Although hybrid events have been around for awhile, they are expected to garner more popularity as technology becomes faster, less expensive and more reliable. 

This blog will tackle what a hybrid meeting is, how it is beneficial to you and why it is important to choose a partner that has both AV and IT experience when event planning. 


A hybrid event is a conference that combines a live event with a virtual component.


Hybrid events are: 

  • Cost effective because now they can offer an attractive price point for attendees.  
  • Increasing participation in traditional events. An attendee can "check out" your conference without spending 3-4 days on the road determining whether or not it was worth their time. 
  • Allowing attendees who cannot physically be there due to cuts in travel costs to garner valuable information.
  • Creating a way for attendees to be green if they wish to reduce the carbon footprint of the event. 


If the virtual user is sitting in their office, they can still participate in the event! Here are four great examples of hybrid uses and how speakers and event organizers can make the best use of both audience types. 

Scenario #1: The speakers are up on stage using PowerPoint. 

Live Audience: Will actually see the speakers and view the PowerPoint presentations from a screen, Plasma display or Video Wall

Virtual Audience: Will view the presenter through a live streaming bridge or app and see the online presentation concurrently. 

Scenario #2: The presenter is being recorded, with synchronized slides, for viewing later as a webcast. 

Live Audience: If they know the session is being recorded, they can go back and review the information days and weeks after the seminar ended. 

Virtual Audience: This is probably best for corporate training purposes where for whatever reason you cannot plan on all the virtual attendees to view the presentation live, but the information is vital to the employee's job. 

Scenario #3: You desire interactive presentations between the live and virtual world. 

One of the easiest ways to merge both audience comments, questions and concerns is to create a Twitter Hashtag for your session and make certain everyone knows your speaker's handle from the very start of the session. Put the handle on the footer of their slides along with the hashtag so webcast attendees can go back to view the social stream. 

Scenario #4: You want to integrate photos, videos and other social channels to spread your message. 

Live Audience: By installing a Video Wall, you can have Instagram or Flickr photos displaying dynamically for all attendees to see. You can have a Twitter feed and Vine videos displaying as well.  

Virtual Audience: Remote attendees can view photos and videos on the same social channels as live attendees. They can share photos and videos that are pertinent the conference or topic. Those can be shared on the Wall as well. 

When considering a hybrid event, look for a partner with both AV and IT experience; one that can make sure there is enough bandwidth for the event to succeed and manage your peak usage. Call SmartSource Rentals because they have the experience and knowledge to manage your total technology needs!