Live vs Virtual Vs Hybrid Events:

What to Choose for your Business

2020 presented a great deal of changes to our everyday lives.  We saw the shift from physical events to virtual events and the emergence of hybrid events.


Whether you are planning a professional or social event, the common goal is to bring people with a shared purpose together –  to educate, inform, debate or celebrate.


BUT, how do you know which approach is the best for your event?

Not all events are created equal. Knowing which approach is most beneficial for your event comes down to a few different factors – including the size of your event, your event budget, the anticipated timeline. Understanding what type of event (live events vs virtual vs hybrid events) is best for your desired outcomes is important.


Live – All attendees are physically present in one location

Virtual – People attend the event entirely online

Hybrid – Some people attend in person, others online


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.

virtual events


The most effective form of communication

There is no other medium that expresses the nuances of communication better than face-to-face interactions. In-person interactions drive deeper connections between us.  They provide a sensory experience whilst satisfying the innate human need for emotional connection.  Body language is a huge factor in communication. Postures, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements are best translated live.


A large majority of people will choose to attend an event mainly  for the opportunity to meet others in person- to network- to see and physically feel new products, and to experience the atmosphere, are all benefits that only a live event can deliver.


Broader reach, faster turnaround, lower cost

Due to the global pandemic and restrictions placed upon live events, Virtual events have gained a lot of traction. Organizers were tasked to consider the difference between virtual vs hybrid events due to restrictions of larger-scale face-to-face events.


Virtual events have enabled businesses to continue to engage their audiences and stakeholders. Businesses often choose virtual events due to its significant reduction in production costs and can be produced and presented much more quickly than live events.


Reach the greatest number of attendees

Hybrid events are the best of both worlds. When comparing virtual vs hybrid events, a hybrid event allows for some of the audience to attend in person (live), whilst others attend virtually (online), thus adding to the benefit of the overall interaction.


Professionals can still go in person to network, interact physically with vendor booths and products and enjoy the atmosphere. On the other hand, people who cannot attend in-person or do not want to go in-person can still experience and access the event using their computer, phone or tablet.


This is a great way for businesses to expand their overall reach, by making their event and its content accessible to individuals may be limited by logistical or financial reasons. This approach eliminates many of the physical barriers for both organisers and attendees, reducing costs and production overheads at the same time.

The Benefits Of Virtual and Hybrid Events

Detailed Analytics: A vast array of analytics can be collected — including daily attendance, average presentation watch time, audience engagement and more — that companies can analyze to optimize subsequent events.


Increase your event’s coverage:  According to Matthew Ley, President of The Streaming Network, 96 percent of online attendees at virtual events were not planning to attend the live event. By giving them the option to attend your virtual event from anywhere in the world, you are actually creating a new audience. You are now able to reach the people who aren’t ready to commit a full day to your event, but are willing to check it out on their own terms.


Cost-effective alternative: Save money in travel costs, event fee and printed medium. Virtual events offer flexibility than a printed medium, such as whitepapers/brochures and are expensive to modify. You can also hold them fully online if the need arises.


Offer flexibility to your customers and your team: 71 percent of workers are working remotely all or most of the time—and more than half want to continue doing so even after the pandemic, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

With this fact, we can also say that people will be more interested in attending a virtual event rather than attending a live one, so to attract more attendees, event organizers will need to adapt to virtual events.


Sustainable marketing: Increase sustainability & reduce environmental impact through the omission of unnecessary journeys and producing less waste. Contribute to a sustainable economy by making your events virtual.

Which Event Approach Is Right for You?





Most Effective Communication




Faster Turnaround




Cost Savings




Increased Collaboration




Greater Reach




Flexibility & Convenience




Relaying Complex Info




Reduced Travel Cost




Want to get expert advice on which format would work best for events or programming you are planning? Contact the klardenker for a free, no obligation consultation on best practices for both in-person and virtual events.


Our virtual events offer end to end solutions covering the service before, during and after the event. We personalize and adapt your virtual event to meet your needs, requirements and goals.

If you are looking for virtual exhibitions check out our blogpost here.


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Schanzenstrasse 37
51063 Cologne
+49 221 96 98 65 25

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Tips, tricks or even concrete implementation ideas for your upcoming virtual event,

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Tips for the successful implementation of virtual events.

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