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Date:  18/06/2021

How to Create a Budget-friendly Hybrid Event

Creating a hybrid style event can be cost-effective, you just need to know how to make the budget work. There are so many ways in which you can produce a hybrid event, so the cost can significantly vary.

To determine the cost of a hybrid event, planning is everything. Go back to the basics and define what is the purpose behind your hybrid event? How do you plan to engage with both your audiences, especially the audience that is not in the room? How many in-person attendees will you have? This will help you allocate your budget.

We at Pure Communications Group are experts in hybrid events and can provide you with our top tips for creating a cost-effective hybrid event. 

What is your hybrid event’s purpose: 

  • Educating – therefore you will need to dedicate budget to content and presenters.
  • An Award Show – therefore more money will need to be spent on the overall production, speakers and streaming service. 
  • Sales meetings will require the right streaming service to reach your virtual attendees. 

What is a hybrid event: 

A hybrid event combines both a live and virtual audience. Both guests can interact with presenters and other attendees. A hybrid is usually presented live with some pre-recorded aspects. Think of an award ceremony that is streamed online. Guests attend the awards dinner and virtual attendees watch from home. 

Why Hybrid

Throughout the pandemic, we saw a major increase in virtual events as attendees were not able to attend in person. Now we are able to use hybrids to ensure it is more inclusive and has a live aspect too. 

Benefits of a Hybrid event:

Although live events are returning, hybrid events are here to stay! This is due to persisting international travel bans, potential new outbreaks, stakeholders hesitance in hosting large events and attendee confidence. Hosting a hybrid event allows you to live-stream the event to a much further and unique reach, cut down on costs like catering, staff, large venues and you can collect attendee data and also engage online.

Networking opportunities for virtual attendees have seen to be even more with those engaging in chat boxes, asking questions and adding their comments, which they may have not done so in person.  Hybrid events can be extremely engaging if done well and are the perfect solution for events that can’t be done with a large number of people. 

Types of Hybrid style events: 

Although you are cutting down on attendance cost, you now need further production and a streaming service to reach your attendees.  So what is the cost attached and how can you make the budget work? Firstly you need to determine what is your event’s purpose and what type of hybrid event you will require. Here are some examples below: 

  • Large Award show: Venue with a few hundred guests, catering, speakers, production crew and streaming service;
  • News broadcast-style: Venue, speakers, production and streaming service; 
  • Informative announcement:  No venue, production team and streaming service. 
  • Virtual: FIlming on site like an office. very little production and streaming service. 

Shifting the budget  

When you have set out the objectives of your hybrid event, for example you want to have a live audience then stream it to the rest of your attendees, you will firstly have to dedicate money to production and a streaming service; this will be your main cost. You need to take into consideration how many people you want attending both live and in-person and how much you would usually spend for this many people? Determine how many people you definitely need there in person, what will be your catering costs and how can you reduce them? Shift your budget and minimise the live attendees and allocate this budget more to production and speakers and any performing act you may have – this way your viewers at home are having the ultimate viewing experience. 

Cut out attendee costs: 

By minimising the number of attendees will be the ultimate budget saver. Have only key attendees attend and keynote speakers at the event to cut down the budget that’s dedicated to live attendees. You will be surprised how much this equates to your budget. Invite the rest of the guests virtually instead. You can still make it exciting for the virtual attendees by sending them cost effective goodie bags to excite them and have them feel included while they’re at home watching. 

Only use a single centre venue: 

Using a single venue as a “broadcast hub” with a socially distanced audience at the venue in person to view the event, whilst the majority of the audience remains remote to view. This will be costly, however, you could partner with the venue or studio by promoting their venue, with branding and also to show off their venue via live stream. This will give your event exposure by showcasing the venue via live stream – this works as free advertisement for the venue. Another option would be to film in your own space aka office. This will significantly reduce your venue hire cost. 

Opt to have speakers present remotely 

This option means that all presenters are remote (along with the viewers). Presenters are brought remotely into the VCR (Virtual Control Room) using their laptop webcams and audio headsets. The VCR places the presenter feeds and presentations onto branded backgrounds before being streamed into the virtual event platform. This significantly cuts down on production costs as you won’t need more production equipment on-site and also will cut down on catering and staff. 

Choose the right streaming platform and get a membership 

Streaming platforms are a hidden cost and can often fluctuate, some services will require a membership fee. However, there are some that are free like YouTube and Vimeo. If you plan to do more live-streamed events in the future then we would recommend paying for a subscription – you can find ones for around £70 – £120. There are some really expensive ones out there so be careful when selecting this. Try before you buy!

Speakers:

Choose carefully and decide what type of person you need to chair your event, don’t just go with a random presenter or entertainer. Spend your money wisely, as a hybrid will tend to run a lot shorter than an in-person event so they won’t have to speak for as long as they usually would. 

As hybrid events costs vary depending on your event it’s so important to plan so you can work where to assign your budget. Look at what is the purpose of the event, and the benefits of having a hybrid experience as opposed to a virtual event. Focus on your content, as it’s the main focus, don’t spend unnecessary costs on entertainment. 

We understand there is a lot to digest when creating a hybrid event so it’s so important you get it right! Get in touch with us if you are considering delivering your hybrid event as we will be able to help you get the most for your buck!