Our guide to the 15 best hybrid event platforms in 2023 helps you find the right tool for your events. You may be searching for the best hybrid event tools, hybrid event software, hybrid expo platform. Or you may be looking for a hybrid events platform or hybrid conference platform. In this article, you will be able to identify the perfect solution for you and your business.
Hybrid events have never been so popular. They are a great way to save money on travel and venue expenses as well as reduce your carbon footprint.
The concept of “Hybrid everything” has been around for some time. Whether you talk about plants, cars, or software – hybrid is everywhere. The world of events is now turning into the world of hybrid events, because health and safety are still important. That means event marketers are looking for hybrid event tools to help them deliver the best events possible.
But, what is hybrid event software? And, how can you find the platform that suits your event needs?
Let’s take a look at the meaning of hybrid in the context of events. Then, we’ll review the features every hybrid events platform should have. And finally, we’ll list the 15 best hybrid event software tools in 2023. Whether looking for a platform to plan a hybrid expo, a hybrid concert or a hybrid conference, you will find one to fit your business needs…
Let’s dive in!
Hybrid events: what are they and why should you look into a hybrid event platform?
Hybrid events are two-sided. There’s a virtual part and an in-person part. With the ever-changing world, people are choosing to travel less and less. This may be for health or environmental reasons. It means that most hybrid event attendees tend to be virtual. Hence, the growing need for a hybrid event platform that help event planners host both virtual and in-person audiences successfully.
There are tons of advantages to using hybrid event tools. You can mix and match, give the best of both worlds, and deliver something truly unique. Check out the positives in detail and discover why you should invest in a hybrid events platform.
First and foremost, event spending goes down for both organizers and attendees.
- Organizers save on renting event venues, because fewer people will attend in person and more will participate online using the hybrid event platform.
- Attendees do not have to book hotels and flights given that they can get involved from the comfort of their own homes through user-friendly hybrid event software.
This does not only reduce costs but also allows for an increase in participation. Furthermore, the reduction in the carbon footprint of travel is good for the whole planet.
One area where you might want to spend more is on swag. A carefully curated swag experience can add value. And even create a link between in-person and virtual audiences.
Second, you have two venues – the physical one and the virtual one on the hybrid events platform. This is an opportunity for sponsors to be in front of two audiences. You might be organizing an expo or a conference where sponsors are vital and so having a hybrid expo or conference platform to deliver your event would be the ideal direction to take. After all, wider audience reach is important for sponsors and your business to bring messages across.
Finally, hybrid events can give you more options to engage your audience. Long sessions can easily be broken down into break-out sessions and content can be made available on-demand for the virtual audience using one of the best hybrid event platforms. This will undoubtedly keep your audience intrigued. It will bring them back to the interactivity of an event experience when/if they lose focus.
Hybrid event platforms: what features to look for?
A few key features are fundamental in guiding your attendees through the hybrid event journey. Make sure the hybrid event software you choose has the following features to get the most out of your hybrid event, expo or conference.
For starters, you should be able to brand. Whether it is your registration page or your web app, participants need to know that it is your business during the hybrid event, not anybody else’s. Ideally, your hybrid expo or conference platform will allow for fully customizable branding, allowing you to handpick the colors, upload your company’s logo, etc.
Your content strategy has to be top of mind when choosing a hybrid event platform. Content should keep your audience engaged, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve when in front of a screen for a long time.
So, choose hybrid event software that allows for multiple sources of content, such as live streams, pre-recorded videos, and a live feed where speakers, vendors, and guests can share content and interact with each other.
Make sure your audience knows where to go. Personalized agendas are key for any hybrid events platform. For example, your in-person audience splits into different breakout sessions than your virtual audience.
Sponsorship and virtual booths
You should have an eye on sponsors or exhibitors. Will exhibitors with an in-person booth also want a virtual booth on the hybrid expo platform? Are they different exhibitors? These are all things you can consider.
It is helpful to know which attendees participated in certain sessions so you can gain more information on prospective customers.
Find a hybrid event platform that offers a form of attendee tracking. This feature automatically tracks which users attend specific sessions and works hand-in-hand with other features like surveys. By knowing which users participated in each session, you can then decide to send those people surveys or other targeted messaging, all using the hybrid event software itself.
Analytics and reporting
To determine a hybrid event’s success it’s important to track user data and create reports based on relevant metrics.
For example, SpotMe, among the best enterprise hybrid event platforms, offers tracking for the following reporting features:
- Number of app users and adoption rates
- App user engagement (feed posts, booth scans, notes taken, shared contacts, etc.)
- Number of workspace agenda sessions
- App user devices and operating systems used to access the workspace
- Workspace documents and their sizes
Live chat and social media-inspired networking
Networking is often a major reason people attend events, so it is important to find a hybrid event platform that offers intuitive live chat and messaging features.
Certain hybrid event tools, such as SpotMe, are modeled after social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, providing each attendee with a personal profile page. They also offer familiar features like a live feed, commenting on posts, adding friends, watching live-streams, and viewing on-demand content.
Work with the Right Vendor
Find a vendor that can handle your in-person and virtual needs. For example, find a hybrid events platform that can be used across the web and an app. What you’re aiming for is a smooth and seamless experience for your audience. Wherever and however they attend.
List of the 15 best hybrid event platforms
So, hybrid events seem to be the way forward in the new normal. Now it is time to select the right hybrid event platform tailored to your needs. We have reviewed many platforms and come up with the 15 best hybrid event platforms with event planners and marketers in mind.
Hybrid event platform #1 SpotMe
SpotMe brings all your hybrid event needs together. You can create branded experiences across web and app and even live and on-demand. This helps in creating high-quality events. Through its marketplace and Zapier, you can integrate into CRM and registration platforms. You truly have all the tools to create a complete hybrid event experience.
SpotMe’s hybrid event software comes with webcasting, video break-out sessions, and personalized agendas. There’s a step-by-step wizard that lets you create a fully branded app. They even allow you to host sponsor information in virtual booths. All combined, it creates the feeling of one event experience.
SpotMe also has templates. Templates are comparable to the well-known Themes in WordPress. They come with navigation, page layouts, sample designs, and content. You have your event app and virtual web experience up and running on your hybrid platform in no time.
When it comes to security, SpotMe goes the extra mile. As a company, it’s SOCII type 2 certified. SpotMe applies security measures in the app as well. Users can go as far as to add a passcode to their event app. The passcode is only securely stored on the user’s device. A great Zoom alternative.
Hybrid event platform #2 Stova
Stova (the result of a merger of the event tech suppliers MeetingPlay, Aventri, and Eventcore) has brought virtual and hybrid event platforms to the market. It supports all event sizes, from small meetings to 100,000+ conferences.
This hybrid event platform brings both in-person as on-demand content to attendees. It is easy-to-use for event planners and comes with attendee registration features. The most powerful feature in Aventri is probably the way you can make templates out of routine events. Thus, you won’t have to worry about creating your hybrid event from scratch.
Other features include Q&A and event analytics.
However, keep in mind that Stova charges extra for additional features outside of the basics. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the cost of this hybrid event software before your event starts.
Hybrid event platform #3 Bizzabo
Bizzabo cannot be ignored in the 15 best hybrid event platforms in 2023. The product has gained fame for its ease of use and features.
For marketers, a hybrid events platform must integrate with the marketing stack. Thus, Bizzabo offers integration with the most common marketing tools around. Think Slack, Eloqua, and HubSpot. Also, there is an event website tool inside the Bizzabo package. This makes creating an event page a piece of cake.
However, Bizzabo is not always as flexible as one might expect. Push notifications are hard to edit and would have to be deleted and recreated if you want to change something. The polling feature doesn’t always work as smoothly either. Therefore, there is still room for improvement on a User Experience level.
Overall, Bizzabo does a good job and is still improving its hybrid events platform.
Hybrid event platform #4 EventMobi
EventMobi offers a hybrid event platform that is well-known for its flexible pricing. The platform stands out in the way you can customize it.
Looking for plenty of features to choose from? With over 120 features to choose from, EventMobi is your choice. The platform includes features like polling, Q&A, and gamification. It makes it easy to integrate with popular platforms such as Marketo and Salesforce.
However, for some, the hybrid event software’s interface might not look like a modern design. This can influence the participant experience during events. Overall, EventMobi is a great platform and not for nothing one of the most popular around.
Hybrid event platform #5 Swapcard
Swapcard offers user-friendly hybrid event tools. It creates a one-stop-shop experience for attendees. The User Interface looks modern and smooth to navigate. This is supported by branding features.
If you are looking for a quick and simple event app, Swapcard is a solid choice. It is great for in-person events. For hybrid, you might want to look further. Swapcard comes with features such as virtual booths and personalized agendas. However, it has limited streaming and virtual abilities.
Event planners can’t manage the visibility and complex targeting of their audience. For basic event needs, this is perfectly fine. If you’re looking for a more complete hybrid expo platform, you should look a bit further.
Thinking of going with Swapcard? Check out the full Swapcard review!
Hybrid event platform #6 Hopin
Hopin is definitely among the 15 best hybrid event platforms, able to host events from 50 to 50,000 people.
It features several interactive areas where attendees can move in and out of rooms, simulating the feel of a traditional venue. Its networking area offers attendees a fun way to meet fellow guests, creating random video chats with others that automatically start, with each chat time set by the event organizers.
However, if you’re looking for a reliable and quick support team to help you with glitches during your presentation, you might want to look elsewhere. Their support has been reported to be on the slow side.
Still, Hopin is a recognizable name in the hybrid event platform space and is a good overall option.
Read more about the platform in our Hopin Review: Virtual Event Tech Guide
Hybrid event platform #7 BigMarker
BigMarker is a virtual/hybrid event platform capable of hosting events of up to 10,000 people.
BigMarker is browser-based, meaning your guests won’t need to download an app. This can make attending a breeze.
Designing your hybrid event is fun and intuitive with BigMarker’s 15+ virtual modules, which are essentially separate customizable web pages for you to create your welcome page, ticketing, main stage, expo booth, and other virtual meeting spaces. Event hosts are encouraged to mix and match different modules to create their ideal event.
While it’s a fine enough hybrid conference platform, BigMarker is still widely regarded as a webinar tool, which means it’s still a bit limited compared to other hybrid event platforms.
Learn more about BigMarker’s features in our BigMarker Review: Virtual Event Tech Guide
Hybrid event platform #8 Glisser
Glisser is hybrid event software that centralizes around audience interaction and engagement.
Apart from creating an extremely engaging experience for all attendees, whether they are in-person or online, Glisser’s hybrid event tool allows participants to take digital notes and have access to slide decks and on-demand content.
This hybrid events platform is developed by event industry veterans who really know what they are doing. It gives you the features you need to create events of any size.
Hybrid event platform #9 Vfairs
VFairs’ hybrid conference platform makes its audiences feel like they are physically attending the conference by using ultra-realistic 3D virtual environments.
If you want to create a traditional in-person experience at a distance with visually appealing animations and interactions, this is one of the best hybrid event platforms for it.
It can be challenging for event organizers to manage this hybrid event platform’s backend due to its complexity. Plus, the price is not affordable for all. But, if you have experience in the event tech industry and are willing to invest more in creating an unforgettable experience, this is a great choice.
Hybrid event platform #10 Hubilo
Hubilo is a hybrid events platform that does not just offer interactive experiences for attendees, but also helps you drive towards achieving business goals.
Hubilo did not always offer hybrid event tools. In fact, before the pandemic, its main focus was in-person events. However, now it is becoming a player to watch in the market.
The hybrid event software’s frontend and backend are easy for event planners to use and its interface is pleasing to the eye, although the custom branding feature could be improved.
Hybrid event platform #11 Webex Events (formerly Socio)
An advantage of Webex Events (formerly known as Socio) is that it has a live event app as well as a hybrid event platform.
Originally a webinar tool, it has now evolved into a hybrid conference platform with which event planners can manage a range of events. Its gamification makes it captivating for event attendees although there are occasionally issues with privacy and personal information.
Hybrid event platform #12 6Connex
6Connex is a hybrid expo platform that is a great choice for trade shows, job fairs and summit markets.
Its enterprise-grade security means that it can accommodate up to the tens of thousands without issues. The fact that this hybrid event software is built on HTML5 results in enjoyable experiences from any browser-supporting devices.
Hybrid event platform #13 InEvent
InEvent claims to be one of the best hybrid event platforms with numerous features as well as a mobile app.
This is one of the hybrid event tools that is not for one-off events or for events that use audio only. It has a strong video streaming feature and custom branding that brings businesses to life.
Even though the backend is easy for event planners to manage, there is an excellent support team available 24/7 to assist with any problems.
Hybrid event platform #14 Eventcube
Eventcube’s hybrid event platform is known for its outstanding real-world ticketing system.
It offers features for live virtual engagement and numerous ways for participants to interact with event content, such as Q&A and polls. The hybrid event software even allows for detailed reporting on data to help you evaluate your events.
Hybrid event platform #15 Cvent
Cvent is renowned for its hybrid conference platform with optimal event registration and management.
It is not affordable for all and it is not as customizable as some of the other hybrid event tools in this list. But, it has great potential for hybrid events due to its strong registration, data collection and report sharing features.
Use a hybrid event platform for your next event
We may sound like a broken record, but a great hybrid event starts with a great hybrid event platform. Do not just pick any of the hybrid event tools at random though. Select the one that is able to accommodate your audience size and interactivity needs so your audience gets a great user experience.
SpotMe is the complete hybrid events platform, creating a fun and fashionable hybrid event for audiences, filled with interactive features like polling, live Q&As, live streams, on-demand content, registration pages, and more.
For those looking for an all-in-one hybrid events tool to help build their hybrid event from start to finish, SpotMe is an exceptional choice. Reach out today to start your free trial.
Other resources to help you find the best event platform and app for 2023
We suggest reading our article about the 13 corporate event trends that will make your events stand out in 2023 and then checking out the following guides to help you succeed in the upcoming year: