When you think of the term “hybrid,” what comes to mind? A car? A dog? The post-Covid era has given rise to a new normal, with easing restrictions, yet we still, and may not ever, experience daily life as we once did. But that’s ok. Necessity drives invention, and in the case of hybrids, the concept of the hybrid event hits the motherlode.
What’s a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is an event such as a conference or summit, a concert, a sporting event, or an auction, that has something for everyone. A hybrid event takes place both in person, and virtually. Safety is a must, and having a virtual component is becoming less of an option, more of an imperative. A hybrid event can scale to thousands, even millions of participants, providing a previously untapped revenue stream while saving money for the event host. Such an event starts with a solid hybrid event platform.
What you need from a hybrid event platform
Some points to look for when reviewing hybrid event platforms for your specific needs include: the ability to scale—if you’re planning a multinational, million+ person event, you need to know that the platform can handle massive crowds. Also consider attendee registration, in-event and post-event analytics, whether gamification is an option, attendee participation tracking, how much content can be customized for attendees to review at their leisure, and social networking capabilities.
Let’s get to it
Hybrid events are set to expand and become the new standard as businesses reopen carefully and safely. Find one here that fits your needs.
Cvent is an excellent all-around player in event management. Cvent doesn’t just deliver events, they power experiences. The Cvent hybrid event platform scales to any event size, and their platform helps with planning and marketing an event, excuse us, experience. Cvent provides venue suggestions for the in-person portion, and tracks both in-person and virtual attendees in one easy system. Throughout an event, the Cvent hybrid event platform captures attendee engagement and insights at each step of an event, then provides clear data and reporting so the host can see exactly what is working, and what could be different. Cvent’s reporting offers a clear picture so a host quickly sees a return on investment. Because Cvent’s management and reporting is so rich, it can run slowly, but it is a powerhouse hybrid event platform.
If you have a professional, smaller-scale event, consider Convene. Convene offers beautifully appointed, comfortable spaces, world-class hospitality and Convene Studio, their full-scale technology suite for hybrid events for up to 10,000 attendees. Convene makes it easy for businesses to hold meetings and other events with complete production services, a dedicated events team, a branded virtual experience, and event analytics. Convene even provides live support for remote attendees, making it fast and easy to troubleshoot any issues. The Convene hybrid events platform’s user interface may be a little lacking, but in general, Convene helps bring people together quickly and simply.
Auctions, conferences, meetings, networking events, festivals and many other types of events all happen seamlessly with the help of Accelevents’ hybrid event platform. Accelevents is a standout platform because 1) it allows for attendee scheduling, meeting, and communication personalization that they can either control themselves, or rely on the platform’s one-to-one AI matchmaking feature, and 2) their platform integrates with any audio/visual provider, and they offer real-time digital broadcasts so virtual attendees have no delay. Be prepared—Accelevants pushes platform updates frequently, sometimes as a host client is just getting accustomed to the previous iteration, but they listen to their clients and often integrate suggestions to their updates.
Party people, never miss a moment of fun with Eventuall’s creative approach to hosting safe, incredibly fun and unique hybrid events. The Eventuall hybrid event platform, powered by Addison Interactive, offers interesting “rooms” and special features for online gatherings that can scale from small groups to parties in the hundreds, and growing. They focus on high-end entertainment like concerts, film premieres, conferences, and press junkets. Eventuall is well versed in event and creative strategy, marketing, peak A/V production, and technical support. Eventuall caters to smaller events, but they make each one memorable.
Hubb exists to remind us that events don’t need to be siloed into virtual vs. in-person. The Hubb hybrid events platform takes all the hard work out of planning and executing an event, and offers a digital, immersive experience that’s as easy as the touch of a button. Attendees receive personalized curated event materials, all beautifully branded. All event management is available in the cloud-based platform, no need for multiple locations. The Hubb hybrid events platform delivers so much, that for some, it’s not the most intuitive offering, and it may run a little slowly.
The founders of Bizzabo recognize that hybrid events aren’t just here to stay, they believe that these kinds of events are quickly becoming the new normal. Bizzabo’s hybrid events platform, or the “Event Success Platform,” plays host to large-scale events. It includes everything from strategy, branding, and marketing to attendee tracking and insights, and full-scale post-event reporting. Bizzabo’s marketing and graphics templates are slightly lacking. One interesting feature Bizzabo offers is the ability for attendees to collaborate through interactive tools no matter where they are, and on any device for deeper attendee engagement.
Need to create a hybrid event for oh, say, 50,000? It’s a daunting number of attendees, but Hopin has you covered. The Hopin hybrid events platform furnishes event organizers with everything needed to set up an event, spelled out in easy-to-follow directions to get up and running quickly. Something to note is that attendees must first register for an event, then re-register on the Hopin hybrid event platform, which can be confusing. With features like a 1:1 chat roulette, no-buffer video quality, and a clean, easy layout, the Hopin hybrid event platform is solid.
Hubilo’s hybrid event platform serves up a white glove customer success team to help host organizers create flawless, well-flowing events online and offline. Hubilo offers state-of-the-art branding with custom themes, deep attendee engagement with audience segmentation for personalization, space for sponsorship advertisement, and very healthy analytics. Hubilo’s admin dashboard provides a ton of info. A past iteration had some of that dashboard info scattered in different locations, however they recently updated and rolled out a fresh dashboard with everything in one place. Host organizations love Hubilo for their concierge customer service before, during, and after events have wrapped.
Now for something completely different
These three hybrid event platforms are set apart from the rest. They give a glimpse into where hybrid events of all types and sizes are headed.
Could a company survive without showcasing their latest and greatest products through webinars? Maybe, but why risk it? BigMarker is a browser-based hybrid event/webinar platform for groups of up to 10,000 participants. No need to download an app to participate, BigMarker webinars happen in the cloud. They offer highly customizable video where a host can choose from several interactive elements to add such as polls, Q&As, and lead forms to capture audience data. There’s a welcome lobby, a space for sponsors, and a video-on-demand library to keep your content. BigMarker is suited for webinars and similar events like video-based courses or business summits and conferences, but they make it easy and enjoyable for event participants.
Maestro offers something a little different from a typical hybrid event platform. Creators and developers of the world, rejoice! Maestro is an Interactive Video Platform that helps engage audiences and creates multiple monetization opportunities through personalized branding in a live stream. Maestro touts clickable calls to action in video overlays, personalized info panels, and gamification strategies to reward audience participation. Receive audience metrics and data to know what exactly people are engaging in the most, and perhaps most importantly, have a lot of fun with Maestro.
Ready to be blown away? Nextech AR represents the future of hybrid event platforms. Nextech AR is making Princess Leia proud with their immersive augmented reality solutions that add a fun, unique twist. When we think of hybrid events, what comes to mind is the blend of in-person and virtual components to make one event that’s anything from intimate to global. Instead, the Nextech AR hybrid event platform combines virtual events with AR to offer stunning human holograms or product demos. They have all the same features as other virtual event platforms. Nextech AR is fully customizable, provides 24/7 global support, and even supports over 60 languages.
Your hybrid event platform of the future
Currently, hybrid events, and hybrid event platforms are just now starting to grow out of infancy. With things like AR holograms, artificial intelligence, and new social apps, the next generation or two of hybrid events promises to be engaging, fun, and...timely. Something appropriate for almost all hybrid events is live video streaming. Red5 Pro’s ultra-low latency broadcasts to millions in real time, so virtual participants experience the same thing at the same time as in-person attendees. No lag, only captivation, deeper engagement, and greater ROI.
A number of the companies listed above have already, or are in the process of incorporating Red5 Pro into their product sets. Interested in starting or building up your own hybrid event platform? We can help. Red5 Pro is the toolset for these next-generation platforms.
For more information on Red5 Pro and how real-time video streaming can work for you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a call.