Our world changed forever when the pandemic hit, and the event industry was no exception. People and planners have had to be truly innovative in this new normal. The pandemic laid out a whole new set of hurdles for us to clear, but we’re proud to say we haven’t skipped a beat for our clients. One way we have adjusted to Covid-19 is by executing spot-on hybrid events.
What is a Hybrid Event?
We know that many office-goers have switched to working remotely, and Zoom has become more common than in-person meetings. But Zoom has not only been booming in the work industry. It has also become the go-to for events in areas where Covid restrictions are still in place limiting the scope and size of events, or for those who just don’t feel comfortable hosting a large event yet.
A hybrid event is a part in-person/part-virtual event where a limited number of guests are in attendance in-person while the rest tune in via Zoom or Facetime. Hybrid events give us the ability to move forward with events and appeal to larger audiences without putting our loved ones at risk. There are hybrid weddings, baby/bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, banquettes and much more.
The Pros of Hybrid Events
- Ability to go forward with event planning
- Inclusion for everyone regardless of geography
- Avoiding travel for those who can’t or don’t feel comfortable
- No size limit
- Less expensive
Are Hybrid Events Here to Stay?
Much like remote work has stuck beyond Covid restrictions, hybrid events may become the new normal as well. While restrictions continue to recede in most parts of the country, many still remain hesitant to jump back into large social gatherings where social distancing is difficult.
As a result, our team predicts an increase in the number of hybrid events in the coming months.
Those putting on events are also discovering that hybrid events present the best of both worlds- saving money while inviting as many people as desired. With hybrid events, less is spent on meals, venue space, party favors and so much more. This is why we also predict that hybrid events will continue long after Covid-19 has run its course.
How to Throw a Hybrid Wedding
Now let’s talk planning. It can be a challenge to get started when it comes to planning a hybrid event. However, a hybrid wedding can be every bit as magical as a traditional, in-person wedding and we know how to guide you through it. Here are five tips to get you started with your hybrid wedding.
1. Choose a Venue
Choosing a venue for your hybrid wedding is a bit different than choosing one for an in-person wedding. You now have lighting and angles to consider for your virtual audience. Is there a good 360 view for a camera to be placed? Keep your Zoom guests in mind when choosing where to celebrate your nuptials.
2. Make Two Guest Lists
One of the best aspects of a hybrid wedding is that you can invite as many people as you’d like without capacity restrictions. We recommend making two guest lists; one for your in-person guests and the other for everyone who will be invited to attend via live-stream. This allows both you and your guests to plan and lets people know up-front what they are invited to. This also allows you to get a final count on how many of your in-person attendees will be able to come so you can take a final head count and possibly replace anyone who won’t be showing up.
3. Send Formal Invitations
Yes, everything has turned to digital, but there is still something special about a tangible and beautifully crafted invitation that people can hang on their fridge and keep forever. If you decide to go this route, don’t forget to start early so you allow adequate time for people to RSVP.
4. Include a Dress Code
If cameras are going to be on, you may want to include a dress code. It helps your live-stream guests feel like they’re part of the event and also sets the right tone for your virtual gathering. It also keeps Uncle Burt from crashing the wedding vibe by showing up in a flannel shirt and sweats.
5. Implement Elements for Your Virtual Guests
How can you make your virtual guests feel involved? Get creative with this. Maybe you choose to send gifts to your Zoom guests ahead of time that will be used during a certain portion of your wedding such as a champagne glass for a virtual toast or a handkerchief to wipe tears away during the vows. This will assure your virtual guests feel like a special part of your wedding instead of just an after-thought.
There are so many aspects of a hybrid wedding that can enhance your overall wedding experience. What started out as a foreign concept has showed us new ways of doing things, some of which are better than we did them before. Creating a different plan than what you always pictured for your big day can require some mental recalibrating, but our experienced hybrid wedding planners will help you plan it, embrace it and beautifully execute it