Boston Beer Company Hosts Annual Company Event with VanWagner Event Productions

7 Mind-Blowing Virtual & Hybrid Events and Why They’re Successful

Hybrid events are the future when it comes to meetings and events.  Surprisingly, they have been around for quite some time.  They have just gained in popularity due to the pandemic and live events and travel coming to a screeching halt.  While everyone is wanting to meet again in person, there are those that will be more comfortable joining virtually or are unable to travel to the specific destination, be that because of travel regulations, extreme weather or other scheduling conflicts.

Looking to host a hybrid event for your next conference? Van Wagner is ready to help you plan an amazing meeting for all your clients, sponsors, and employees!

What Is the Value of a Hybrid Event?

Why go hybrid for your event?  For one, anyone can attend your event, whether in-person or virtually, now everyone has access to your event.  They can stream your content live, attend in-person or watch all your sessions online at a later date and time.  When you host a virtual event, you can expect your attendance numbers to be the highest you’ve ever had, since attendees will have a choice of in-person or online, and you won’t have to worry about a capacity issue for the virtual attendees.  

Even if they can’t make the meeting dates in-person or online, they will be able to view all the footage at a later date on your virtual platform.  If you charge for attendance, you can expect a bigger return on your hybrid investment, through attendees and sponsors.  You will also receive all the meeting metrics of who attended which session and which subject engaged the most attendees.  All this content will be able to help you shape your next successful event.  

Here we will look at 5 mind-blowing hybrid events and why they were so successful.

Related: Van Wagner Launches New Website to Showcase Hybrid and Virtual Event Production 

1. The Success of INBOUND

Software developer HubSpot has made a name for itself in the event world with their annual INBOUND conference.  Known for A-list celebrity speakers and world class comedians, their new hybrid platform is a perfect option for those that were wanting to attend multiple sessions at the same time, but always missed out on the exclusive content.  They can attend virtually and re-watch footage that was streaming live at the same time they were in another session.  For 2021 they already have quite the lineup: John Legend, Bob Iger with Disney and Kerry Washington, just to name a few.  They can pick and choose which events to attend in person or attend virtually and watch the recorded sessions at a later day and time.  It has become THE event if you are in technology or marketing.

2. Apple Hosts Their Own Special Events

Apple’s Hybrid Events have been happening for years as they were trying to reach the masses all at once, especially when they had a large announcement or new product launch.  The in-person attendees have the advantage of seeing or experiencing the new technology and products firsthand and virtually attendees are basically watching an extended commercial for their new products. They can launch the next iPhone live and virtually and all at once the entire world can see what features and new technology, we can all look forward to.  With over 56 million views of their 2020 virtual Special event, they are leading the way with virtual experiences and in 2021 will dominate the hybrid event space.

Virtual & Hybrid Events screen share

Related: NFL Draft 

3. Federal Government and Hybrid Events

The federal government decided in 2012 to host its first hybrid event.  Led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the goal was to make virtual attendees feel like they were there in-person and the ultimate goal was to have record attendance.  There was a virtual lobby with escalators into the different sessions, just like at a hotel.  Some pre-recorded sessions had green screens to enhance the production value and keep the virtual attendees engaged.  They broke their record with over 1,800 attendees, 911 of those people attending in-person.  Even after the conference ended another 4,200 attendees visited the platform to watch the recorded content.  All in all, it was one of the most successful hybrid events during that time.

Virtual & Hybrid Events Production by the folks that produce the NFL Draft

Related: Big West Conference and Van Wagner Announce Multimedia Rights Partnership 

4. Twitchcon Takes the Stage

Twitchcon takes place in San Diego annually and has become the ultimate real time streaming gamer event.  With artist spotlights, entertainment and Esport tournaments and panels, it is the ultimate Gamer hybrid event.  You can meet people from all over the globe that you may have gamed with online, and watch famous gamers play each other live, in person or virtually.  Their purpose is to bring people together, to meet in person, engage with fans and stream content online for virtual attendees.

5. Watching Webinar World

Webinar World is “turning Education into Intelligence”.  They have been the experts in hosting webinars, as such they host hybrid meetings so attendees can attend sessions in-person, network with colleagues and meet the exhibitors.  As such, so can their virtual audience, who is joining the conference to learn more techniques to make their webinars and content more engaging.  Providing information on polls, questions and answers, graphics and other new technology to keep all your attendees engaged.  

6. 2020 NFL Draft

This was the first draft in the history of the NFL that necessitated a virtual event where Van Wagner connected coaches, general managers, and top draft picks using professional production equipment and enabling the NFL to produce the event with help from our production team.  This event typically draws 600,000 folks to watch the draft in-person, and 6 million viewers watching via live broadcast. The 2020 draft kept everyone safely in their homes with the equipment necessary to keep the draft controls and production professional.  While there were not folks physically present, the 2020 NFL Draft was the most watched NFL Draft in history with over 55 million viewers tuning in.  And with such great success in 2020, they returned for the 2021 NFL Draft that is scheduled for April 28, 2021.

7. Adobe Innovator Virtual Awards

With its live Innovative Award Show cancelled, Adobe wanted to find a way to provide a live, virtual, high-quality show to celebrate their partners who were located across the globe. Taking a note out of our own production notebook, we knew this had to be top notch and planned accordingly. 

Utilizing Zoom’s platform as a real-time communication tool for all nominees across the globe allowed for Van Wagner to speak to all partners and provide quality-control over each shot. Hosts and presenters were sent professional camera kits (i.e., camera, lights, cables, tripod) to their homes in order to create a high-quality broadcast feed. The entire production incorporated customized motion graphics, rights-cleared music tracks, as well as social media which allowed for real-time congratulatory messages. The entire show was broadcast on LinkedIn Live using Van Wagner’s secure uplink system.  Adobe was ecstatic with the results and winners reported also truly enjoying the event and what went into it to make each nominee and recipient feel special.

Hybrid events are only going to continue to get stronger.  The more you can learn about what makes them so successful, the more you will set your own event up for success.  Just remember to make your virtual attendees feel involved and just as important as the in-person attendees.    

Need some assistance to create a virtual meeting? Get a little professional guidance by scheduling a consultation with the team at Van Wagner!

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