Hybrid events are the way of the future. If you’re new to the virtual event world we are living in, a hybrid event consists of a live in-person component for face-to-face attendees as well as a virtual component for remote attendees. There are so many advantages, specifically attendees being able to connect across the globe. It basically offers the best of both worlds for attendees while also adding an extra layer of work for the event planner.
It’s important to make your virtual component as engaging as the in-person component. You want both groups of attendees to have a quality experience which can take some thorough preparation. Below are some of our top tips for executing an impactful hybrid event.
★ Define Goals: It’s important to have a good understanding of your event goals before you begin planning each component of your hybrid event. Your goals can range from improving your customer satisfaction to bringing in direct revenue from the event. Setting these goals first thing will help determine how best to engage your audience.
★ Find a Reliable Platform and Event Producer: Hybrid events can have a lot going on. It’s important to work with a reliable platform that allows you to seamlessly integrate both components, and secure a producer to manage it all behind the scenes. Some incredible platforms that work great for hybrid events are SpotMe, Bizzabo, Brella, Hopin, Labz, FrontRow, and EventMobi. For hybrid events, in order to showcase a fully produced event and get the correct live feed to the virtual attendees — having an event producer orchestrate it is important if you don’t already have that person on your team. A few groups we recommend for large hybrid events that we like to work with are A&M Agency, Evolution Event Solutions, Lisa Hendricks (independent producer and producer with AFWERX Fusion). For the smaller activations, the team at EVA can handle it for you.
★ Keep Virtual Attendees Engaged: Since the virtual attendees will have the same experience as in-person attendees, you want to keep them as engaged as possible from their homes. This could include interactive networking opportunities, live Q+A’s, gamification on the platform, or entertainment sessions (cooking class, wine tasting, trivia, live (but virtual) musical performance, etc).
★ Curated Content for Each Component: When you start planning your content for your hybrid event, choose content that you know will be engaging for your virtual audience. Then, adjust that content to make it engaging for your in-person audience. While most content will be the same, not all of it should be. (Examples of differing content could include: session lengths, pre-recorded vs. live sessions, polling, Q+A, networking, etc.)
★ Have an Emcee for Your Virtual Component: Your in-person attendees will have an emcee guiding attendees throughout their day and so should your virtual attendees. This really helps to give them a sense of connection to the live event. The emcee helps to lead attendees through the different sessions, spotlight sponsors, encourage attendees to check out the virtual booths (if available), and provide a more personal experience for them.
★ Networking: One of the main reasons people attend events is to network and that doesn’t change just because some people will be attending remotely. A great way to get all attendees (virtual and in-person) interacting is through these networking options: simulive sessions (pre-recorded sessions) that allow all attendees to participate in a live chat, live polling and Q+A throughout the event, breakout rooms/ networking platforms, networking groups (Slack, Facebook, etc).
Hybrid events come with more preparation for the planner and more advantages for attendees. With the right event producer, platform, and engaging content, your hybrid event will be a seamless success.
If you have any questions about your upcoming hybrid event and/or the engaging experiences we offer at EVA, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at bookwitheva.com.