Planning a Hybrid Event: Top Tips

In the dynamic landscape of events, hybrid gatherings have transformed how we connect, learn, and collaborate. Blending the best of both physical and virtual worlds, hybrid events offer unprecedented opportunities for engagement and accessibility. However, orchestrating a successful hybrid event requires careful planning, strategy, and execution.

Whether you’re an Event Manager who has a stacked portfolio of live events and is only just venturing into the fabulous world of hybrid or, you’re completely new to the events world and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered with some handy tips for preparing for your hybrid event!

Know your limit

Just as you would ask your selected venue about its capacity for in-person attendance, it’s also important to ask your platform provider about their stream capacity. Here are a few things to add to your list when it comes to capacities…

  • Virtual attendance means that travel isn’t an issue. Estimate the number of attendees you expect to attend your event, are you targeting a wider international audience that could increase your numbers? Ensure you choose a provider that can accommodate your expected audience without experiencing performance issues.
  • Don’t forget to include staff, exhibitors, speakers, technical support, and others who are on the planning team in your delegate numbers.

This is vital to know as hitting certain benchmarks in numbers or exceeding your planned capacity allocation could influence your pricing or reputation if you have to cut delegates from the list.

Consider your price points

Are you charging for your event, and will your price points be different from in-person to online?

It’s definitely something to think about. Consideration should be taken to the value both audiences will be getting from the event. Yes, you can argue the content for each delegate will be the same, however, face-to-face brings easier access to networking with peers, exhibitors, and speakers which adds value. Other factors to consider are around the provision of lunches and refreshments for your in-person attendees.

This can be one of the trickier sides of a hybrid event but providing you can replicate this value with your online audience – you’re on to a winner.

Consider your content

Consider your content delivery. It’s not enough to simply stream your live event, making sure your virtual audience feels part of the event should be a top priority. Think about how you are going to share content with both your digital delegates and on-site delegates. How can you tailor sessions and make them bespoke? – that way you’re delivering a high-quality event both online and in person.

Additionally, explore the option of building an app or event website, so all delegates have access to the same information in the same way making it feel more inclusive.

Be prepared and organised

Be ready and well prepared. You’ll likely have slides, videos and other materials for your event, so make sure these are pre-planned, pre-loaded on the platform and tested in advance, just like you would do for an in-person event!

Additionally, having a reliable support team from the venue, the streaming platform, and the technical crew on hand to handle any potential issues is essential. Great teams make great events, and in this new virtual world we are working in – technical support should be a top priority.


Hybrid events offer the benefit of virtual participation, so you can attract speakers from across the globe, therefore, not all of your speakers will be in the same place; some may be streaming from home or a remote office. Rehearsals allow you to check for teething problems such as internet speed, lighting, appropriate backgrounds, and any distractions to suggest your speakers remove.

As the Event Manager, you’ll need to check everything is working correctly and that everyone is comfortable and understands their roles and the brief.   Remember, this could be the first time they’ve presented in a virtual or hybrid setting so don’t be surprised if they feel a little uneasy with the technology.

The key to rehearsals is ensuring everyone is happy. Once again, to re-iterate our point above: Great teams make great events. Technical and platform support during rehearsal is vital so they can manage any mishaps promptly, putting your presenting team at ease.

Utilise social media

Ensure that you have a plan in place to utilise social media pre, during and post-event. Engaging with audiences through online platforms is a great way to foster involvement and interaction.

  • Create a pre-event buzz, it gets your audience talking to each other and can make for some great networking opportunities.
  • Can you use a hashtag for the event to get your delegates to share selfies from home or the venue, sharing their session highlights or favourite speakers?

Acknowledge the audiences

You will need to take into consideration that hybrid events incorporate both live and virtual audiences. A live audience is present, so it’s much easier to catch their attention and get them involved. However, capturing the attention of a virtual audience requires more deliberate efforts to ensure they feel fully involved.  Consider where the camera is located and be mindful – make sure you address your virtual audience.

Some things to think about:

  • Have a colleague monitoring and engaging with your virtual audience, so they feel included.
  • Utilising audience interaction tools such as polling and q/a’s that your remote audience can easily take part in
  • Cross over with virtual and live audiences within breakouts so wider discussions can happen – your venue should be able to assist with this.
  • Provide networking opportunities for your online audience – lunchtime roundtables or speed dating with keynote speakers to give your online audience a chance to ask in-depth questions and network effectively.

Housekeeping rules from the start will help everyone know how the event will run.

Attendees’ journeys

Consider the variations of journeys for all attendees. Since the virtual and in-person experiences differ, it’s important to account for this. Think about your virtual audience’s journey from arrival to refreshment breaks, lunch periods, and planned networking sessions with colleagues and speakers. Incorporating elements such as hold music and pre-recorded content can also enhance their experience. Avoid ‘dead air’ or blank screens. Think about what you can offer to enhance all experiences.

Stick to the schedule

Once you’ve created a schedule and fine-tuned it during the rehearsals, make sure you stick with it. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise, and they can be taken out of your hands, but it is essential to keep everyone informed. You’re human – people will be far more forgiving if you explain what’s happening.

Keeping to time is essential attendees will have planned their day around specific sessions. This applies not only to attendees but also speakers, particularly high-profile individuals with strict time constraints., If you want them to return, you need to make sure it’s a slick event.

This emphasises the huge importance of rehearsals. So, if you take anything away, … rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. You’ll thank us for it later.

Dress code

Any event is a professional occasion. Make sure that your choice of clothing, or even background doesn’t cause a distraction (or clash!), it’s easily done without realising. You want the feel of the event to be the same for all audiences. Remember! Don’t wear a black top and sit in front of a black wall – you don’t want to be a floating head…

Hybrid events have become a popular option recently due to the development of technology. You will find that a lot more people are engaging with hybrid events as they allow for a wider audience whilst reducing geographical and accessibility challenges.

We hope these tips were useful for preparing for your hybrid event – don’t forget to share yours with us.

Did you know Horizon Leeds has a fantastic Broadcast Studio? The state-of-the-art Broadcast Studio can accommodate up to four speakers live in the studio at one time and endless numbers off-site. Seamless transitions throughout your event from speaker to panel or presentation will be overseen by dedicated on-site technical support. The studio consists of three LED screens so content, speakers and audience can be shown at the same time, whilst the chair can be guided through the event via two comfort monitors. Find out more.