybrid events reinforce an unstoppable sense of community that breaks through regional limitations.

These events create special shared moments and interactions between members scattered across different cities, states, or even countries.

From Our Portfolio: The Climate Social Science Network had to transition their in-person climate policy conference to fully virtual. 

We & Goliath helped organize and produce it, creating marketing materials that promoted a 450+ person event with 200 attendee sessions focused on climate justice solutions.

2. Rev Up Sales with Killer Product Demos

Hybrid product launches give remote teams, resellers and customers equal access to hands-on demos that drive confidence and purchases. 

Expand reach and accelerate sales.

For example, a software company could gather beta testers, trainers, and key customers together virtually and in person for a hybrid launch event. 

The ability to provide immersive, engaging demos both onsite and through interactive digital displays would accelerate sales.

Give more people direct access to what makes your product great – that’s the hybrid difference.

Read our guide on product launch activities for more useful tips! 

3. Expand Your Reach Exponentially

Every event organizer wants maximum visibility for their event.

Hybrid events increase your potential reach by seamlessly capturing shareable content across in-person and digital experiences.

Repurpose amazing content across multiple digital channels, creating endless touchpoints.

From Our Portfolio: For the recent Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment (GFRR) conference, We & Goliath created promotional videos and designed graphics optimized for social media.

This expanded reach 5X more than previous years.

4. Foster Inclusivity and Access

One of the most meaningful impacts of hybrid is how it accelerates inclusivity by providing more affordable access.

Groups or individuals who might have faced barriers due to finances, mobility limitations, health concerns or other restrictions now fully participate.

More voices and perspectives contribute to the conversation.

From Our Portfolio: For ClickUp’s LevelUp conference, We & Goliath integrated human-edited closed captioning for full accessibility to 30,000+ virtual attendees worldwide.

5. Gather Better Data to Inform Your Mission

Organizations gather richer attendee data and feedback around interests, behaviors, and needs with hybrid events.

Data helps event organizers better understand their audience segments.

Good data guides smarter decisions around programming, product development, messaging, future experiences, and more.

From Our Portfolio: We & Goliath’s marketing and SEO efforts helped I Meditate New York’s event go from 100 to 2,700 attendees.

Website visitors grew over 300% to 7,000+ organic visitors.

Get “The Event Success Playbook”

Our proven event planning playbook has step-by-step strategies to increase qualified leads 25%+, grow revenue, and boost engagement.

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Recent Shifts in the Dynamics of Events

The world of events changed dramatically over the past few years. 

Industry leaders and world changes have learned to pivot to hybrid for revolutionary impact. 

What was once only traditional in-person gatherings has evolved to combine virtual and hybrid events. 

It’s a whole new ballgame, and these fresh models open up incredible opportunities if you play your cards right.

All types of organizations now leverage events well beyond one-off activities – they’ve become the hub that brings together your most vital communities to achieve those big hairy goals we all chase after.

Events are where the magic happens, where your brand builds loyal fans and purpose-driven movements take hold. 

As you plan your next event, think beyond a party or presentation.

Think catalyst.

Think loudspeaker.

That’s the mentality you need to embrace the power of events today.

Events Bring People Together and Ignite Communities

Experiential events have always allowed real human connections and relationship-building that strictly online events can’t replicate.

Attendees feel that power of shared experience and belonging – it’s unmatched. 

Now imagine those authentic interactions seamlessly extended to virtual participants halfway across the globe!

Hybrid events break down geographic barriers so you can nurture a tight-knit community united by shared purpose, not just location. 

Conferences now foster new chapter networks, concerts feature livestream fan meetups, trade shows demo products with remote teams – the opportunities abound.

Lean into this community-building superpower only events provide.

Give more people access to belonging through a digital doorway.

Your brand, cause or organization will thrive with a strengthened, engaged community driving it forward together.

Events Capture Attention First, Then Hearts and Minds

Today, we all battle digital distraction and information overload – your audiences and customers are no different. 

So when you can capture someone’s full, undivided attention? That’s gold. 

Events deliver. Those meaningful moments of total focus make events the perfect antidote to nonstop digital noise.

And hybrid takes it up a notch by capturing more attention across a broader audience. 

Just imagine a product launch webcast’s far-reaching impact on all remote sales regions or a hybrid fundraiser that compels donors through an inspiring virtual gala.

Attention is the new currency – events let you earn it and influence hearts and minds. And hybrid places that power on steroids.

Events Generate High-Quality Leads

A well-executed event drives intense awareness and interest as a top-of-funnel power play. 

The connections, content and activities spark meaningful conversations that convert new audiences into high-quality leads.

Now unleash that lead gen beast through hybrid outreach. 

Widen the top of your funnel using virtual elements to attract bigger audiences. Then qualify those new contacts onsite through personalized demos and experiential interactions that drive preference.

Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

Events will Evolve in 2024

As we move into 2024, the world of events will only continue evolving rapidly. 

This year’s landscape will be shaped by three game-changing trends: revolutionary event technology, accelerating hybrid event adoption, and a heightened focus on responsible events.

Let’s explore what’s in store and how you can prepare your events business for the year ahead.

1. Exciting New Event Tech Will Redefine Experiences

On the technology front, several immersive tech innovations promise to transform events in 2024 by enabling more personalized, streamlined and engaging experiences for attendees.

AI and Predictive Data Take Personalization to New Heights

Sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities will allow events to deliver hyper-targeted, dynamic content tailored to each attendee’s interests and behaviors. 

Similarly, predictive data analytics will optimize agenda scheduling and vendor/sponsor activations based on projected wants and needs – before attendees even realize what those are!

Voice-Activated Assistants Enhance Experience Via Conversation

One innovation to watch is voice-activated assistants at events in 2024. 

Powered by artificial intelligence, these conversational platforms allow attendees to access information and services through simple voice interactions.

Imagine being an attendee who can ask “What sessions relate to social media strategy?” or “Where is the closest coffee shop?” and get an instant, natural-language answer from an event assistant app.

Immersive Tech Like AR/VR Takes Events Into New Dimensions

The most exciting event tech developments are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities. 

This immersive, interactive technology creates uniquely captivating attendee experiences.

In 2024, expect events to outfit booths with VR headsets offering dynamic 3D product simulations and virtual venue tours. 

Attendees can strap on AR glasses to access layered information and gamified interactions as they explore the physical venue space. 

Fantasy elements will converge seamlessly with real environments for living, breathing events.

Tip: As an event organizer, take notes – experimenting with one or two AR/VR activations is a great way to draw buzz while delighting attendees with a glimpse into the event medium’s high-tech future.

2. Hybrid Events Become the Norm Across Industries

Beyond cutting-edge event tech, the most influential trend for 2024 will be accelerating hybrid event adoption across all industries. 

Hybrid events converge physical venues and virtual participation into an unforgettable communal experience.

After years of gradual growth, hybrid event adoption has hit the point where event organizers project exponential year-over-year increases. 

What’s driving the explosion in popularity?

Hybrids Unlock Event Access and Flexibility

Hybrid models provide significantly broader access and flexibility compared to in-person-only events, with many attendance options:

  • Join physically to network or experience immersive environments directly
  • Attend remotely to avoid travel, take advantage of personal schedule flexibility
  • Seamlessly transition between physical/virtual participation each day

Hybrid knocks down geographical barriers, availability, mobility limitations and more.

Attendees can optimize around individual needs through built-in omnichannel flexibility.

For organizers, that means wider reach and revenue opportunities from larger, more diverse audiences.

As a bonus, virtual event components leave a smaller environmental footprint – a strategic benefit we will discuss in a minute.

Hybrids Unite In-Person and Virtual Attendees

With hybrid adoption accelerating, a major shift must happen in 2024: designing shared experiences that engage both physical and virtual attendees equally.

Rather than siloed groups, hybrid events cultivate an intimate feeling of community through:

  • Multi-channel content delivery tailored to modality
  • Facilitated cross-channel networking and conversations
  • Gamification driving collaboration across groups/locations
  • Creative technological unity, like livestreaming AR/VR demos

Though logistically more complex, hybrid events yield far richer relationship-building, perspective-sharing and vibrant community – that’s why they are quickly becoming the gold standard for must-attend industry events.

3. Events Embracing Responsibility and Sustainability

With skyrocketing hybrid adoption, the third macro trend for 2024 focuses on strategically embedding social responsibility into events.

Events Aligning with Broader ESG Initiatives

As societal stakeholder expectations around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues grow, event programming, sourcing and partnerships will be pressed to walk the walk in 2024.

With large assembled audiences tuned into social issues, events become the perfect medium to:

  • Spotlight diverse voices/causes through inclusive programming
  • Set an example of sustainability commitments via greener venues and vendors
  • Leverage events’ influence and attendee activism toward community building

This means proactively addressing event elements like:

Environmental Sustainability:

  • Reducing waste, limiting branded swag, optimizing recycle/compost streams
  • Analyzing areas to minimize event carbon footprint
  • Incorporating renewable materials

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Scheduling representative programming: speakers, topics, causes
  • Enhancing accessibility and financial assistance options
  • Facilitating affinity-based networking

Ethical Sourcing & Production

  • Vetting vendor/partner labor practices, sustainability ratings
  • Seeking brands upholding positive social values
  • Promoting equitable local sourcing

Community Participation

  • Recruiting local organizations as partners
  • Enabling attendee micro-volunteering
  • Building post-event participation into city-wide events

These four pillars provide a model to architect responsibility that mirrors your organization’s and audience’s values.

Responsible Events Strengthen Brand Reputation

While event sustainability involves real work, the payoff in trust and goodwill is immense.

As society increasingly scrutinizes brands on societal impact, purpose-driven events directly strengthen brand affinity. 

Attendees feel good participating in something larger than themselves.

The events you architect set the stage to powerfully communicate mission and values held dear by your organization and community. 

That’s why responsible events will thrive as a top trend in 2024 – better expressing the heart of great brands.

Want expert guidance & exclusive deals on top online event software? Contact us today and save!

As a preferred production partner with top virtual event platforms, we get exclusive discounts and pass the savings along to our clients.

Virtual vs Hybrid Events: Which Format is Better?

As we emerge from the pandemic’s strictly virtual event-only era, many event planners question whether to return to fully in-person events or adopt a hybrid model.

Both formats have merits, but hybrid uniquely balances digital reach and irreplaceable human connections for a more immersive attendee experience overall.

The Accessibility of Virtual

Virtual events achieved incredible advances in accessibility and reach during COVID, allowing participation across geographic and schedule barriers for maximum attendance. 

Without travel burdens, guests could join easily from preferred devices, controlling their viewing environment and distractions. 

Lower costs passed to attendees enable free or affordable access. 

And robust analytics provided data insights into audience demographics and engagement.

The Power of In-Person

However, virtual events lack the communal energy and relationship-building cultivated through in-person interactions. 

That vulnerability when people share physical space fuels lasting connections and networking chemistry. 

Tangible, sensory brand activations at live events captivate audiences beyond 2D screens. 

And blending pre-produced digital content with live entertainment and tours creates a multi-dimensional brand experience.

Hybrid Strikes the Balance

This is where hybrid events bridge the gap. 

They merge the convenience and accessibility of virtual with the irreplaceable face-to-face interactions of live. 

Attendees get the “best of both worlds”—the digital and the tangible. 

It’s an innovative format that solves the common drawbacks of virtual-only events.

Overcoming Virtual Fatigue

Online events can be challenging because they lack the energy of human interaction, leading to online fatigue. 

Without in-person conversations between sessions, interest fades quickly. 

Passive viewing on a mobile screen often doesn’t captivate attention like 3D immersion. 

Virtual networking can’t cultivate nuanced social bonds like in-person interactions can. 

Hybrid events are the solution. 

Combining personal interactions with digital convenience inspires longer and deeper event engagement. 

Live brand experiences display the identity and culture that virtual lacks. 

In-person relationship building brings back the nostalgia and shelf-life missing in virtual. 

Organic networking dialogue builds community beyond surface-level interactions.

Navigating Complexity

Hybrid events can be challenging. 

Merging digital and live components multiplies moving parts. 

Without defined best practices, more trial and error is needed. 

Combining physical and virtual content strains event teams and budgets. 

More access points also multiply security considerations around data, safety, and inclusion.

Savvy event professionals not any challenges and make improvements. 

Truly innovative hybrid events combine digital convenience with live participation.

These immersive experiences allow organizations to expand reach and build stronger audience relationships.

In the post-pandemic era, hybrid events are ideal for visionary brands – establishing deeper, authentic connections with the target audience.

The Future is Hybrid: Unlock Greater Reach and Impact for Your Events

The event landscape grows more dynamic every passing day. 

You aren’t alone. 

We’re here as your guide throughout your hybrid experience. 

By combining the energy of in-person gatherings with the convenience and scale of virtual connections, your organization will break through to bigger global audiences.

Let our award-winning team provide the actionable insights you need to craft targeted engagement across physical and digital environments. 

With thoughtful planning and flawless execution, your events will drive meaningful business outcomes like never before.

The future is hybrid. 

Are you ready to join forces? 

Together we design unforgettable events that forge a profound and lasting impact for your organization. 

Unlock greater reach and amplify your influence through the virtually unstoppable power of hybrid.

We & Goliath

We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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