Top 8 Best Hybrid Event Platforms For 2021

Ready to step up your events?

Discover powerful tools like our virtual venue platform, virtual conferencing, event ticketing and more.

Request a demo

Looking for the best hybrid event platforms of 2021? You have come to the right place. Choosing a platform can be difficult, with so many features to compare and costs ranging from free to 6 figures - hunting for the perfect platform for your event can cause a bit of a headache. We've put this guide together to make your life easy. You'll get a top level overview of what's out there and what might work for you and your budget. So...Let's get into it!

Losing people to people interaction is probably the biggest casualty of the COVID-19 era. The pandemic is forcing a transformation that only a few months ago was inconceivable by most. The world has changed. Forever.

As soon as the pandemic was declared last year, organisations cancelled in-person events and started looking for better ways to bring people together in the same space.

There is a prevailing belief that live events will not come back any time soon—even once the Covid-19 vaccine has been distributed. If you haven't already picked up on the fact that times are changing, allow us to bring you up to speed. After the biggest collective trauma since the Second World War rendered all but contact with your cohabiters illegal in most parts of the world, many countries are now tentatively trying to return to some sort of normality. Clearly, one of the defining traits of the "new normal" is how people interact.

Making Connections In A Socially Distant World

Like every adversity, the pandemic also comes with great opportunities to optimise and grow. We are looking for new solutions for immediate replacement for in-person events.

Since the world was ready for disruption, modern technology came to the rescue, and that's where hybrid events platforms are becoming more and more popular. 

The in-person business events have always needed to evolve, but the current situation has only accelerated that process. And that means we're all about helping you get the most out of event platforms.

Virtual or Hybrid event platforms?

Virtual events platforms have gained much traction over the last 18 months or so, following the movement restrictions. There are significant cost savings, and events can be produced much more quickly than live-in-person ones. Virtual events have enabled businesses to continue engaging with their audiences—even if they are on opposite sides of the world. Here's a better solution, however.

A hybrid event, or a "hybrid," can be considered the best of both worlds. The recently held Olympics event is a version of a hybrid meeting (limited seating is available on site, but most have access online.)

In a business context, it's like attending a conference in two dimensions. One might enjoy it from the comfort and convenience of their own home, while others will be able to feel that they are there with you if they have made attendance plans for themselves. What's excellent about hybrid events is that all types of people can come together without ever having to leave their living room!

Why Hybrid Events Are the Future

Just look at the numbers. The global virtual events market size was worth 94.04 billion dollars in 2020, and it will grow at a rate of 23.7% until 2028. With thoughtful planning and the right technology at our side, hybrid events have the potential for even better returns.

But to create memorable audience experiences, we need advanced technology. Unlike the last pandemic, these technologies are available now. 

For instance, adopting a versatile hybrid platform helps accommodate thousands of attendees and foster engagement. Inviting and facilitating interactions between all participants can save significant training and operational costs, delivering tremendous ROI. 

However, an event is only as good as the people that meet there. The more diverse and varied those encounters are, the better our experience tends to be. A robust event platform can bring people together from all backgrounds to help put on a great show.

Not so much a case of asking 'why put all your event ideas in one basket?' as 'why not put your event ideas in multiple baskets', at Eventcube we firmly believe that the future of gatherings of all types, shapes, and sizes is likely to be a mixed reality affair. This goes for corporate conferences, art festivals, theatre performances, and more.

That's because, as we explained in our recent post, 9 Reasons You Should Be Using A Hybrid Events Platform, so many event professionals, planners, and managers have now realised just how much can be done with events hosted in virtual spaces. Meanwhile, in many sectors there are still tangible reasons to offer a real world ticket option — hands-on experiences are always appealing.

The best part about all this is that nobody has to choose between the two, so forget about any stressful decisions on that front. By combining both virtual and physical into a hybrid event you can quite literally get the best from both worlds, meaning the options and opportunities far exceed that of either virtual or physical alone. But what platforms work best to pull off an incredible hybrid event?

Time for some introductions, and when you're done here check out these 8 Proven Event Launch Ideas to help ensure your hybrid event gets off to a truly memorable and successful start.


The Top 8 Best Hybrid Event Platforms For 2021 Are: 

  1. Eventcube
  2. Hopin
  3. Boomset
  4. Canapii
  5. Localist
  6. Communique Virtual Conference
  7. Converve
  8. 6Connex

1. Eventcube

Book a 1-to-1 demo with Eventcube

Eventcube banner

What else did you think we were going to start with? We believe Eventcube was the world's best ticketing and event management platform before the pandemic, whether that's for a physical event or virtual, and we still think this is the case now. In fact, it's only getting better. 

There's not enough space here to list everything we can do, but from simple multi-channel streams to building bespoke virtual environments, the possibilities are enormous, and our real world ticketing system has long-been lauded.

The platform is built to support unique ways for your audience to engage with your content. Whether social plugins, virtual polling, Q&A or interactive chat rooms - we can help you bring the audience in on the act, so they are more involved than ever before!

When hosting an event, you don't have to watch passively from afar. There are options to use innovative production tools like custom display units & enhanced virtual design to make your events pop. Eventcube is, without doubt, one of the best hybrid events platforms in the market right now.

Key benefits:
  • Dedicated ticketing platform
  • Virtual Venue includes live virtual interaction e.g. breakout rooms and panel hosting formats
  • Price structure suited to one-off events or series 
  • Comprehensive data capture and and in-depth reporting 
  • White label service for the creation of bespoke, branded event and ticket marketplaces 
  • Built-in live streaming platform to support virtual or hybrid events  
  • Instant access to funds
Pricing:
  • Standard: Free with 5% of transaction fees for tickets sold
  • Pro: £35 per month with 3% of transaction fees for tickets sold  
  • Broadcast: from £1 per attendee
  • Virtual Venue: prices starting from £3500


2. Hopin 

Hopin banner

Hopin is an all-in-one virtual event platform that strives to create highly customizable hybrid events for small team meetings, up to worldwide summits of thousands. The platform replicates the in-person experience by providing a sense of engagement amongst attendees who are able to feel like they're in a live session. Hopin is also extendable via integration within other platforms.

One of the biggest names on the market, Hopin does what it does very well. Create events that can connect people across the globe virtually, you'll find everything here needed to produce something in a digital space that's as close to reality as dammit, with the potential to offer conferencing and entertainment to audiences in the tens of thousands, and plenty of customisation options.

Hopin's platform also provides an analytics dashboard and detailed reports providing insights from hybrid events. You can collate analytics from events to create a more detailed picture comprising all attendees.

Key benefits:
  • Comprehensive set of plugins and integrations, including MailChimp, Slido,  HubSpot, CVent, and Typeform
  • Ideally suited to all sizes of events 
  • Easy set up — open an account and create an event in minutes 
  • Networking options to replicate real world events, including reception areas
Pricing:
  • Starter: $83.25 per month 
  • Growth: $667 per month 
  • Business and Enterprise: On quotation 

*prices are accurate at the time of publication (03/09/2021) and may have now changed


3. Boomset 

Boomset banner

Boomset's real selling point is the abundant backend hacks it offers event organisers, which can really make a difference in terms of ensuring things run smoothly on the day (or days). By that we mean concurrent pre-recorded and live stream broadcasts, digital entry management, on-demand printing, virtual exhibitor management and even gamification. If you can't do it here you may not be able to do it. 

Boomset has also been expanding its live event functionality since 2020 and now offers entirely virtual events in addition to hybrid ones. Boomset's virtual platform includes registration, exhibitor management tools, video streaming capabilities, and networking features. It can also be customized with HTML-savvy planners able to change the look of the space if need be. It is a powerful and customisable platform for those looking to produce something big (not for those looking to produce a small event.)

Key benefits:
  • Advanced technology for real world implementation including: 
  • RFID wearables, reducing environmental impact and boosting lead generation ROI
  • Lead retrieval, allowing exhibitors to capture contact information instantly
  • Cashless payments, speeding up sales on the day 
  • 'Smart session information' provides up-to-the-minute overviews of events to optimise flow and stop overbooking 
  • Gamification options to secure greater levels of ongoing engagement 
  • Complete ticketing solution built-in
Pricing*:
  • Growth: $4,000 per year (Includes 1000 registrations)
  • Pro: On quotation
  • Expert: On quotation

*prices are accurate at the time of publication (03/09/2021) and may have now changed

4. Canapii 

Canapii banner

It's a bit weird to describe anything relating to the pandemic as a success, but Canapii would be one example if you felt comfortable saying so. A self-styled cool kid of the virtual events world, while the platform isn't tried and tested for hybrid or real world — it gained traction through it's virtual prowess — the developers say they are good to go for physical, with automated registration, travel, and personal itinerary systems sounding well-placed for the challenges of real world event organisation and production.

Canapii offers a complete event management software and mobile event app that connects seamlessly with in-person events. The mobile app is integrated to provide the same experience as its virtual counterpart, so you can have hybrid events without sacrificing quality or utility.

It is a robust platform that offers built-in translations and subtitles powered by machine learning. Attendees are able to input their desired language for any given session, which will provide them with AI-generated translations that can rival YouTube's automatic translation services.

Key benefits:
  • Auto-captions and live translations in the Canapii Virtual Arena 
  • Comprehensive Event Console places all stats and metrics at your fingertips 
  • On-demand content broadcast options 
  • Extensive community aspects, including attendee profiles
  • Dedicated sponsor booths and exhibition areas 
  • Video conferencing options are less extensive than other platforms
Pricing*:
  • Free: $0
  • Motivator: $149 
  • Driver: $599
  • Professional: On quotation

*prices are accurate at the time of publication (03/09/2021) and may have now changed

5. Localist 

Localist banner

Ignoring the lure of the international market in favour of a global local focus, Localist is all about making things as simple and straightforward as possible for community and grassroots organisations to host, sell and promote their own virtual events. Automated social media posts and email shots, dedicated landing pages and a suite of other tools are major plus points for digital, and as we move to hybrid events, and take on the additional responsibilities of physical production, streamlining digital will be a godsend.

Designed to fit the needs of any organisation, Localist will take the work off your hands by aggregating data for events across departments. It's so easy to use a platform that you can use without any coding experience.

This powerful virtual and hybrid event platform works with all of your existing tools, including most common websites and CMS systems. So you can add a needed feature to your website without losing any functionality or having to learn new software. Localist's API allows for integrations into other standard programs without any known issues.

Key benefits:
  • Incredibly easy to use due to overall brand position 
  • White label solution allows for complete event banding, with responsive design 
  • Customisable HTML and CSS 
  • Centralised events calendar brings all dates under one roof
  • Bespoke permissions allow affiliates to create and market events securely 
Pricing*:
  • Engage: $850 per month 
  • Engage & Grow: $1,350 per month
  • Colleges & Universities: On quotation

*prices are accurate at the time of publication (03/09/2021) and may have now changed


6. Communique Virtual Conference 

Communique banner

Communique Conferencing has always been a hybrid event platform provider serving mid-to-large size corporations and non-profit organisations globally. The platform integrates AI tech for a unique, personalized event experience. It offers clients two options: either an immersive 3D virtual environment, which can be tailored precisely to each organisation's needs or a simpler 2D plug-and-play event space that will meet any budget.

As the title suggests, Communique Conferencing really does mean business, and is specifically aimed at the enterprise-level conference market. This means there's a relatively hefty price tag which will put off some smaller sized businesses, but as you would also expect that means a lot of bang.

The cloud-based virtual platform is basically a fully-fledged trade show, without the expense of flying everyone in—exhibition halls, individual booths, fringe events. Now imagine this in tandem with your real world event.

Key benefits:
  • Extensive choice of virtual exhibitor booths 
  • Useful resource centre to store videos, documents and links in an easy-to-access library for attendees 
  • AI powered elements including networking and content suggestions 
  • HTML5 based with no download required 
Pricing:

On quotation


7. Converve

Converve banner

Another serious system, Converve is all about networking, which is arguably the hardest aspect of real world conferencing and events to recreate in the virtual space (until we're all fully uploaded to the mainframe, of course). Digressions aside, the headline here is the use of finely tuned algorithms that make it easy for people to find their idea meeting partners, whether that's a brand or delegate.

Participants always have a complete overview of online sessions in their corresponding local time zone. You can even embed your custom live streams and link pre-recorded videos of the streaming provider of your choice. Participants can also ask questions to the moderator privately and publicly through text messaging or an interactive chat system.

Key benefits:
  • Focus on 'matchmaking' means this is an ideal platform for networking events 
  • Simple, easy to follow Timeline shows you the perfect workflow to realise ambitions
  • Robust, first-class data protection guarantees security for all attendees
  • Comprehensive event website builder for desktop and mobile sites 
Pricing:

On quotation

8. 6Connex

6Connex banner

6Connex is a hybrid event platform that's built on HTML5 with a robust enterprise-grade security. This effectively means that it delivers a smooth mobile experience while attendees can participate with any device that supports a browser. 

The company understands that today's modern event organizers value engagement. The platform offers custom virtual booths and real-time chat and the ability for organisations to upload their marketing or sales collateral before the event starts.

6Connext makes no secret of the fact it's all about the virtual trade show, virtual job fair and virtual summit market. And it caters for that client base excellently, with the system robust enough to facilitate virtual events with attendance numbers in the tens of thousands, but pricing also flexible enough to entice those hosting just a handful. Oh, and did we mention the E-Learning Program development options? 

Key benefits:
  • HTML5 cloud based event environment offers excellent accessibility 
  • Broad range of virtual environments with options to develop custom locations
  • Single license can cover multiple engagements 
  • Open VE Universe allows existing technologies to be easily integrated into 6Connex
Pricing:

On quotation

What Are The Keys To A Successful Hybrid Event?

  • A thriving hybrid environment needs to be able to deliver much more than just content. It requires an adequately curated journey where both physical attendees and those online need something of the other for it all to work out well. So one of the most important things is that the type of content you create needs to be adjusted for both kinds of audiences and personalized accordingly.
  • A hybrid event is all about interaction with all audiences. It should be an experience that every participant enjoys. So it is imperative to have a resourceful networking component. The platform you select should offer live chat and messaging features so that attendees can interact with each other and the presenter. 
  • Make both in-person and virtual experiences equally important. Both groups should be satisfied they received the same event content. 
  • It is also important to build communities consisting of attendees to enable continuous engagement before, during, and after the event.

Summary

So that's our summary of the best hybrid events platform for 2021. At the end of the day, the hybrid element of your event is an event insurance policy. It is a plan to make sure everything goes right when we don't know what will happen.

All 8 are top contenders and all have their pros and cons. At Eventcube we believe in flexibility, we know every event is unique, that's why customisability and white label features are built into everything we do. From our pricing structure to the technology that powers our virtual events. 

We also offer our production studio services to help with the technical aspects of running an online event. For these reasons we believe we have one of the best hybrid event solutions out there. Book a demo today to learn more about how we can power your next hybrid event.

We know that for the next few years, you'll love using hybrid events. Even when we go back to physical events, we will still see a virtual/hybrid component part of the grand scheme of things. The world has changed forever. It's no longer a place you can count on to be the same as it was last week or even yesterday. 

Are you prepared for the transition?

Need more event management advice?