The COVID-19 pandemic was like a wrench thrown in the well-geared machinery that is the event industry. In order to keep functioning despite the challenge, many events were pivoted into the virtual space with virtual conferences, summits, expos, trade shows etc becoming the new standard.
While the pandemic won’t last forever and things have already started getting better, it would be naive to expect things will go back to the old normal anytime soon.
Hybrid events are going to become more common as we progress towards a world free of COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some powerful tips and tricks when it comes to hosting a virtual event!
What are Hybrid Events?
A hybrid event is very much like virtual events, conferences, summits, expos, trade shows etc but instead of being hosted completely in the virtual realm, there is a small in-person event too. Thus, a hybrid event is basically a mix of a physical in-person event and a virtual event.
This means that not only do you have to worry about providing a great virtual lobby experience for the attendees but also a great experience for the attendees of the physical event. Must read this guide to virtual conferences and events.
Most Important Tips on Hosting Virtual Events and Hybrid Events
So are you ready to host your first hybrid event? Check these tips on how to ensure the best experience for your attendees by hosting an awesome hybrid event:
Plan to the Last Detail
When it comes to planning your hybrid virtual event setup, you have to take all possible factors into account. It is important to plan for almost everything.
Other than just planning the flow of the event, there are many other things as well you should care about. Things that you need to take care of involves ensuring there are backups and failsafe plans for any possible situation where things can go wrong.
It is not a bad idea to check for every single detail when you do your hybrid virtual event walkthrough.
Venue Sourcing for a Hybrid Event
A virtual events platform can create the venue for any virtual event as it is completely online/digital. However, when it comes to a hybrid event, you still need to find a suitable venue for the in-person event component.
When you’re sourcing a venue for a hybrid event, capacity should not be the focus. Rather, you should focus on finding a venue that can handle all the technical requirements. A venue that your hybrid event platform can suitably cover.
Technology Requirements for Hosting Virtual Events
In order to create a hybrid virtual event setup, you will have to factor in the technical requirements.
One of the major technical requirements is the ability to stream high-quality audio and video. The experience of the attendees who will attend your hybrid event will rely heavily on the quality of your hybrid virtual event setup which is why it is important to get it right!
Focus on the Video and Audio Quality
As mentioned previously, the experience of the virtual attendees of your hybrid event will majorly be affected by the virtual events platform and the quality of the video and audio that will be streaming through that platform.
This is why it’s important to ensure that you have the proper equipment in place when it comes to your event venue.
High-quality microphones and cameras are the basics when it comes to equipment requirements for hybrid events but additional hardware and tools like mixers, lighting, and more also play a major role.
Managing Audiences with Your Hybrid Event Platform
In contrast to virtual events, you will have to manage two sets of attendees – one that would be present in-person and the other that will be attending the event virtually.
This means you need to create a plan which can manage both sets effectively. Some examples of managing audiences involve syncing the virtual attendees with real person attendees using features provided by your hybrid event platform.
In addition, providing a better virtual lobby experience is also key when it comes to hybrid event success which is why it is a good idea to have dedicated staff to manage and engage the virtual audience.
Finding the Right Virtual Events Platform for Your Hybrid Event
When it comes to hosting a hybrid event, it is important to choose the right technological partner. The virtual aspect of the event is vital. Using the right virtual events platform can make a significant difference in the attendees experience.
If you’re using a platform for the first time, it would be smart to take a hybrid virtual event walkthrough first to take a look at the abilities and capacity of the platform before making a decision. Here is a checklist for delivering successful virtual events.
Increasing Attendee Participation and Engagement
The participation and engagement level is important for all kinds of events and a hybrid event is no exception. This is why it is important to ensure a good level of engagement and participation from the attendees.
It can be a bit tough to manage the participation and engagement with two sets of audiences. With proper foresight and planning, it is definitely not impossible.
Ensure a Smooth Input and Output Process
Lastly, it is important to facilitate a smooth input and output process when it comes to your hybrid event.
In the most basic sense, input refers to any content that is provided by the speakers. An output refers to the content received by the audience.
With a hybrid event, the challenge is to integrate all sets of the audience in a smooth input and output process to ensure a smooth event experience for everyone!
Host Your Dream Hybrid Event
If you’re looking for a virtual events platform to host your next virtual event, take a look at what we have to offer and request a demo today!