When planning a professional or social event, the common goal is always to bring people together for a shared purpose – to educate, inform, debate or celebrate. Traditionally, live in-person events have been the best way to accomplish these goals, but in today’s world there are several different types of events you can host:

Live – All attendees are physically present in one location
Virtual – People attend the event entirely online
Hybrid – Some people attend in person, others online

How do you know which approach is the best for your event? It boils down to a number of different factors—including your event size, budget, timeline, and the geography of attendees. Each event approach provides its own unique benefits.

Here’s a quick guide to help you determine which type of event is right for you.

Live Events

The most effective form of communication & experience

There is no other medium that expresses the nuances of communication better than face-to-face interactions. Body language is a huge factor in communication. Postures, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements are best translated live.

Also many people attend events not just for the content, but for the opportunity to meet and interact with other attendees (and speakers) with similar interests. The human factor and relationship building experience are the #1 reason people attend events.

Virtual Events

Faster turnaround, lower cost, broader reach

Clients often choose virtual events because resources such as time and money may be at a premium. Virtual events can be deployed quickly with a significant cost reduction. Some good examples of programs that work best in a virtual only format would be panel discussions on current events or policy issues, interview-style programs or educational events that are 90 minutes or less in duration.

Virtual events are also a great option if you are trying to plan something quickly to get out in front of a potential crisis, controversial issue or share your expertise about issues currently in the news.

For longer-form programming, and where face-to-face interaction is a primary goal, in-person or hybrid event formats typically will work best.

Hybrid Events

Flexibility to reach the greatest number of attendees

Hybrid events are the best of both worlds. Some of the participants are able to attend face-to-face while others are “brought in virtually”, thus adding to the benefit of the overall interaction.

Hybrid meetings can also be used as a method for cost reduction since you don’t have time and travel expenses for the entire attendee pool.

Allowing attendees to participate from wherever they sit in the world – either in-person or online – offers everyone flexibility and convenience and allows you to expand your impact regardless of geography.

Which Event Approach Is Right for You?

 LiveVirtualHybrid
Most Effective CommunicationX
Faster TurnaroundX
Cost SavingsXX
Increased CollaborationX
Greater ReachX
Flexibility & ConvenienceX
Relaying Complex InfoX
Reduced Travel CostXX