Hybrid events are a combination of both virtual and in person, providing an online experience for those that cannot attend and providing a Gala environment for those that can. Hybrid events extend your reach and your ability to fundraise to a group of people who either don’t want to attend, are worried about attending, or that are geographically unable to attend.

The major fact about pivoting to a virtual or hybrid event is that your audience will undoubtedly change from your typical live event. People who do not enjoy going to big parties or galas may tune in. People from different areas around the state, country, or world may tune in. Your audience may double in size. And appealing to all of these people, and making this a highly accessible event to anyone and everyone is important. 

Why plan a hybrid event with utopia?

  • It provides simplicity and makes it easy for people to say YES. You may join us in person or online!
  • There are different audiences that are attending Virtual Galas. Our organizations have shared that donors who have never before attended their in-person Gala are attending their Virtual and Hybrid Galas. Perhaps the Ritz-Carlton Gala doesn’t appeal to them, but your mission does. Virtual and Hybrid Galas create an opportunity for you to engage a new audience demographic. 
  • Stream your live event so you are able to reach the demographic of people that are not able to physically attend. Leverage local celebrities to reach a larger online audience. 
  • In the case your event is canceled because of COVID-19 or other circumstances, a Hybrid event allows you to still maintain everything you’ve already planned by taking your live event to a fully virtual platform in our event and video production studio. 

How Our Team Will Help:

  • Walk you through the process, from A to Z.
  • Design your program and create your timeline:
    • We’ll help you with sponsorship slides, live auction slides, silent auction slides, sponsor commercials, animations, lower thirds, transitions and overlays.
  • Assist with the registration process.
  • Recommend and partner with your mobile bidding platform and bring all of your auction items directly on screen.
  • Delegate onto our planning team all of the things you lose sleep over.
  • Monitor and thank bidders in real-time.
  • Help you create emotional, appealing video content.
  • Zero lag/latency on our streams, which is paramount for the success of your live auction.
  • Supply all need A/V equipment to produce the in-person and virtual components of your event. 
  • Record and stream your entire program so that you not only have the virtual program but the emotion and experience of the in-person program captured. 


Most importantly, we are your hybrid event partner as we are vested in your long-term fundraising success.

Fundraising tips

Create a hybrid event landing page with all event information. Attendees will be able to access the hybrid event registration and mobile bidding platform from this page. This is a great place to include videos and testimonials about your organization and your mission. Specify ticket prices for the in-person and virtual elements. Create an exclusive experience for those attending your event in-person.

Specify the difference in ticket prices for attending in-person vs. attending virtually. The guests that are attending in person are making a night of dressing up, driving to the venue, and likely hiring a babysitter. Make the ticket price worthwhile with an exclusive experience they can only get from attending your event in-person. For virtual attendees, consider offering a sponsorship to host a watch party. Have volunteers deliver food and beverages prior to your stream going live!

Work with our event production team to determine the best live-streaming platform for your organization and attendees. This is how your donors will watch the event, bid on auction items and donate at various giving levels. Minimizing latency is the most critical thing here. Our goal is to minimize delays so your auctioneer is able to accept bids and thank your donors in real-time. This becomes even more important when you have attendees bidding both in-person and virtually. 

Open up your auction items several days before the event. This will encourage donors to bid on items and engage them prior to the day of your Hybrid event. Utilize your mobile bidding platform to inform your donors that bidding is open! Consider leaving your silent auction open for 2-24 hours after your event to maximize your virtual participation.

There is a science to the order of your live auction. Partnering with a fundraising auctioneer will ensure that you are putting your live auction items in an order that will give you the highest ROI. A fundraising auctioneer will run your Hybrid live auction the same way as an in-person event, ensuring engagement and excitement with your donors! This becomes even more fun when you have someone watching from home out-bidding someone at the live event. It is critical to utilize a professional auctioneer partner that is familiar with Hybrid events. 

Utilize video to tug at the heartstrings of your donors. Video is an extremely powerful way to solicit donations during an event. Setting pre-determined giving levels makes donating from home and in-person a simple process and allows the auctioneer to thank each and every generous donor.  Video is a great way to tie in the virtual elements of the event to the in-person program. Consider showcasing various home watch parties throughout your event to keep your programming fun and interactive.


Please find a timeline that we have used as a template to plan hundreds of Hybrid fundraisers with nonprofit organizations all over the United States. This is by no means the only way to run a successful Hybrid Gala or fundraiser, it is simply a framework.

Our team will work closely with you and your auctioneer to create a ROS (run of show) that works for you and your organization based around your specific goals.


There are an unlimited ways to incorporate video into your Hybrid event. An example may include your CEO or Executive Director thanking everyone for joining. Our team is here to help storyboard and produce all of your video content so you can focus on cultivation and stewardship of your donors; creating a buzz and excitement around your Hybrid event.


The power of a strong story cannot be overstated. Utilize program specific and appeal (spotlight/paddle raise) videos to tug at the heartstrings of your donors. Video is an extremely powerful way to solicit donations during your Hybrid event. The new fundraising world we are in creates an opportunity for you to appeal to all audiences, all over the world. Your best way to tell your story and connect with emotion is through your spotlight / appeal video.  This is your opportunity to show your organization’s impact out in the community, spotlight the recipients of your mission, and most importantly appeal to the most basic moral obligations or your donor base to positively impact other’s lives.  




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