Hybrid events, without a doubt, are gaining popularity around the world. We believe that digitization has a strong role in convincing people of the possibilities of the future created by hosting virtual and hybrid events. It has not only eased the process of live human interaction but has also greatly benefitted businesses through their B2B and B2C dealings. Therefore, we can confidently say that hybrid events are the future. However, planning and executing a successful hybrid event in 2023 is still a challenge. No rule works for all. Rather, it all comes down to how well you read your audience and create an unforgettable online plus on-site experience for them. First, learn why you should host hybrid events.
Why Host Hybrid Events?
Hybrid events bring on-site and remote audiences together, creating a unique event experience. It is the perfect blend of live and online events aiming to interconnect people, expanding the reach and ensuring profitability. No matter the distance, hybrid events allow people to join the event however it suits them. For instance, a local audience has the leverage to show up at the event venue. Contrarily, the remote audience easily registers for the event online and shows up just by signing into the platform. This is a modern approach to human networking and engagement. It saves one from travelling to far-off locations and also helps save on the massive carbon footprint. Therefore, event organizers today host hybrid events to ensure maximum sustainability for the future.
Overall, a hybrid event format benefits event organizations with
- Wider reach with a maximized attendee count
- Lower event costs and expenditure
- Excessive and streamlined audience engagement
- Greater sponsorship opportunities for stakeholders
- Reduced carbon footprint and environmental impact
- Maximized event marketing opportunities
- Boosted revenue and overall ROI
Previously, zoom integration dominated most of the pandemic and post-pandemic era. People easily carried on with online meetings, conferences, workshops, open days, recreational events, hirings, and more. But, as of now, we need to adopt working solutions that revive face-to-face in-person and online interactions. Therefore, the corporate sector, educationalists and environmentalists prefer hosting hybrid events.
If you are struggling with planning a successful hybrid event, then we are here to help. Follow these incredible ideas to host a hybrid event.
Steps to a Successful Hybrid Event
When hosting a hybrid event, it is important to note that you must create an immersive experience for your on-site and online audience. However your audience decides to join, you need to make sure that your event supports live engagement and networking. In fact, the key to hosting a successful event is by offering high-quality virtual and in-person experiences for the audience. For that matter, careful planning is required on the part of event organizers.
Check out some great tips on virtual and hybrid event planning.
But do not get overwhelmed by the pressure, and take both event types separately first so you may understand the process of integrating them later on. Again, it is about how well you take both worlds forward and create a memorable experience for the audience.
Effortlessly Market Event for Both Worlds
The first step to attracting the right audience for your event is through creating the buzz. Clearly, the more people hear about the event, the more interest it builds worldwide. In the case of a hybrid event, get your audience excited about the event experience. For instance, you can flaunt about your event type and how it is the best solution for people residing at the far ends of the world. Then, you can invite attendees to either join online or show up at the venue to attend an in-person event.
When marketing, make sure you engage both worlds alike. For instance, if your on-site office staff gets to hear about the upcoming workshop, then your remote teams should also hear about it. For that matter, you can use social media channels, email marketing, and website ads to spread the word among peers. In fact, you only have to build the excitement and let the excited individuals engage. The more the people talk, the more chances it posits for global brand recognition and attendee turnout.
Below are some easy tips for you to follow when setting up and promoting your hybrid event format:
- Join a hybrid events platform and book an on-site venue
- Create an event registration page for both audiences
- Create an event hashtag for everyone to use
- Run countdown email campaigns
- Send invite cards by mail or by hand
- Share event teaser to build excitement
- Show what’s in it for everyone
One important aspect to note here is that you give your audience the relaxation to join the event however it suits them. Mind you; you might lose some promising attendees when forcing them to show up on-site. Therefore your target audience must have the choice to either attend online or physically.
Deploy Hosts for Both Event Types
The most critical aspect of running a successful hybrid event is to have a dedicated host or leader. You cannot expect your on-site host to manage and guide the online attendees. Thus, you must ensure that you have the right leaders onboard. For starters, you should appoint an efficient lead for the in-person event type and likewise for the virtual part of your hybrid event. Assign them duties accordingly and ensure they are efficient with the logistics, technicalities and deliverables. Make sure you brief them nicely so that they do not fall short while guiding the attendees each step of the way.
Here’s how you can train and equip your event hosts.
- Understanding the agenda while carrying out different activities
- Good organizational and communication skills when communicating
- Helping behaviour to assist people responsibly
- Managing teams while encouraging them to participate
- Keeping both audiences connected and engaged
Also, check out these essential hybrid event success factors that you need to follow.
Push out Collaborated Event Segments
Once the hybrid event is in full swing, it is time to begin with the event segments. For example, in the case of a conference, you can begin broadcasting the virtual element to attendees present at the venue. Likewise, your virtual attendees should have access to the in-person event happening live. This part may be tricky for an organizer pushing a hybrid event for the first time. But, once you have everyone on the same page, it is easier to streamline collaborated event segments. Also, with virtual events platform support, you can create a timeline for the entire event for the people to have a heads-up on what’s coming up next.
To start with, welcome attendees at the online or on-site booths. Next, you can get on-site speakers to break the ice and ease people into the event segments. Later, remote speakers can take over the show from their locations and easily address a large audience. Also, it is important to note here that each of your event segments must go in accordance with both event types. For example, if your online attendees are indulging in breakout rooms, then make sure on-site attendees also engage in roundtable discussions. Similarly, if a break is scheduled, make sure both audiences ease out at the same time. It all comes down to how well you execute the scheduled event segments.
Encourage Participation Among Audiences
The best way to ensure the success of your event is by engaging the live audience. Your audience should be encouraged to interact with an audience online or on-site. Once you create a good networking space, your audience will be inclined to interact with everyone. Note that your on-site attendees have a great chance of getting distracted by the hassle. But your online attendees are glued to their screens. So how do you plan on creating an engaging and entertaining environment for both the audience? How would you encourage participation among the audience? Or how would you mingle both the audience?
Here’s how you can fuel discussions, conversations and debate among the audience
- Live 1:1 or group chat
- Live polling
- Quizzes and games
- Surveys and Q&A sessions
- Chatbots at exhibitor booths
- Photo booths
- Live social media walls
- Downloadable documents
This is how you can integrate the networking experience for your online and on-site attendees. We are lucky that nowadays, a hybrid and virtual event platform is feature-packed to offer quick and promising attendee engagement.
Post-event – Analyze the Success of Hybrid Event
The last step to ensure the success of your hybrid event is to analyze how well it went. Luckily, with a hybrid events platform, it is much easier to track your event’s performance in terms of attendee registration, booth activities, webinar viewers, downloads, chats, content views and shares. Furthermore, this analytical process is authentic and accurate to be trusted. In fact, the more you dig into the statistics, the more insights you gain on event success.
Later, you can calculate the data received from the on-site event and compare it to the virtual event analytics. Now, it depends on you how you measure the event ROIs. However, the complete success of your hybrid event is determined by the combined virtual and on-site event track. For reference, check out this complete guide to hybrid events.
It is about time we realize that in-person gatherings have lost their touch. Although we have entered a post-pandemic era where virtual and physical events are equally encouraged. But it is still important that we begin creating a complete experience for the global audience. So your audience now looks for easier ways to interact with your brand, which obviously means online! Therefore, it is time for you to switch to hybrid events to carry on with your B2B and B2C activities. Learn the basics from us, and you will be set to host a successful hybrid event in no time.
Once you partner with a platform that is rich in features, tools and tech stack, the only limit is the sky. We have got your back when it comes to planning, organizing, and executing critical events. So why not go for increased reach, global brand recognition, international relations, sustainability and profitability when it comes to hosting events? Join Virtual Days today and begin connecting your on-site and virtual audience to mingle as one.