Going Hybrid

Discover everything you need to know about transforming your in-person event into an engaging hybrid experience. Learn what makes hybrid events unique and find guidance to help you succeed.

For additional support, resources, and information on hybrid events please contact the IEEE Digital Events Team at ieee-mce@ieee.org.

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What is a Hybrid Event?

Hybrid formats offer a number of unique opportunities for your event. But what does it mean to go hybrid?

  • Hybrid events combine physical and virtual offerings.
  • Hybrid events are a mindful way to marry the online accessibility of a virtual event and the traditional face-to-face event.
  • Hybrid events are not one size fits all; they meet a combination of needs.
  • There is an intentional design of in-person and virtual that accommodates presenters, attendees, and authors alike.
  • Logistical efforts may include:
    • live streaming,
    • pre-recorded material
    • live virtual engagement
  • Careful financial planning is required to ensure ROI.
  • They often have shared community space for a shared experience.
  • They may involve linking regional events (watch parties, satellite events linking multiple locations etc.)

IEEE Hybrid Events Guide

The following guide can help you learn best practices and tips for designing an effective hybrid event.

There are a number of different hybrid format options available to meet your needs including:

  • live in-person
  • live online
  • non-live online
  • multiple sites

Proper promotion and socialization will help your hybrid event run more smoothly. Prior to your event, be sure to:

  • prepare your authors, speakers, and participants
  • set expectations for your event
  • set values for different event components
  • maximize in-person presentations and interactions for enhanced effectiveness and engagement

Selected technology solutions should support all components of your hybrid event including your interactive elements. Be sure to implement proper licensing agreements in advance of your event. Don’t forget to leverage IEEE and MCE for volume power in negotiation.

When planning your event, take into account all relevant health and safety considerations including any travel restrictions and social distancing regulations. Plan onsite precautions at your venue in advance including:

  • room setup
  • meals
  • sanitizer stations

Hybrid events require flexibility for scaling up or down for the in-person component. Be sure to include cancellation clauses in your contracts for potential rebooking and to safeguard against the unexpected.

Your hybrid event should include the flexibility to change between in-person and virtual registration. Consider tiered registration fees for:

  • in-person vs. virtual
  • authors vs. non-authors
  • early registration

Reference recommendations from CRO, CFC, ICC, and MCE.

When building your hybrid event program it is helpful to consider the following:

  • different time zones of participants
  • tradeoffs and optimization for live in-person and online engagement/interaction
  • planning in-person, online live, and on-demand content
  • creating energy flow in and between different activities and formats

A critical element of a successful hybrid event includes creating engaging experiences for both your in-person attendees and your remote participants. Consider implementing breaks for on-site participants while offering continuous activities for virtual attendees. Ensure synchronization for multi-site venues for a cohesive event experience.

Planning for proper IT setup is critical for your hybrid event. Consider:

  • internet and A/V needs
  • capacity limits
  • room layout and others to support immersive experiences for virtual attendees
  • on-site and online technical support

To enable shared experiences by all participants, allow virtual attendees to experience in-person content in real-time.

Facilitate interaction and networking for your audiences in multiple channels:

  • in-person and virtual
  • live and non-live
  • Q&A within and between different components

Sponsor and exhibitor engagement opportunities should be extended and promoted to both in-person and virtual participants (live and/or non-live). Consider and assess the value proposition and ROI of these experiences.

After your hybrid event has ended, keep the momentum going through:

  • continued engagement
  • post-event communications
  • IP reuse
  • surveys/feedback from your audience

Although hybrid events may seem like unfamiliar territory, IEEE is here to support you, your attendees, and your authors. We are committed to fostering the integrity and quality of IEEE content and experiences in the hybrid environmentFor questions or guidance about creating your hybrid event, please reach out to us at ieee-mce@ieee.org.

We Are Here to Help

If you have questions about hybrid events, please contact the CEE Digital Events Team at ieee-mce@ieee.org