Planning a successful hybrid event requires the host to be shrewd, intelligent, and flexible. Today, with all sorts of gadgets and digital devices baying for your attention, it is pretty challenging to engage attendees that are following the session remotely fully. Relatively, the distractions are fewer for the on-site staff.
As a result of variation in setting, the in-person and remote audiences are unlikely to have the same experience. Your task as a host is to ease this gap to offer a faultless, engaging event for all the attendees.
That said, let’s look at the hybrid events’ best practices that you need to have at your fingertips when organising this interactive event.
Revisions are highly encouraged to avert last-minute nervousness. Once the content to be delivered during the event has been settled and the speakers granted the topics they will address, it is worth revisiting all the presentations and content to be delivered during the session.
You also need to determine whether the content complies with the agenda for the event and if it offers the necessary value.
The attendees need to be served with valuable content to provide value for the time they have invested in your event. And this can only be realised by revising your content and making the necessary adjustments a few days before the event.
But, as an event organiser, you should treat your maiden hybrid event as a learning moment. Every company will have to go through these trials before effectively implementing this new method of hosting events.
So, before an organisation gets accustomed to hosting virtual events, it is not strange for event holders to feel intimidated by the idea simply because they are new to it. However, after hosting several events, the fear will disappear completely.
Observe On-Site Operation Functionalities
As an event planner, you need to reemphasize where the performance will occur to avoid confusing the on-site participants.
However, this is not the case with remote attendees, but that doesn’t mean you ignore completely to emphasise where the event is happening.
Both the host and the performing team should slate a given time of day to rehearse and evaluate whether lights/sound are working as expected so as to avoid unnecessary embarrassment when the session is underway.
In addition, it is prudent to ensure all the content being live-streamed is already in place so that it provides clear audio and video to the remote participants. This can be done by undertaking a fast “tech check” prior to the show, where someone can follow the presentation virtually and recommend any modifications where necessary.
Audience attention durations have significantly declined, and a subtle sluggishness might prove costly. This is more common among virtual audiences.
Schedule your hybrid event to ensure the sessions are moderate and impose breaks in the course of the session. However, this doesn’t mean that short sessions always guarantee engagement. Instead, you need to offer value-added content engagingly.
The other thing you need to take into account is the time zones for persons participating virtually. If the event attracts audiences from all corners of the globe, it would be prudent to stream the on-site presentation and, after that, upload a recording of the same for others to follow at their convenience.
Keep Virtual Partakers Engaged
It is possible for virtual participants to simply sit back and follow the event passively, without taking any active role in the performance. As a host, this should not happen under your watch.
To enhance the engagement with your virtual partakers, direct your speakers to pose questions to remote participants continually so that they feel valued in your event. Also, participation from the physically present attendees is absolutely essential.
However, oftentimes, they mainly interact when the speaker is on the stage, unlike the attendees who participate in the session virtually.
At live webinars, it is essential to involve all the audiences. The features used in these online events are simple enough for both in-person and remote participants to interact with them.
For instance, Q&As and live polling can be performed via the virtual platform app by all the attendees (remote and in-person). Additionally, this will help the event planners obtain event analytics at the end of the event.
Promote Networking Opportunities
Networking is one of the primary reasons why people participate in business events. Your task is to ensure all the participants in your hybrid webinar interact exhaustively.
However, it is pretty challenging to provide networking opportunities in such a setup as a section of your attendees is physically present while the rest are taking part remotely.
On top of that, persuade participants to create user profiles on the virtual event platform irrespective of where they are joining from. This will make it easy for attendees and exhibitors to perform profile searches and initiate conversations with main targets.
Once they connect, they can decide on how to proceed going forward. Whether they are both in-person or virtual, this would assist them in effectively managing their schedules.
Weigh Up the Capacity for Attendees
Event planners should limit the number of tickets they reserve for in-person attendees.
If all the tickets for in-person are booked, you should try to educate the potential attendees on the benefits of participating in the event virtually. Some people highly disregard virtual events, and if they happen to miss in-person tickets,
they would rather miss the event altogether than follow it online. Your marketing team needs to intervene in such situations by addressing such fears and providing convincing reasons why virtual is an excellent alternative to in-person attendance.
Perform Analysis to Determine Progress
Evaluate the progress of your business by studying all the components involved. Hybrid events are a continuous thing, and therefore, it is necessary to draw lessons from your past events.
Unfortunately, the audience cheering is not a definite determiner of an event’s success. It is good to rely on numbers since the success or failure of any event is determined by the parameters.
You need to comprehend the event analytics report and form your decision on those results for more enhanced events regarding lead generation, ROI, engagement, and so on. With the aid of a virtual event manager, you can generate and break down these event reports with little to no mental effort.
Hybrid events are a comparatively new occurrence, but their popularity will increase tremendously in the coming years. As many organisations continue to embrace these events, effective practices will undoubtedly emerge with them. These best practices should help you get started in organising your maiden hybrid event.