Planning a hybrid event is just like organizing an in-person or virtual event; the only difference is that you have to plan both at the same time.
While the in-person event planning process involves a lot of negotiation with venues, vendors, and caterers, virtual event planning is a little less complicated. The most important part about organizing a virtual aspect of your event is reviewing and choosing from the multiple platforms that are available.
Each and every platform that you encounter has pros and cons that cater to different types of events. In this stage of reviewing, consider a few important questions:
- How many people will be attending the event virtually?
- What’s the budget for the virtual part of our event?
- Do I want to include any extra elements (sponsor booths, merch stores, etc.)?
All of these are important aspects to think about before deciding which platform will work best for your hybrid event. For a quick overview of some of the best virtual event platforms of 2021, check out this blog.
When you’re hosting a hybrid event for the first time, it can be daunting. Not only do you have to take your in-person audience members into consideration, but you also have to think about the viewers who are tuning in digitally. However, if recent trends are to be believed, hybrid events are the future of large conferences and conventions. This is a great time to get ahead of the competition by hosting a hybrid event that caters to all of your potential attendees.
With that being said, we do have some tips for any event planners that are organizing an event in this new mixed medium.
Here’s a list of all of the things we believe every hybrid event needs:
Engaging, memorable content.
Your content should always be the main focus of your event. After all, you threw this conference for a reason. Make sure your audience members are engaged and interested in what your keynote speakers have to say. Keep your online audience attentive by including interactive content like trivia questions or polls in the chat.
Moderators and event-day support.
While in-person audience members are able to find an event organizer to get help for any issues they might encounter, your online attendees aren’t so lucky. It’s important to have moderators and a support line that is available and ready to help digital viewers during the event.
A hybrid-friendly venue.
There’s no use in hosting an event at a venue that isn’t able to involve your virtual attendees. Before choosing a place that can accommodate your in-person audience members, make sure they have the ability to have cameras, microphones, and other essential equipment on their main stage.
An easy-to-use platform
Like we mentioned before, one of the most important parts of planning the online element of your event is choosing the right platform to send your digital attendees to. This choice will require a lot of thought, consideration, and maybe even a little trial and error. With so many options, it can be tough to figure out which platform is going to work the best for your specific event, but it is essential that you find one that is devoid of glitches and bugs and good-looking. The same amount of effort that your team puts into making your venue look clean, professional, and decorated is the same amount of effort that should be put into finding a good virtual event platform.
Special content for online viewers.
In-person audience members get a lot of perks when it comes to hybrid events. With catered food, free swag, and the opportunity to network with others, physical attendees are getting a lot of bang for their buck. Entice your online viewers with extra, specialized content that only they can access. Exclusive interviews, special deals on merchandise, or behind-the-scenes access are all great ways to show your digital attendees that they matter too.
An accessible schedule
One of the more difficult aspects of planning a hybrid event is making sure that all of your attendees can attend at the right time. If you’re encouraging your virtual audience to watch your event live, then you need to take into account all of the potential time zones that attendees could be watching from. Events held for attendees who live in North America are relatively simple, but if your event is international, you need to try to ensure that your event occurs at a reasonable time for everyone.
Although hosting a hybrid event might mean more work for your planning team, the trends show that the future of mixed-medium events is inevitable. Not only will hybrid events undoubtedly increase your attendance rates and overall return on investment, but they will also make your company’s events more accessible and obliging for your audience members.
Just like the transition from in-person events to online events was difficult, the shift towards hybrid events will likely require a learning curve. However, with a strong planning team, a great virtual event platform, and engaging content, your next hybrid event could be the very best yet.