First of all, what are hybrid events? To put it simply, hybrid events are a mix of in-person and virtual events. Hybrid events aren’t the same as virtual events, while they include some of the features typical for online gatherings. Consequently, live streaming of in-person events can’t be considered as hybrid events too. Compared to other kinds of events, hybrid events might be more complex and require a lot of time and resources to organize everything in the best way.
Good news are that impressive results and long-term outcomes of organizing hybrid events worth all the investments of energy and effort. Just to name a few benefits, hybrid events are known for a broader audience reach, lower overhead costs as well as attractive sponsorship deals due to a unique combination of online and offline environments.
Liveto team has composed a list of seven most important hints and tips to assist you with organizing your own hybrid events. No matter if you’re a newcomer to the industry or an experienced event organizer, the following advice will help you to host a successful hybrid event, satisfy the numerous needs of both online and offline audiences and gradually improve their impressions of the event.
Plan the event thoughtfully, especially if it’s the first hybrid event you host. It’s recommended to attend various hybrid events both as in-person and virtual participant in order to understand what are the strengths and weaknesses of hybrid events, what could be done better and how to position the event in the right way.
Taking into consideration the experience of other hybrid events, start planning your own event - set specific goals and find the ways to achieve them, plan technological resources and marketing strategies. The distinctiveness of hybrid events lies in necessity of careful planning of both physical and virtual event, and how to run them simultaneously.
From the very first day of the event promotion, it’s essential to make the potential audience understand that the event format is hybrid. To let them know that either in-person or virtual attendance is possible. To clearly state that virtual participation delivers almost as much value as the in-person attendance.
3. Intergate tools for engagement
When you position the event as hybrid, the potential attendees also start to expect more than just an access to the streaming, meaning that their expectation rise. It’s still questionable whether the on-site participation can actually compete with the virtual one in terms of the experiences gained, involvement in the process and the level of excitement. As an event organizer, your role is to ensure that all the virtual guests are provided with tools for active participation such Q&A features, virtual rooms for discussions and networking and polls in real time. These interactive features would make the event truly hybrid and distinguish it from less demanding live stream.
Despite the differences in the organizational process, the technological set-up for live streams and hybrid events is similar. Test all the equipment beforehand together with the speakers, panellists and moderators. Remember to check the quality of the internet connection as well as the sound and image quality. If possible, it’s recommended to test the equipment two times: 1-2 days before the event and a few hours before on an actual day of the event.
5. Follow the schedule
To ensure that online participants are immersed in the event, thoughtful scheduling is important. Create the time slots for Q&A sessions from both on-site and virtual attendees as well as networking breaks. Never openly prioritize the actions at the venue and remember that, compared to in-person visitors, it might require a bit more time for remote participants to make a response or give feedback. In fact, considering these tiny details helps to follow the agenda in accordance with the designed schedule and create a better overall experience.
Simultaneous managing of both sides might be not an easy task at all. That’s why it’s advisable to hire at least two moderators: one for the on-site event and the other for the communication with an online audience. Their close cooperation will help to follow the agenda, pay enough attention to all groups of attendees, and encourage them to share thoughts and ideas with each other.
7. Generate post-event content
One of the greatest advantages of hybrid events are their long-term positive outcomes. For instance, a common practice is to provide the audience with the downloadable materials when the event is finished. Offering the recorded content on demand will create an additional long-lasting source of revenue for your business. Downloadable materials like a list of key insights can work as promotion materials furthermore, and you decide whether access to these materials will be for free or for a charge.
Summing up, don’t forget that hybrid events are a mix of two formats and treat the on-site and remote attendees equally. Download Liveto’s ultimate guide to hybrid events and get to know the unique benefits of hybrid events over the in-person and virtual counterparts, the possible drawbacks and how to avoid them as well as a few successful case examples of hybrid events. In any case, the future of events is predicted to be hybrid. Don’t wait and take actions to occupy your niche in the event industry.
Besides, Liveto team is always here to help you and your events succeed. Liveto's platform is what you need for building a successful event business and boosting your event sales effectively using the customizable sales tools and real-time analytics. Contact us here.