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Hybrid Before Hybrid Was Cool

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Environmentally friendly cars aside, how often did you hear the word “hybrid” before 2020? Seemingly overnight, it became part of our pandemic lexicon, like zooming, pivot and new normal. Hybrid was a quick and clear way to describe delivering an experience both virtually and in person. But is the hybrid model really all that new? 

Every time we watch a live event on television, we’re having a hybrid model experience. 

The Superbowl is a hybrid program delivered through a broadcast. There’s an experience for the people who are there in the stadium, and there are those of us who are home wearing team jerseys and cheering with pom poms and foam fingers from our sofas. 

Through advertising, beer companies like Budweiser entice us to drink their products at home during the game, because when we do, it feels like we’re drinking a Bud at the stadium. We’re having that experiential connection back and forth in a hybrid model. 

Conversely, if you’ve been to a Major League Baseball game, chances are you’ve seen someone in the stadium listening to the play-by-play by radio or a streaming service. They are connecting via a broadcast while experiencing the event in person. 

MLB took its hybrid model to a new level during the 2021 All-Star Game, equipping players with two-way audio devices. Television audiences listened into conversations between the players and commentators throughout the game, giving them a live, on-field experience. What a fantastic way to engage people in a sport that has a reputation for being a slow!

If you’re familiar with Bespoke, you know that hybrid isn’t new to us. While the need for a hybrid approach was heightened in 2020, we’ve always helped clients connect with their audiences in multiple ways. 

Particularly for our corporate clients and those invested in continuing education, hybrid has been our norm. We’ve live-streamed everything from corporate board meetings with participants logging in from around the world to a multi-market product launch with sales teams participating remotely. 

The hybrid model has long been used by our continuing education clients. For example, we’ve filmed live trainings that were then repackaged with slide content, other speakers and video, and a live medical demonstration with overhead cameras for teaching purposes. The result is an engaging, multi-layered module that becomes part of a continuing education program. 

When Bespoke works with clients in different locations, we think about how we’re going to transport audiences right into the room where the main event is happening. We have deep expertise combining in-person experiences with live-streaming, recorded content, interactivity, pre-delivered items (such as work materials, mementos or meals) and more to create experiences that connect people in memorable and meaningful ways.

We’ve all been changed by 2020, and many of those changes are for the better. Embracing and dialing up the ways we connect using hybrid models is one of those positive outcomes. Where will you use a hybrid model to better connect people to the heart of your brand this year and beyond?