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Hybrid events 7 practical tips
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3 Min Read

7 practical tips for your next hybrid event

The challenges of the COVID-19 situation have forced many event planners to re-think their business model and virtual events are now more and more accepted as the new normal in the event industry. Many event professionals have started to plan for the future and think about what the event industry will look like when physical distancing rules will be re-assessed.

Preparing for a life after the pandemic, an increasing number of organizers are considering hybrid events for their events moving forward, i.e. a mix between a physical event and virtual elements.

As highlighted in a previous article on how hybrid events will shape the future of the industry, opening your face-to-face event to a virtual audience increases your event reach and gives you the opportunity to generate additional revenue.

There are different ways of shaping the event, as there are different aspects to take into consideration, including: the primary purpose of the event, the industry, the attendee structure and personas addressed, or the content of the sessions. This may also be an indicator towards a potential focus on virtual components or in-person and social event functions.

With hybrid events set to become the next event trend, we put together our top practical tips to help you create a memorable event for both physical and remote attendees:

1. YOUR AUDIENCE. Plan your hybrid event the same way you would plan for a physical event. As you consider adding online components for virtual participants to your event, ask yourself: who is your virtual audience? How familiar are they with technology? What social media do they use most? This will help you put together different virtual elements that resonate with your audience.

2. VALUE. Make sure the virtual component does not make the face-to-face part seem redundant. Try promoting it as a “nice to add” component for people who cannot make it to the event. Think about different prices for virtual tickets and social functions: Be sure to market it as a “not to be missed” happening (gala dinner, sports activity such as skiing or hiking, and other social events)

3. FOMO. Create a FOMO (fear of missing out) effect to encourage your online audience to attend live with polls, Q&As, feedback surveys and social media discussions with presenters and other participants that are only available in real time. Add emotional elements to the live event, such as music and video effects.

4. ON-DEMAND CONTENT. Offer recorded sessions available on-demand after the event to all your attendees who would like to watch sessions they were not able to attend during the event. Again, think about offering the right kind of value: Avoid making all of the content available in order to encourage participants to a) participate in the entire event or b) participate in the live components of the virtual stream.

5. DATA. Use a powerful event registration system that lets you keep track of both your virtual attendees and your face-to-face participants. Ideally use a solution that allows you to seamlessly manage your online participants, events details and engagement statistics in one central location.

6. TECHNOLOGY. Get the event place set up for live streaming: work with your AV team to get the rooms ready. Try the equipment beforehand to ensure the audio and image quality is optimum. Organize a few online tests to ensure the sessions are displaying properly to your online participants. Inform your presenters and get them to rehearse to present on stage while being broadcasted live.

7. INTERACTION. When it comes to shaping the event experience, you should not underestimate the power of live chats, moderation and interaction. Even online, you can allow for conversations around the sessions as well as Q&As.

Conclusion

No matter how you design your hybrid event, make sure you are familiar with your targeted audience to offer them the right kind of value and experience. In your communication, be sure to address the benefits of each component as attendees want to maximize the benefits of their participation. They need to know what to expect and get the information they need.