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Crucial Tips You Should Keep in Mind While Planning a Hybrid Event

While the international events industry moves towards crafting hybrid event strategies that balance physical with virtual components, it is important to remember that in most parts of the world, the chance to physically attend an event is some way off yet.

Or as Annabel Rake, CMO of Deloitte in the UK and North South Europe puts it:

“In 2021, while the vaccine roll-out offers hope of a return to physical events and meetings, many virtual experiences will remain. People have grown to value the flexibility online experiences offer – allowing them to tap-in to expertise from anywhere and often on-demand.” 

The concept of hybrid events carries with it opportunities to generate value from both online and offline channels. And for those able to operate partially physical events despite the challenges and complexity currently curtailing so many of our shows, here are some aspects of hybrid event development we thought you might like to consider:

Pay attention to the production value

The quality of production and interface plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of your hybrid event. With a significant percentage of attendees logging in virtually, it is imperative to give them an experience that has a premium, cinematic feel to attention to the production valueHire a great production team – it is easily as important as selecting a venue and online platform that offers great AV assistance and support. Set up and test computers, audio/video (AV) equipment, camera, lighting and microphones days ahead of the event.

Consider the way a live broadcast of a football game to millions of people is conceived. Live events may be unmatched for that emotional connection with others, but intelligent production and accessibility will give your audience at home a better chance to get all they can from the content.

“I really see hybrid events as an extension of live events. I think it works much better both for the organiser and for the exhibitor, as one can expand their brand visibility to a global audience and cater to live business opportunities at the same time,” says Stephan Forseilles, Head of Technology and Digital transformation, EasyFairs.

Make sure your remote audience stays engaged

Live events provide a sensory experience. A physical venue, exhibitor booths and tangible interactions each play a big role in keeping attendees engaged.

By comparison, a virtual audience is located in different time zones with different languages, accessing the event through an online link with many other tabs open on their internet browser. So merely streaming hours of back-to-back sessions or setting up a general Q&A session is unlikely to stop them straying elsewhere.make sure your remote audience stays engagedYou can keep your remote attendees engaged by:

  • Creating personalised virtual journeys shaped by their preferences
  • Offering language translation support
  • Having dedicated on-camera hosts to encourage participation
  • Online event moderators to handle queries and comments in live chats
  • Gamification and incentive-driven activities like quizzes and virtual scavenger hunts using mobile apps and social media tools

Find a reliable, secure event technology platform

A hybrid event has a complicated delivery set-up. Select an event platform that aligns with your event goals and creates a seamless integration of virtual and physical experiences. find a reliable, secure event technology platformThis technology should be secure, scalable and have built-in features including registration, hosting different meeting formats for online and physical attendees, speaker management, audience engagement, video conferencing, online networking, lead capture and more. Multiple providers can lead to multiple headaches.

Present and direct people towards networking and sponsorship opportunities

Live event attendees can rely on random interactions, coffee breaks and breakout sessions to connect with each other, but what about your remote audience? And what about the monetisation opportunities – how do you convince sponsors about the value of digital sponsorships?present and direct people towards networking and sponsorship opportunitiesCreate dedicated networking sessions to get physical and virtual attendees together. Use AI matchmaking services to connect attendees to each other, content and products.

Make a video, or stage a webinar for attendees on how they can get the most from hybrid meetings.

The better the opportunity you present to them, the greater the chance you have of monetising the digital elements of your event.