Hybrid Events
Within the past year, COVID-19 has prompted a leap forward for many technologies. One such advancement has come in the events industry. While previously, there was a clear silo between virtual event platforms and event engagement apps, the lines have now been blurred. Virtual event platforms now offer hybrid event solutions, and vice versa.

Although for the time being virtual events remain the safest option, hybrid events are already getting a lot of buzz as one of 2021’s biggest event trends. As the world begins to open back up, hybrid events are once again picking up steam. As such, it’s important to understand exactly what a hybrid event is, what it offers, and how businesses can make a profit by hosting and participating in them.

What is a hybrid event?

If you’ve not familiar with the term ‘hybrid events’, you’re not alone. Hybrid events are a relatively new buzzword for an event type that’s been around for a while, in one way or another.

Hybrid events -- in the most general sense -- combine aspects of both physical and virtual events. For many people considering hybrid events, what comes to mind is the ability to broadcast presentations from the physical venue to a virtual audience. However, there are many other features event organizers can use at a hybrid event.

To truly understand how to benefit from hybrid events, especially when looking to churn a profit from them, first it’s important to understand what features are available to you as an event organizer. Let’s have a look at a few of those features now.

Live interactive presentations

The organizer can broadcast a speaker who is presenting live in an auditorium to a virtual audience tuning in through the virtual event platform, and host interactive Q&A sessions with the in-person and virtual audience.

In-person and virtual exhibit floors

Organizers can host exhibit booths at the physical venue and within the virtual platform. As we’ll discuss later, offering both an in-person and virtual exhibit floor opens up opportunities to attract more sponsorships at your event.

Profile search

Hybrid events can offer participants both in-person and online the opportunity to search for key profiles, reach out and request a meeting through the virtual event platform.

Reporting metrics

Hybrid event platforms, such as vFairs, allow you to review attendee behaviour and user data in real time. The more you merge the physical and virtual aspects of your event, the more easily you can measure your event’s success.

These features can be used in various ways, and a few of them can even help improve your bottom line. Let’s have a look at one how exactly businesses can profit from a hybrid event.
How to profit from a hybrid event

Ticket Sales

Ticket sales help you generate revenue from your hybrid event before it even begins. All you need to do is include a section within your registration form that asks registrants to choose which ticket type they would like to buy. Then, all you need to do is integrate a payment solution, such as Paypal or Stripe, on your registration page.

With hybrid events, can offer tiered ticket options to two different audiences -- in person and virtual -- offering various price points for each. Generally, the cost of overhead and setup at a physical event lowers your revenue margins. High ticket costs for in-person participation might be a deterrent for some potential attendees. However, you can offset that loss by selling tickets to the online portion of your event. Without the need for overhead, you can sell tickets for your online event at a slightly lower price point to attract more attendees and still see greater sales margins.


Another way to start generating revenue as you set up your event is to collect paid sponsorships. Many organizations use their event landing page to showcase sponsorship options, with a call-to-action asking those interested to contact the organizer directly. From there, you can schedule a call with the potential sponsor to understand what their goals for participating in the event are, ensure they align with your own event goals, and offer a more customized sponsorship package based on your mutual requirements.

Hybrid events offer more opportunities for brand visibility, within both the physical and virtual event spaces. This allows you the opportunity to offer more sponsorship options. Some sponsorship levels can include online-only participation, or in-person only participation. Your higher level sponsorships can include visibility across both platforms. This will attract more sponsors -- whether they want to dip their toes with a small sponsorship or go all in and make themselves visible to everyone across channels.

Product Sales

As your event runs, there are lots of opportunities for you and your exhibitors to make sales. Whether you’re selling direct-to-consumer products or wholesale items to businesses, both physical and virtual booths allow you to showcase products, collect orders, and boost your sales revenue.

Just as you can use an Order Management System on the trade show floor, you can also offer a shopping cart feature in your online venue to collect orders from attendees outside of your physical area. While physical events are a great way to engage people who are likely interested, or have expressed intent by attending your event, virtual events offer you the chance to reach new markets around the world.

Demos and Lead Nurturing

One of the most common goals of any event is to network and generate new leads. B2B companies use events as part of a longer-term strategy to drive sales or enter new markets. As such, it’s usually not expected that you’ll make sales within the event. Rather, you can expect to generate new leads, or advance your relationships with existing leads through product demos and lead nurturing.

Hybrid events are a great way to connect with existing leads to conduct product demos. At the physical portion of the event, you can book times to meet leads at your booth and offer demos in person. In the virtual portion, you can schedule video calls to conduct demos online. The virtual platform also allows you to search for key buyers based on industry type, industry, or job level, and request a meeting. This helps you better network and develop leads. Once again, if you can get a meeting with someone who fits your buyer persona, you can book a demo. Closing sales within either environment is not only probable, it’s highly possible.