What excuse do you make when asked about your hybrid events – and you haven’t got them?
It is not a challenge, but a stark problem for event planners and professionals around the world to host their events now.
After the Covid-19 pandemic began, event professionals and we have seen a subtle and disruptive change to the industry. Virtual event software could be a great platform for you when you consider hosting hybrid events.
In-person events are gone – hybrid events are the future!
Slowly but gradually events are restoring as the time approaches. However, they are hybrid events: Hybrid conferences, summits, trade shows, meetings, etc.
The event industry has completely changed and been disrupted. You, event planners and professionals would have planned your events for months and years to come, but all have got messed up.
“Ohh, yes – this is exactly what I have faced”. You may have this feeling and reaction. However, the world does not end here – it goes on. Thus your events should.
Whilst you have a good option of completely pivoting your in-person events to virtual events and get the job done, hybrid events can serve all different purposes and benefits to you and your audience. Hybrid events are going to be the backbone of the industry. Full stop.
In this article, you are going to learn 8 powerful rules to host successful hybrid events.
Host your hybrid events with virtual event software to make your audience and clients happy!
Let’s admit to the human fact that: we all want to get better at what we do and we want to be appreciated for our efforts and work – hence I write and you read.
1. What are hybrid events?
In the simplest terms – hybrid events are conferences, summits, trade shows and seminars that use the combination of a live in-person event and virtual space component.
Event professionals invite attendees to attend their events personally and online.
Hybrid events are the best way to exploit both the versions of events – physical and online.
2. How is the event industry shaping?
Yes, the event industry at the moment is not the same as it was in 2019. Event planners and professionals still grapple with this difficult problem and work hard to solve the issues around event experience for their attendees with the use of virtual events.
Event industry professionals urged to focus on flexibility in order to succeed in the post-pandemic era. – TravelDailyNews
The event industry is shaping up with ever-increasing importance of attendee experience and attention.
The world has been changing rapidly since the pandemic began.
Most of the industries including the event industry have taken a huge hit. Whilst some industries have got a great opportunity to buckle up, listen to customers and create terrific products that have sneaked away from all sorts of troubles.
Example: virtual event software that is capable of meeting your needs for the online event portion of your hybrid events.
We all need to be prepared for new and drastic changes that the event industry will observe after events restart and make their mark again – but in a different way.
3. 8 powerful rules to host successful hybrid events
1. Plan precisely, take all the facets of your events into consideration
The first and the most important rule is to plan precisely and take all the facets of your events into consideration.
You as event planners and professionals must try to get some sort of critical and reliable information about how you would like to go ahead with your events.
Answering these questions will help:
- What are your needs?
- What are the needs of your clients?
- How is your audience prepared to attend hybrid events?
- What is your plan and winning strategy for your sponsors and exhibitors?
- What is your team expertise in executing and delivering virtual events?
- What is your and how do you want to use it the best way?
- What are the strategies you need to plan for both in-person and virtual events (both the components for your hybrid events)?
- How does your event marketing plan look?
- Which software provider company would you end up using?
2. Focus on relevant & suitable venue sourcing
When you do hybrid events, you need one venue for in-person event capabilities. Your attendees will come to the venue and attend the event. You also require to engage them and your speakers too.
Your need analysis has to be accurate. You should not hire an expensive venue for your hybrid events that have the major number of attendees online attending your events virtually.
At the same time, you must be clever to know and act in accordance with saving your costs whenever possible. So that you can invest your money in your different event activities that have higher value and appeal to your online audience.
3. Get high streaming capabilities at the venue
You need higher streaming capabilities and bandwidth from your venue provider at the venue.
While you have some attendees at the venue, present there physically, you are required to ensure that your live stream sessions and other event activities for your virtual attendees.
If the provided streaming capabilities and the internet bandwidth are not as per your technical requirements, you will need to consider hiring a network and internet service provider. And this will entail additional costs to your overall event budget.
So it is much better that you end up finalizing a venue that meets your event prerequisites from the technical front.
4. Quality of audio and video is critical
When you host hybrid events, your workload is doubled from the audio and video perspective.
You ensure both types of your events – in-person and online have the best quality for audio and video of sessions, presentations and discussions.
Thus planning and testing in advance play a vital role in delivering the expected quality of audio and video.
Consider to test these:
– Audio and video production
– Delivery of audio and video
– Quality of audio and video at the venue and online using a virtual event platform
– Test the same with speakers/presenters as well
5. Bring all your audience on the same page
For your hybrid events, you are going to have to take care of and manage both types of attendees – in-person attendees and online attendees.
You and your team members should be crystal clear about how you are going to share the information and communicate with them.
How you are going to provide engagement and networking opportunities to your attendees – physically and virtually.
- Easy and effective communication
- Timely updates
- Different engagement and networking opportunities
- Clear guidelines for interacting with sponsors and exhibitors
- Easy process for problem resolution and answering queries
6. Choose the right event technology partner
Your hybrid event plan always looks good on paper or in an excel sheet with some colors and highlights.
However, if you want to execute your event plan with optimal quality and smooth flow, you need to make the right decision in choosing the best suitable event technology partner for your Hybrid events.
You must consider the overall skeleton of your hybrid event and so every aspect of event technology relevant to your event.
For the in-person event component: Event check in app, attendee engagement app, event website, ticketing/registration.
For virtual event component: Virtual event software/virtual event platform.
7. Ensure attendee participation and engagement
Event planners and professionals must ensure attendee participation and engagement at their hybrid events.
Now, for hybrid events, you need to develop strategies for engagement and networking considering both the versions of hybrid events – In-person interaction and virtual interaction.
Answer these questions to land up in a good position:
- How you are going to motivate your attendees to actively participate and engage.
- How you would like to let your attendees interact with your speakers – at the venue and online.
- What kind of engagement and networking opportunities and initiatives you would want to provide them with.
- If at all you would like to introduce different schemes to present prizes and awards to your attendees, decide about what, why and how. Factor both the components into consideration.
- How do you ensure that online attendees are interacting and engaging with those attendees who are physically present at the event venue.
- How will you let them communicate and engage with sponsors, exhibitors?
- Using polls, event feed hub, contests, Q&A.
8. Make the input and output process smooth
This rule will help you smoothen your input and output process for your hybrid events.
Let’s understand the difference first:
Input = Content, information and knowledge shared by speakers/presenters. How they share.
Output = Content, information and knowledge of speakers/presenters received by attendees. How they receive.
Key points to consider:
- Speakers will be present at the venue or a few will be speaking remotely.
- Streaming arrangements for both the circumstances.
- On-demand video for online attendees if required.
- Going live on social media platforms.
- How attendees will consume content – how they watch speakers presenting.
- In-person: what screening tool you are going to use. Projector, big TV, etc.
- Virtual: live videos, on-demand videos.
- Facilitating video meetings for attendees and for sponsors for online interactions.
People like new things and thus you should embrace the option of hybrid events for them. Your client, your attendees and speakers – all are eager to engage, network and learn for the better.
Hybrid events are arguably the most relevant course of action for you and for them. With the booming trends of the latest event technology including virtual event tech, it has become more convenient for event professionals to host their hybrid events and successfully and deliver memorable events.