Hybrid Versus Physical:
Knowing the Difference

How to choose between physical or hybrid events?

The events landscape looks a whole lot different in 2022. From once flying to a location and shaking hands was vastly changed to video calls and the ongoing phrase “you’re on mute.” The pandemic caused companies to pivot their offerings and engage in more digital solutions. Now as the world opens, there is a desire to go back to face-to-face meetings and events. However, this is not game over for the virtual world. If we have learned anything from the past couple of years – there are some real advantages to going digital. Enter hybrid events.  

The Hybrid Approach

To clarify, a hybrid event is both physical and digital. What does that mean? This type of engagement gives your audience and speakers the ability to join via video conference or in-person.  

A huge perk for hybrid events includes the opportunity for you to invite a wider audience. This also applies to your speakers. Global companies now have the advantage to host a hybrid event with better attendance from several regions. For example, if you have teams spread out in New York, London, and Sydney – you have the option to host the event in one location while the others call in virtually, improving communication amongst teams across three time zones.  By attending an event virtually, this also cuts out costly commutes and can help you avoid cancelling other meetings and days out of the office. 

What Success Looks Like

A great event can be measured by engagement. But how can you engage and interact with audience both digitally and in-person?  

  • Interactive polls and surveys: Gauge what your entire audience is thinking and get them to come up and respond to the results on-stage or on-screen.
  • Live Q&A: Let in-person members be able to raise hands and ask questions while virtual audience members can ask them via chat or be digitally shown on-screen. 
  • Bridge online and offline: Add a physical element such as a wine tasting for the entire audience to enjoy together. 
  • Breakout rooms: Host smaller, interactive sessions for audience members to network.  
  • Look at the overall audience experience. 
  • Fun agenda: No one wants to watch presentation after presentation. Host panel discussions, fireside chats, and webinars to make the entire experience an interesting one! 

This real-time interaction can be seamless with less setup in a hybrid space. Want to find out how to create an immersive virtual event experience? Check out this Jugo article. 

Let’s get Physical

With all the pros of hybrid events, physical events still prove to be missed and longed for by our clients. How many times have we said or thought “next time I hope we share this conversation over dinner” or “look forward to shaking your hand in person!” As so many craved getting “back to normal” you already see flocks of people at Coachella, baseball games, and trade shows.  

So how do physical events, after years without, remain part of the events landscape? The simplicity of everyone in one room, catching up with colleagues, networking, and being a part of something together in one place is hard to negotiate. Although, there have been and will be some long-standing changes to keep in mind. As companies look at their ESG targets, many noted the financial gain from less traveling. Meaning more company regulation around who is traveling for what – will be prominent. Another point to note, Covid restrictions are changing region by region at a rapid rate. With testing requirements and mask mandates starting and stopping at any given time. The unpredictable future may make it difficult to plan a physical event long-term, but now we know how to engage virtually at scale. 

So, when thinking about hosting you next event – weigh all the options. Most importantly, look at your potential outcomes, cost, and the overall audience experience.  

Need more to think about? Check out our article on How to Prepare a Successful Hybrid Meeting.

To learn more about how Jugo’s virtual event offering can help you to address the shifting virtual world, check out some more of our insights below.  

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