Going beyond the “hybrid” buzzword

How can gamification leverage a better experience for hybrid?

Hybrid. It’s the word of 2021 already. “Best of both worlds”. Have your live, in person audience, but combine it with virtual so you can also keep your event open to the rest of the world. “Glocalisation”.

No one has really defined exactly what hybrid should look like – there are a few versions banding around already. In its simplest form, it’s getting some professional live streams running, and sending it out to a global audience, with a variety of platforms ready to do the heavy lifting for you.

There is an inherent cost issue here of course – going down this route, events will be shouldering the dual cost of in person and virtual, rather than one of the other. So you better make sure you have a target audience for both, to make sure it’s worth your time.

So let’s say you’ve got your hybrid event good to go. Thrusters ready, venue booked. How are you going to make sure both your virtual and live audiences feel a part of it?

Our suggested remedy – games. Gamification is a go to method to ramp up engagement and offers a host of ways to nail engagement. It’ll make both your audiences feel more appreciated and considered, at a time when people might think simply having an event just take place is enough.

What’s that? You want some free ideas on what that could look like? Go on then, you’ve twisted my arm.


The great thing about your pre-comms is you can push it out to both your virtual and physical audience and provide an equal experience. Take advantage of that fact.


Use your pre-comms to introduce small gamifications that builds anticipation for the event. Why not include a “golden ticket” puzzle that, once completed, gives them access to a secret speaker slot? Passcode access for virtual, name on the list for face to face. With a limited number of spaces, you can ramp up that scarcity factor, a key feature in gamification.


A reward system like this is equitable – both audiences stand to gain an equally valuable (i.e. the same) prize. You’re already using this game to set your stool out and say “this event is for both audiences”.

During the Event

Here comes the crunch. Now you’ve got to work hard to ensure both audiences are getting value, and not feeling left behind.


Why not create connections between your two audiences through games? Have a treasure hunt that’s split across virtual and physical, with both required for completion. Found half a clue at the venue? Check out the virtual chatter and see if you can find someone with the other half of it, to match up with. Depending on the type of event, you could even place people into chat groups that cut across virtual and physical, where they can message each other with what they’ve uncovered so far.


If it’s an exhibition, go wild and have completed puzzles rewarded with free products or trials from exhibitors, to have everyone involved in the action.


“That’s great Ben, but what I’m really worried about is my virtual audience being left behind”.


Okay then, we’ve one for that too. Why not project a virtual whiteboard on stage, enabling your speakers to see input from the virtual audience live. Virtual whiteboards have the beauty of being able to pre-design them, so you can create games such as “pin the insight on the speaker”, as your virtual audience can match insight statements to the speaker, right in front of them. Social connectedness and influence is a key part of gamification – if your virtual audience know their input is constantly visible to both speakers and live audience, it’ll spur on their contributions. And all it requires is a £10 a month virtual whiteboard subscription, a cheap laptop and a good sized projector.

After the Event

Often the most neglected, it’s an opportunity to unify both your virtual and physical audience one last time.


You can play it simple – why not a post-event quiz that harnesses statistics and contributions from your two audiences?


Think “What was the most popular exhibition with the live audience”, or “What virtual attendee said X?”. You can flip the experience by asking the live audience questions about virtual participation, and vice versa. Get those event relevant prizes ready…

Keep it Simple , Keep it Relevant

Whatever approach you consider to gamifying your event for a hybrid audience, it’s better to under-do it than overdo it. You’re not trying to invent the next best thing since Chess.

Simple, relevant games that harness the subject matter and play into key gamification principles such as accomplishment, empowerment of creativity, and unpredictability, will layer on plenty of value.

So what are you waiting for? Get playing!

Let’s make your event great!

Whether virtual, physical or hybrid, we’ll make sure your event is fun and engaging, speak to our team now!