It won’t be wrong to say that the event industry went through a revolution last year. With live events cancelling around the world and events moving to virtual space, the global event industry saw a significant overhaul. And it looks like the industry will continue to change for some time.
Last year virtual events became the most common format for events. As a result, we saw various kinds of events going virtual. For instance, virtual conferences, virtual trade shows, virtual exhibitions and many more. One can say that these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Many experts believe that Hybrid events will do similar magic in the post-pandemic world that virtual events did last year. To understand this, first, let’s see how the Hybrid event fair against their alternatives.
Hybrid events – the New Way of Hosting Physical Events
A Hybrid event is considered a blend of live and virtual events. And this is true since Hybrid events are physical events, but they also host virtual audiences. But what makes them more desirable than their alternative is that they offer a choice between convenience and face-to-face communication.
The attendees can select how they want to attend the event. They can either join the event virtually or in person. Also, they can interact with people face-to-face. This makes the Hybrid events the middle way between live and physical events. Hence, making them more flexible than their alternatives.
If you want to host a successful Hybrid event, you need to consider various things. So let’s see what these things are.
Things to consider for hosting a successful Hybrid event
- The environment of the event
The most basic and crucial thing about a hybrid event is the environment of the event. In general, the environment means the look, feel and vibes of the event. Since it will affect both live and virtual audiences, you need to focus on it.
To provide the attendees with an energetic environment, you need to prepare a flexible event schedule. It should not be crowded and should contain slots of audience engagement.
- The audience of the event
To plan your Hybrid event effectively, you need to estimate the number of audiences. It includes both live and virtual audiences. And based on this number, you will be able to make suitable arrangements.
There is one way to figure out the number of live and virtual attendees. You can ask them how they will attend the event in the registration form. It will give you an idea about how many people you can expect. But you should make arrangements keeping the higher number in mind. This is because more people can attend the event at the last moment.
- Booking the venue
One of the most essential things that you need for your event is the venue. It is advised to book the venue for the event weeks and months before your event day. Also, while reserving the venue, make sure it can accommodate all the live attendees in your event.
Apart from this, you need to make all the necessary arrangements at the venue. For instance, all the pieces of equipment required for the event are there at the venue.
- Picking a Hybrid event platform
The venue of your event will accommodate the live audience at your event. But what about the virtual audience? For them, you need a Hybrid event platform or Hybrid event software. Since the hybrid event and virtual event technology is pretty much the same, you can also get a Virtual event platform.
While selecting the event platform for your event, you need to consider various things. These are:
- Interface and navigation of the platform
- Audience engagement features
- Networking tools
- Security of the platform
- Support from the platform provider
These factors will determine the experience of the audience at your event.
- Engaging the audience
In a Hybrid event, there are two types of audiences, live and virtual. And you need to engage with both audiences. Otherwise, the attendees will lose interest in your event. And this is a more significant problem for virtual audiences. Because it is much easier to get distracted in the virtual world.
In the live event, it is easy to engage the live audience. But the same tricks won’t work for virtual audiences. And they will feel left out. So to engage with them, you need to use a different method.
You can engage the virtual audiences by using the features available on the Hybrid event platform.
Some popular engagement techniques are Gamification, Leaderboard, Social Wall, AR Photobooth and so on.
- Networking at the event
One of the most crucial things that makes the virtual/Hybrid event so popular is networking. And often, people attend online events for the sole purpose of networking. That is why you should promote networking at your event.
To create networking opportunities at your event, you can provide the attendees with various networking tools. The more tools you provide, the higher will the chances of networking.
I suggest networking tools like AI Matchmaking, Networking Lounge, B2B Meetings, 2-way interaction and live chats. Also, you can provide support for third-party apps like WhatsApp and Zoom to promote networking.
- Timing of the event
You need to be thoughtful while deciding the time of your event. This factor becomes more significant when there is a virtual audience at your event.
If you are planning to host international audiences at your event, consider the difference between various time zones. Therefore you need to select the time carefully. Because no one likes to attend the event at odd hours. So weigh all the factors while deciding time.
- Breakout rooms
In a Virtual/Hybrid event, breakout sessions play a significant role. And especially in those events where there are multiple online or Keynote sessions.
A breakout room acts as a gateway to the multiple sessions. So an attendee can smoothly shift from one session to another. Also, you should provide a moderator in the breakout room to guide the attendee.
Apart from this, a breakout session allows the virtual attendees to relax while attending multiple sessions.
- Content of the event
Another thing that you need to take care of is the content of your event. Since your event is digital, the content needs to be dynamic. Also, the content should be relevant, short and easy to comprehend.
There are few things that you need to keep in mind while preparing the content. First, don’t use too many presentations in your virtual/Hybrid event. Otherwise, your event will look like an online lecture. Also, engage with the audience as much as you can.
These are the few things you need to consider while planning your Hybrid event.