By now, everyone must have come across the term virtual and hybrid events. We are still amid the uncertainty. When we will bounce back to face-to-face events completely is still not sure. With imposed restrictions to ensure the health safety of the nations, large public gatherings have come to a stop. Organisations are looking up for more creative and innovative ways to make events more engaging and interacting while meeting up organisational requirements and attendee’s demand. This is where hybrid events come into play.
Even when the world recovers from the halt of the pandemic, people may avoid bouncing back to physical events for some time. As per the recent survey, 70% of the event professionals said, hybrid is the way ahead for the event industry in the coming times.
However, the concept of hosting hybrid events is not entirely new. Many large-scale organisations have adopted this for a long time. But, with the change in times the format has been pushed ahead. Today, event professionals are searching for creative ways to master the art and host hybrid events to reap maximum benefits out of it.
What Are Hybrid Events?
Hybrid events are a mix of live physical events and virtual events. It comprises both the set of attendees, live audience as well as the virtual audience. Hybrid events are organised at an on-site location with a limited number of attendees and are paired with a virtual component. The flexibility of the event format enables attendees to attend an event either by visiting the venue or virtually from their remote locations via any device. However, the hybrid event comprises a small set of in-person attendees, and the majority of attendees partake in the event virtually.
Hybrid events come with many merits right from extended reach, flexibility, better accessibility to substantial ROI. Additionally, hybrid events capitalize on the engagement opportunities offered during live physical events to make the event more exciting and engaging than ever.
Handling both the group of attendees i.e. virtual as well as physical at the same time is the major challenge that lies with hybrid events. Creating content that holds the interest of both groups, keeping them engaged throughout, offering engagement opportunities that are relevant to both, and so on are some of the major questions that event organisers struggle with. Here is a detailed comparison on Virtual Events Vs Physical Events.
Hosting a successful hybrid event is quite challenging for some. In this blog post, we have shared a checklist to host a successful hybrid event and get the maximum out of it. Let’s get started!
A Quick Checklist To Organise A Successful Hybrid Event
So, by now you are all aware of hybrid events and its benefits. Now, its time to create an effective planning and start hosting one. We have listed a checklist to host a successful hybrid event for all the stages of event planning: Pre-Event, During Event, and Post-Event. So, without wasting any further time, scroll down:
1. Determine the goal of the event
Knowing the purpose of organising a hybrid event is a must. One should be clear about whether they want to host a hybrid event to launch a product, upscale sales revenues, have open discussions, and so on. Once the purpose of organising the event is clear, you can create an effective strategy and achieve optimal results.
2. Identify your audience
Having a clear understanding of who your potential customers are is a must. It helps in creating an effective strategy that appeals to them. Thus, resulting in boosting attendance, and engagements at the event. Once you are well aware of your potential target audience, you get a clarity on what they like and what does not hold their attention at all. It will help you in creating an effective marketing pitch for your upcoming hybrid event.
3. Decide on budget
Budget plays an important role when it comes to planning an event be it virtual, hybrid, or in-person. Decide upon the budget so that you can allocate it accordingly without any last-minute hassle.
4. Hire a virtual event technology partner and look for a venue
Once you decide upon the budget look for an on-site venue with limited capacity. Additionally, leverage the right virtual event platform that best suits the requirements. Go with a platform that offers an extensive range of the most magnificent engaging and networking features. A virtual hybrid event platform that offers exciting engagement features helps in keeping hold of attendees throughout the event whereas networking opportunities enable them to connect with other participants effortlessly. Thus, delivering immersive experiences to both the set of attendees.
5. Create compelling content for both groups
The biggest challenge that lies with hybrid events is to manage both the group of attendees simultaneously. Creating compelling content keeping in mind both sets of attendees is a must. Try to keep the length of your content short and trim the elongated speeches by speakers. As the majority of attendees in hybrid events are accessing the event virtually, staying focused on the screen for long hours is just not engaging. Thus resulting in falling out of attendees in mid sessions.
6. Plan out agenda and activities for both sets of attendees
Incorporate engaging activities in your hybrid event that give chance to both the attendees to participate in the same. You can organise Q&A sessions, Live polls, and quizzes to keep both the attendees on the same page.
7. Decide upon date and time
While finalising the date and time, keep the time zone of attendees in mind if you target global attendees. Select a date and time that is suitable to the maximum number of audience to ensure maximum attendance at an event.
Create a buzz about your upcoming event on social media channels. Spread a word about the same to make your attendees aware of your upcoming event to ensure maximum attendance.
During The Event
9. Have speakers on-site as well as virtually
With hybrid events, you have an option to hire speakers for on-site venues or allow them to host an event virtually. Reach out to most professional speakers as per your event niche who have command over the subject and tone of the event to engage attendees effortlessly. You can even lookout for global speakers at reduced costs with hybrid events which is not possible with in-person events.
10. Connect and network with your virtual and in-person attendees in real-time
During the hybrid event, interact with your attendees in real-time. Networking is easy for in-person attendees as they are surrounded by other attendees. Offer networking opportunities to your virtual attendees and facilitate them to have 1:1 and group interactions via live audio/video functionality. Motivate your attendees to have free-flowing conversations during breakout sessions to foster meaningful connections.
11. Motivate them to participate in engagement activities
Excite your attendees about the event. Motivate them to participate in various activities and games organised during the hybrid event. Offer them free giveaways, prizes to the top 5 winners, reward them with points that can later be redeemed into coupons, and so on to keep them engaged.
After The Event
12. Offer on-demand content
Allow your attendees to catch the missed parts of the event by offering them content on-demand. It helps in boosting engagement and generating leads. A missed attendee might be an appropriate lead who is accessing your content on-demand, have you ever thought about it?
13. Follow-up survey
Send a follow-up survey to all the participants of the event via email asking them what they enjoyed the most about the event. Also, ask them about the parts of the event which do not hold their attention. It will help you understand your audience’s perspective in a better way and identify impediments to work upon for your next hybrid event.
To ensure a successful hybrid event, you need to consider a virtual component as well as an in-person component as one entity. In the above-mentioned article, we have listed the perfect checklist to host a successful hybrid event effortlessly.
Hope it will help you!
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