Have you considered hosting a hybrid event for your clients? Hybrid events allow companies to get their name out on a local level while also reaching people around the globe who have an interest in what a company offers.

Choose any topic imaginable and you can find a way to offer at least some of the workshops online. Keep in mind that some people may not yet feel 100% comfortable attending events in-person in a post-COVID world. A hybrid event offers something for everyone.

How much of your event is in person and how much is virtual is completely up to you. Some people plan to record physical events for the hybrid approach. Others plan specific workshops to be online and others to be in real life.

Why Are Hybrid Events Important?

People who might not travel to a physical event will give a virtual one a try. By going hybrid, you can reach more people and engage more potential customers than ever before. Harvard Business Review recently reported about 50% of corporate event attendees feel hybrid events are the format to go with in the future.

Source: https://www.marketingcharts.com/cross-media-and-traditional/trade-shows-and-events-traditional-and-cross-channel-117826

There are some things you need to overcome when planning a hybrid event. Around 49% of B2B company leaders worry about making the digital experience as good as the physical one.

Since many people wouldn’t attend an in-person event, you expand your reach by going with a hybrid event where some of the material is online or people can tune in for a lesser fee from the comfort of their homes.

Some of the best reasons to consider a hybrid event for your marketing clients include:

1. Build Brand Awareness

One of the goals of hosting an event is to build awareness of your brand. A hybrid event expands your reach, so awareness grows more so than it would from an in-person alone.

The more people who attend your event, the more word-of-mouth marketing you’ll see. Ask online attendees to share links to a few workshop recordings you offer to build awareness.

Keep the most intense and best information for those who sign up for the conference. However, you can certainly share some basic information type workshops with the general public on video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

2. Build Customer Relationships

Keep in mind that physical and virtual audiences are present in a variety of ways. It’s much easier to engage people when you’re in the same room with them. On the other hand, virtual attendees may pay more attention as they’ll attend or view sessions when they are more rested and ready to pay attention.

The key to planning a successful hybrid event is audience engagement. You’ll see a better return on investment when you create an army of passionate followers who tell others about what you do. Create a sense of community via social media sites and by reaching out.

3. Establish Your Expertise

Virtual events give you a chance to show off to a wider audience how much knowledge you and your panel of speakers have. Ideally, you’ll recruit the best in the industry to speak on a variety of topics. Each workshop should be highly relevant to your customers.

Think about the common questions your clients have when they call customer service. What are the pain points they face? If you can solve their problems by sharing information, you’d be seen as an expert in your field. Your business will be the name that comes to mind whenever someone has a related issue.

Creating material you share online may even help with search engine optimization. If you’re seen as an expert, people will be much more likely to visit your website and turn to you for advice and help. Search engines will see the positive reviews and level of content on your site and rank you higher.

4. Help Your Sponsors

Do you have people who sponsor your events? Switching to a hybrid model and expanding your reach means sponsors get more exposure.

When someone offers goodies or advertising dollars for your event, they invest a certain amount of time, energy and money. If you want to give them a better return on investment (ROI), expanding the number of people who see their name because they sponsor your event is a great way to start.

You’ll attract more sponsors when you have a proven ROI for them. Your vendors are a great place to start for potential investors for your event. The more funds and things that get covered, the more you’ll have to attract high profile speakers. The more famous keynotes you have, the more people will attend your event.

5. Retain Top Customers

If you want to grow your business, you need to keep the customers you have. If you’re constantly bleeding clients, it’s difficult to ever build momentum. How do you keep people with your brand? You provide for their needs and solve their problems. An event is just one way to offer solutions.

Experts estimate about 80% of people feel a stronger connection to your brand if customer service solves a problem. Now, imagine an entire conference devoted to making your customers’ lives better with information or ways to use your product or service. How much closer would your current clients feel to you?

Source: https://www.marketingcharts.com/brand-related/brand-loyalty-224568

Figuring out how to drive brand loyalty isn’t an easy task. Product quality is the number one consideration. However, a strong sense of community and having a social impact also rank on the list of reasons people choose one brand over another.

6. Gain Flexibility

If the pandemic taught marketers and business owners anything, it was that plans can and do get canceled. Last minute COVID-19 outbreaks, people running into problems with airlines canceling flights and even the rising cost of everything can put a hamper on the best of events.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043366/novel-coronavirus-2019ncov-cases-worldwide-by-country/

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still causing infections around the world. In July 2022, the USA had the most cases with 9

A hybrid event allows attendees to attend virtually if they come down with the coronavirus or some other illness. People who live a long way from the physical venue won’t have to worry about complicated travel plans or costs. They can attend by logging onto their computer in the comfort of their own home.

Another way you gain flexibility is by limiting the number of real-life attendees. You’ll need less space for the venue. Imagine you lose an event location the week before your conference. It’s much easier to scramble and find a new place for a handful of attendees than it is to change it for hundreds of people.

7. Increase Reach

Hybrid events give you a lot of options to increase your reach. Whether you have live events online or you pre-record, you’ll have a record of each workshop. You can then upload them in whole to various social media platforms or your website.

Another option is to take some of the material from each workshop and create ebooks and articles and use the content to expand your audience base even more.

Because you can potentially reach people across the globe with the virtual part of your event, you have the option to register many more attendees than you otherwise would.

Try a Hybrid Event

Planning a hybrid event isn’t much more work than planning the real-life portion of it. Add some streaming options, learn how to operate a live stream and start promoting to a wide audience interested in what you have to offer.