In-person vs Virtual vs Hybrid events – The event style that will rule the world in 2021

• February 24, 2021
Airmeet Blog b70
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter


020 saw a sea of changes around us. While COVID-19 could have been the trigger, some of these changes are now viewed as change for the better. With specific reference to event hosting, in 2020, we saw the shift from physical events to virtual events. Towards the end of the year, we saw the emergence of hybrid events.

The events industry adapted to the change. But as we have moved into 2021, everyone wondered about where the event trends were heading? What is the future of the event hosting industry? Is it the end of in-person events? 

Based on the pulse of the market, we believe that:

  • In-person events will re-emerge.
  • Virtual events will continue to be a part of our lives.
  • Hybrid events will gain popularity this year.

Let us deep dive and understand these trends better. 

In-person events

The global pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill. In-person events were cancelled altogether. The situation is improving slowly. In India, permissions have been granted to hold small events with very few attendees. But, with newer strains of the virus being detected and with the rollout of vaccines just having started, holding an in-person event would be few and far.

Yet, if you feel an in-person event is required, you could hold an event with restricted numbers and all social protocols in place. As an added measure, you could offer PPE suits/ face shields to all attendees. You could also make your event touch-free. From registration, booths to rest-rooms make arrangements for a no-touch event.

These arrangements may be a little costlier, but if this cost will aid in protecting oneself from the virus, participants may be willing to pay this cost. 

Final view: In the first half of 2021,  in-person events will be hosted with very few attendees. But if the reach of vaccination improves, the number of in-person events will increase in the second half of the year.

Virtual events

Virtual events practically saved all event managers in 2020. These events were always present in the background, but COVID-19 pushed them to the forefront. We saw an array of virtual events hosted in 2020. Webinars, product launches, job fairs, college admissions, workshops, we saw all of these being hosted via virtual platforms.

Live streaming, an integral part of virtual events, has caught viewers’ imagination across the world. People prefer a live-stream video over a blog post or social media post. These videos attract more viewership, likes and comments. Keeping up with the demand, event organisers have now started live streaming their events using different platforms.

Given that the situation globally is improving, we see in-person events making a cautious comeback. Yet, there are several attendees and organisers who prefer virtual events over anything else. Why? These events can be attended from the comfort and safety of our homes, they are cost-effective, there is no barrier of time and place, and lastly, virtual events are viewed as green events. The biggest advantage of virtual events that makes it a big hit is global reach and attendance.

Final view: Given all the reasons mentioned above, virtual events will always be there, and their popularity will not decrease even if our lives go back to the pre-pandemic era.

Hybrid events

The youngest entrant in the world of events, hybrid events offer us a mix of in-person and virtual events. While some attendees want to attend in-person events and meet people, others prioritise comfort and safety and prefer to attend virtual events. Hybrid events strike this balance and hence are becoming a popular choice among organisers and attendees alike.

Some of the other advantages of hybrid events include better reach, ideal for any budget; attendees can re-watch and share the sessions, better sponsorship and engagement opportunities, and flexibility.

Given the plethora of reasons, it is no wonder that hybrid events are gaining popularity. Lastly, both attendees and organisers feel that hybrid events are sustainable and a better choice from the health perspective.

Final view: Hybrid events will reign in 2021. It is considered a wise choice in the new normal. If planned and organised, hybrid events have the potential to be the most preferred event among organisers and attendees.

The most successful event is one that achieves your goals and exceeds your expectations.

The most successful event is one that achieves your goals and exceeds your expectations.


Event trends may keep changing, and event organisers will have to adapt to changing needs and demands. However, the biggest learning from 2020 has been that any kind of networking or learning is always effective when the attendees are lesser. Termed as micro-experience, this is what attendees are looking for.

So, while you keep up with event organising trends always ensure that you give your attendees the micro-experience and help them be a participant of an interesting, value-driven and productive event. 

Virtual Events & Community Building Insights
Subscribe to Get Updates (we promise no spam)
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You might also like
May 5, 2022
April was an action-packed month here at Airmeet. Say hello to Event-led growth and our exciting set of updates that will help you unlock the potential of events. We hosted an AMA with Mark Kilens, our new CMO, to discuss event-led growth in detail. In case you missed the session live, you can watch the event replay here.
Marlys Arnold
May 2, 2022
“Jeez, the virtual conference was so boring!” We have all been into such virtual events or conferences that had us wishing they got over ASAP. To ensure you don’t end up hosting a virtual conference like that, here’s a list of virtual conference mistakes that you should avoid in 2022.
Interested in Giving Your Community an Interactive Experience?
Try Airmeet's All-In-One Virtual Events Platform.

Host live or on-demand webinars with
a strong engagement focus

Revenue Generation

Connect and convert leads faster

Community engagement

Engage your community around the year

Workshops and Trainings

Host interactive sessions and inspire your audience

Employee engagement

Engage everyone at work to get closer

Create virtual and hybrid event experiences
that everyone loves to attend.

Job Fairs

Connect Talent with Global Employers

Product Launch

Leave a long-lasting impression in the market

Trade Fairs

Host highly immersive and interactive fairs

Demo days

Prioritize growth with networking-led pitch conferences

Award Ceremonies

Host a grand reception for your rockstars


Organize codefests that inspires innovation

Hybrid Events

Bring together the best of virtual and in-person events

Real-time Analytics

Track event performance and engagement

Airmeet Mobile App

Access events on the go

Event Plannings

Plan your perfect event hasslefree

Rich Integrations

Connect Airmeet with your favorite apps

Interactive stage

Deliver sessions high on engagement

Meetings & Networking

Craft meaningful conversations

Immersive Booths

Boost event ROI with interactive booths

Event Sponsorships

Generate more value for your sponsors

Event Gamification

Keep your events fun and engaging

Airmeet Security

Host safe and secure events


Hear what customers have to say about Airmeet

Case Studies

Read how Airmeet helps businesses


Deep dive into Airmeet’s favorite topics


Event industry leaders spill the beans

Our events

Events curated by Airmeet keeping YOU in mind


Guides, FAQs, updates & more from Airmeet