Hybrid events: The pros and cons

June 05 2022
A group of people attending a hybrid event. Some are present on site, and others have joined online with their computers.

In the digital era, it’s not just in-person events that are popular anymore! We’re also talking virtual events, and sometimes even hybrid events (don’t panic, we’ll explain what they are below).

And when it comes to philanthropy, each type of event has its pros and cons. To help you see more clearly, we’re sharing our observations with you.

Hybrid event, what even is that?

Hybrid events are rapidly gaining in popularity, but it’s essential to consider that they are still a mystery to many people. So if you’re organizing one, you’ll want to keep that in mind. These formats grew significantly during the pandemic, and with the rise of telecommuting — accompanied by a marked exodus to the suburbs and regions, they are here to stay.

A hybrid event includes both face-to-face people and a remote audience. This means that remote people can join the on-site audience via video conferencing or any other web application. This allows you to:

  • reach more people,
  • ensure better participation,
  • and minimize last-minute cancellations.

As we say: we adapt, we grow, and we raise even more money!

The benefits of hybrid events

Hybrid events offer a variety of benefits and are becoming increasingly popular for fundraising activities.

For example, a Followmybid virtual auction can be organized as an extension of a golf tournament or a classic spaghetti dinner.

The face-to-face activity can either kick off the auction which will continue afterwards or be the culmination of the fundraiser to celebrate its success. You could also host:

  • a prize-giving ceremony,
  • a ranking of the tightest battles to win an item,
  • a recognition of the people who have bid the most,
  • a thank you speech from the organizing committee,
  • or anything else you can think of!

Don’t forget to offer wifi so that people who attend can bid in real-time. Some organizations even make iPads available to log in and place bids.

Followmybid’s assistant feature also allows you to designate people to bid on behalf of those who can’t do it without help. In other words, even at technology-focused events, we don’t abandon our friends who don’t have a smartphone or can’t connect to wifi (yes, we’re that nice)!

A larger audience

One of the main advantages of hybrid events is that it becomes ultra-easy to reach many more people.

Without the logistical burden of travel or on-site accommodations, simply send out virtual invitations and bingo! All your tech-savvy people are connected right on time. On the other hand, locals who don’t like online activities or who are not fans of technology can show up on-site and enjoy a face-to-face event.

Therefore, we can reach a much wider audience, whether in Quebec, Canada, or even internationally!

A flexibility that is key to your success

Another big plus of this format is that it is easy to adapt it to the day’s needs. Since the activity has two parts, you can effortlessly prioritize one or the other depending on the conditions or adapt the link between the two.

But most importantly: in case of an emergency (health, weather, or other: life is full of surprises), we avoid the postponement option! The event can quickly end up 100% online if needed.

The downside of hybrid events

However, one should never forget the main advantages of in-person events: direct interaction and networking. Promoting both of these elements is possible, but it’s always a bit more challenging, especially when it comes to bridging the gap between the on-site audience and the remotely connected people.

You must know how to adapt and overcome

To host hybrid events, you need to know about technology. If you’re the type of person who spends two hours figuring out how to open your email, you’ll probably need a little help!

On the bright side, we’ve got your back. The Followmybid platform is straightforward for organizing online auctions, even for people who were not born with a keyboard in their hands. You just have to plan the face-to-face part of the event (and we know you’re already good at that), and you’re done!

We take care of:

  • invitations,
  • inscriptions,
  • bids,
  • donations,
  • contacts,
  • reminders,
  • your partners’ visibility,
  • and much more!

You will also need to be prepared for all sorts of unforeseen events: live video, sound problems, unstable Internet, etc. Good organization and a range of backup plans will most likely be the key to your success!

It can be harder to grab people’s attention from a distance

It is much easier to capture the attention of a packed house than to keep people entertained when they’re alone in their living room with a bag of popcorn on their lap and so many distractions at hand.

It then becomes essential to make the event dynamic and interactive, notably by replacing human contact with a virtual alternative. That’s why Followmybid has set up a panoply of fun automated notifications that keep everyone engaged and encourage bid escalation.

You’ll have to create a link between the two audiences

Although the people at the venue are far from overlooked, it’s important to showcase the presence of the people at home to make the event even more special to them.

Find a creative way to establish communication between people at home and the audience in the room, show individual faces and the crowd through the camera, or simply opt for indirect interactions that will remind audiences that they are part of a bigger group.

The good news is that you can do this with the big-screen feature offered by Followmybid. Simply connect the screen to a computer and open the link to display live progress towards the goal and the latest bids. Everyone will be captivated by the bidding progress, and in addition to drawing attention to each of your items, it’ll show how many people are bidding from a distance.

Convinced yet?

If you want to organize an interactive auction in hybrid mode, tell us about your next fundraising activity and we’ll get back to you shortly with our easy and effective solutions!

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