Virtual vs. Hybrid Events

Learn how virtual and hybrid event formats differ and how they can help you achieve your event goals.

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What’s the Difference?

Virtual or hybrid? Learn the key differences between these two event types. 

Virtual Event

virtual illustration

In a virtual event, all event elements and all attendee participation take place virtually. These events are entirely online, as planned from the start.

Hybrid Event

hybrid illustration

Some event elements and some attendee participation take place in-person at a physical location, while others take place virtually. These events have limited physical attendance and broad virtual outreach.

Virtual vs. Hybrid Formats

Hybrid events come in many formats. You have many options for structuring your event to accommodate your presenters and participants.

Traditional Format

traditional formats

Streaming live event to remote participants

Countless Formats

countless formats

Nodes/pods, in-person sister locations, remote presenters,  etc.

*Adapted from 2021 PCMA Convening Leaders

How to Decide?

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding to move to a virtual or hybrid format. 

  • What are the goals of your event?
  • What does your program look like? (complexity, high collaboration, etc.)
  • Are there current travel restrictions in place?
  • Who are your target audiences?
  • Is your audience global or local?
  • How flexible is your budget?
  • How much time do you have to plan?
Virtual Hybrid
Travel restrictions in place
Mostly global audience
Mostly local audience
High collaboration goals
Flexible budget
Attract new audiences
Short planning time

We Are Here to Help

If you have questions about virtual or hybrid events, please contact the MCE team.