A hybrid event is not merely streaming your sessions from your phone or sharing an on-demand video after the event. Going hybrid means seamlessly integrating technology to facilitate participation between a live and virtual audience, creating an experience that caters to all audiences in a viewer-friendly way, and putting your online and live audience on the same level. Hybrid events can incorporate a multitude of components and can look completely different from one another. The best hybrid events do however have one thing in common - they put the audience journey first, for both audiences. When planning a hybrid gala or special event, the experiences for the in-person audience may look quite different from the experience of the virtual attendees. For example, the virtual attendees are probably going to begin their event experience well after those who are joining in-person and more than likely end the experience well before the in-person audience. The in-person experience may include a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing while the virtual experience includes the delivery of a house party kit and a pre-event online mixology session.

An essential component of any hybrid event is the platform. This can be an event management app (such as Markey’s MVP Platform), a custom website, or a simple landing page. The platform is the common component for both the live and virtual audience and the tool used for collaboration and community building. Most platforms now offer options for event registration, audience engagement tools (such as chat, Q & A or polling), fundraising information and sponsor recognition.

Depending on the components and integrated technologies, you may need to adjust your planning timeline and start thinking about certain elements much sooner than you typically would for an in-person event. For example, if you are choosing a robust platform that incorporates event registration with multiple ticket types, three tiers of sponsors, 50 virtual happy hour rooms and a pre-event networking session, you will want to plan an additional 30-60 days prior to the platform launch date for development, branding, testing, and content upload. Start the conversation with your technology partner early to understand how each component impacts the event timeline.

There are a multitude of fundraising apps that can be incorporated into your hybrid event. Apps like OneCause, Pledgeling, and Qtego offer solutions that can be directly integrated into your event platform to keep the cause, fundraising goal and amount raised top of mind. The fundraising component is typically one of the shared experiences between the online and live audiences.

Events are an investment and they can provide great data and analytics to support your mission. Calculating ROI can be difficult due to all the moving parts. Hybrid events, however, can maximize ROI, due mainly to the increased reach and the scalability. Another advantage of recording and producing virtual media is the ability to re-watch and share the content which can boost visibility and awareness without having to allocate additional marketing dollars which allows for cost savings on the bottom line.

If you would like to learn more about Markey's virtual and hybrid event services,
please visit us at or reach out to us via email at
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