Virtual or hybrid: Which format is right for your event?

By Samantha Gennett (Staff Writer)

In these distance-conscious times, you are presented with more options than ever when it comes to planning your event. Pre-pandemic, live events were the standard; now, event-planners must consider virtual and hybrid options. In order to decide the format your event will take on, you need to consider several factors: purpose, budget, timeline, event size, and the geography of attendees. Luckily, MeetApp has got you covered regardless of how your event transpires.

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Purpose

Firstly, you must consider the ultimate goal of your event. Is it to increase networking? Is it to continue education? Is it to solve a problem? Ask yourself the reason that you are gathering your attendees. If engagement and collaboration are important to you, then consider planning a hybrid event where attendees have a chance to interact and bond in a more personable. If much of your event is lecture-based, then a virtual option might be more suitable.  MeetApp’s features always allow for different types of communication and interaction, even if your audience members are all completely remote.

Budget

Depending on how much money you have to spend on your event, know that a virtual event is probably the most cost-effective. In addition to cutting down on travel costs, you also needn’t spend outrageous amounts of money on equipment, signage, printouts, refreshments, etc. A virtual event does not require as big of a budget as a hybrid one. However, a hybrid event would still be less expensive than pre-pandemic live-events due to the smaller amount of people gathering in one location.

Timeline

If you have tons of time to prepare for your event, then you can pull off a successful hybrid event.  The farther into the future your event is, the higher the chances are that a portion of people will begin feeling more comfortable attending in-person.  With some comfortable enough to attend in-person, and some still needing to log in virtually, considering a hybrid event is your best option. If you are planning on the fly, there is no need to stress because a solely virtual event can easily be accomplished.  A virtual event can always be successfully launched if you need to be relieved of the burdens of location, equipment, and travel.

Event size

If you expect hundreds (or thousands!) of people to be participating in your event, you might find it easier to coalesce that number of people virtually. For events with a smaller audience, hybrid is super attainable. Try to gauge how many attendees are interested in attending live and how many prefer to remain virtual. Depending on what those numbers are, you can best choose which direction your event will take.

Geography

Coinciding with size, if many of your attendees are widely spread out over the globe then it is probably easier to gather virtually. On the other hand, if many of your attendees are within reasonable travelling distance and would enjoy attending in-person, a hybrid event would be your best bet. Factor in proximity and willingness to travel when deciding between hybrid or virtual.

After considering all of this, you can better plan your event so that it meets everyone’s needs. Just know that whichever form your event takes on, MeetApp’s platform is flexible and easily customizable for you to have a successful event.

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