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Hybrid Events Mean Hard Decisions for Hosts

Planners of academic and scientific conferences detail all the factors they must consider when planning a hybrid meeting, and it’s not pretty.

When it comes to coordinating hybrid events, there is a daunting number of big decisions that a host organization must make that will impact event quality, cost, and attendance—and will also impact how challenging the planning process will be.

Here are a just a few of the considerations for hybrid events: Do you conduct the virtual component at the same time as the in-person component? If so, do you provide real-time access to every session that takes place in person, or do you record some only for later viewing? What will it cost to have enough technology, bandwidth, and support staff to deliver the virtual sessions live and/or record some of them? How will you account for time-zone differences among your virtual audience so that you get the best real-time attendance? And what do you charge virtual attendees versus in-person attendees so that you get enough total participants—without cannibalizing in-person attendance because of the lower virtual fee?

The good news is that a bunch of academic- and scientific-conference planners address these and other hybrid-event issues in this article at The bad news: Their advice is enlightening, but their trepidation related to the task is also fully apparent. Says one planner: “The idea of saying [to attendees] ‘Let’s go back to normal’ seems retrograde and unfair, so now I’m stuck with doing hybrid because it’s the right thing to do—but it costs twice as much. We actually lost money on our 2022 conference.”

Read the full article here.

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