Hybrid Events

Going Beyond and Getting More Out of Your Hybrid Events

Eventually Learning Team

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” – Winston Churchill

Hybrid events, which have gained rising popularity in recent times, blend together both in-person and digital elements to cater to both sets of audiences. Over the last two years, organizations have recognized the power and influence the hybrid event space has on the masses.

In-person events are more suitable for collecting leads and engaging your audience while virtual events play an indispensable marketing role in restrictive times like the pandemic. Hybrid events will play a crucial part in adapting to the ‘new normal’ across the events industry. By now, we are well aware of the importance of Hybrid events, but have you ever wondered what makes a Hybrid event successful? Well, some critical factors that aid the success of a hybrid event are planning, strategic marketing but more importantly, having a profound understanding of what truly captivates audiences attending in-person as well as those who are accessing the event digitally.

Let us look at how you can boost your hybrid event strategy by keeping these tips in mind:

Event Design Should Suit Budget and Event Goals

A Hybrid event satiates to different demands and requirements than that of a traditional event. Organizers have to plan the event for not one but two sets of audiences. The structure and design which goes into a hybrid event needs to have a strategic and calculative approach that leads to achieving objectives like increased audience reach and improved conversions.

For instance, every session at your event should not be streamed live. Instead, some sessions can be semi-live. With a live Q&A feature, some can be pre-recorded for on-demand viewing. Only those sessions which are sure to captivate audiences both virtually and in person should be prioritized for live streaming.

Twitch, a well renowned live streaming platform, opted to live-stream their TwitchCon Event in 2019 through it’s very own trusty live-streaming service. The event also featured performances from bands like Blink-182. Twitch decided to take a rather different route and spread the news of its event through word of mouth – and it worked wonders. Around 28,000 people attended the TwitchCon event!

Attendees were even allowed to stream and record the event at will, resulting in a unique experience. This feature also helped the event gain raving reviews. The digital and in-person framework of the event should be in sync with the event's budget as parameters for both are different like professional streaming quality for virtual setting and on-site contracts for in-person events. Get in touch with technology experts who can manage production at your hybrid event, onboard expert marketers who can assist in formulating effective marketing campaigns that highlight your event for relevant audiences through creating eye-catching landing pages, targeted email promotions, social media marketing etc.

Hybrid Event Community Building Through Continuous Engagement

Building and nurturing a community around your hybrid event significantly impacts the event's success. Align your organizational goals to specific methods that connect objectives to influence attendee actions.

Captivating Stage & Screen: Ensuring your stage and screen setup is up to the mark and is easily accessible should be one of your top priorities. When creating visuals or setting up the stage of your event, see to it that your branding is well portrayed for hybrid audience. Your sponsors branding also needs to be strategically placed in noticeable spaces where they garner positive reactions. 

Exclusive Content for Virtual attendees: Create separate content exclusively for your virtual attendees like virtual-only panel discussions with experts and interviews with keynote speakers. Customize registration paths for virtual attendees to avoid confusion so that they sign up and access content that’s crafted for them.

Introduce Gamification: Gamification is an avenue for your attendees to have some fun and earn rewards during the hybrid event. It propels fun and interaction between online and in-person attendees. You can integrate gamification at your hybrid event through:
  • Live Onsite contests
  • Photo booth challenges
  • Online real-time Q&A sessions and polls
  • Social media contests
  • Networking activities like In-app messages, participating in virtual lounges, etc.
Discover the influence of pop-ups: Deploy pop-ups after an attendee is present at your platform for a certain period of time and avoid selling something through these pop-ups. Instead, use them to invite attendees for a sponsor’s demo session, networking lounge or to take part in event contests. These pop-ups will help the attendee navigate and understand your event platform whilst exploring the different features you have in store for them.

Leverage Technology to Tap into Attendee Interests!

Team up with AV Experts

As a part of your Hybrid Event strategy, understand that hybrid event needs and requirements evolve over time and by partnering with an AV or Production Company, you can leverage their effective technical and artistic expertise in aspects like set design, camera positions as well as audio and video formatting and optimizing it for streaming. This will result in your content production being improvised, extremely polished, interactive and engaging - to cater to both your onsite and virtual audience.

Design a captivating Digital Lobby

Your hybrid audience need a hub to register and access sessions. Onsite attendees may also like to access event content that has been recorded incase they have missed anything. The hybrid content hub would enable them to identify and access those sessions. A digital lobby is your virtual event attendee’s gateway to all things associated with your event – like scheduled sessions, date, time and important session information regarding sessions happening in the near future. Virtual attendees will spend a majority of their time in the lobby and keep returning to experience latest, on-demand content.

Captivate Audiences by Creating Memorable Experiences

Consider scalability when exploring event platforms. Audience engagement is critical to providing attendees with immersive and consumable engagement. Your team should be equipped with latest audience engagement tools to analyze website traffic, track social media growth, compare attendance figures to the drop-out rate. Offer event application access and integrate it to enable marketing automation, managing customer relationships, and social expansion. To do this, use applications like Pingg and Strayboots to enhance your event’s visibility online by  sending reminders, informative messages and communications through these apps before, during and after the event. 

Apple’s special events have spearheaded the event industry’s transition into the hybrid space. Apple has a history of livestreaming their special events for their global audience introducing their latest technology and products. Around 1,000 on-ground people and two million remote viewers tuned in to watch Tim Cook unveil products like an Apple Watch, an IPad and the iPhone 11. Apple reached a whopping 99.95% their entire audience from this single event.

Introduce Micro-experiences for Value Added Appeal

Hybrid micro events are relatively smaller online events like webinars, networking events, live broadcasts, live gaming sessions, etc. Hosting micro-events at your main event will help you reach a more segmented hybrid audience in a shorter time frame.

The key factor in creating compelling micro experiences comes down to one aspect - focus on quality over quantity. Provide a more curated event experience depending on whether participants are attending in person or virtually. Tools like Glisser and Buzz Master will give your attendees the power to wow and put audience interaction at the very heart of each session through polls, quizzes and even word cloud creation. Activities like short networking breaks, lunch & learn breaks and more should be integrated in hybrid events to avoid a mundane attendee event experience.

Conclusion

Hybrid events have gradually taken precedence throughout the business events world and in order to hit the milestones and achieve revenue goals, event organizers will have to evolve and adapt by using unique methods to cater to the constantly changing demands of the global event attendees.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Host a Hybrid Event?

In order to host a hybrid event, you need to start off by setting a budget, formulate a balanced agenda, create event buzz using different techniques, invite and host speakers on-site and virtually and leverage social media to encourage engagement.

What are the benefits of Hybrid Events?

Some of the significant benefits of Hybrid Events are enhanced event flexibility, increased reach, greater audience engagement, getting better sponsorship opportunities and a getting a higher return on investment.

Why has hybrid conferencing become so popular?

Hybrid events are convenient for everyone. People have busy schedules and don't have the time to commute. With flexible online options, it’s more suitable for people to attend an event. In a hybrid event, people have the luxury of participating from wherever they like, without the hassle of travelling.

Related Reads

Every brilliant event experience needs that perfect brand storytelling touch. Read more to know how content solves this puzzle!

Eventually Learning Team
Event Marketing

Use LinkedIn to optimize in-event engagement, as you map attendees and track their activities just like THE MEETINGS SHOW!

Eventually Learning Team
Event Management

Rev up your event planning guide with these tried-and-true productivity hacks to improve the event experience and manage unforeseeable situations.

Eventually Learning Team
Event Tech

Small business owners don multiple hats when they make new entry into the already saturated market. ‘Business events’ can help them generate leads, build stronger connections with vendors and much more!

Eventually Learning Team
Event Management

Coming up with the best ideas for creating an event setup can be exhausting. Here are five unique ideas from Instagram to inspire your next design! Read now.

Eventually Learning Team
Event Design

Virtual event success comes with the use of best practices for the event. Choosing the right platform is the primary task for providing easy accessibility to the event attendees

Eventually Learning Team
Virtual Events