With slight relaxation in covid related restrictions, hybrid events have become the new normal. The rising popularity of hybrid events stems from its unique mix of virtual and live events. You must have heard the term hybrid events at least once but not necessarily be aware of its benefits and best practices. Don’t worry! This article will act as a complete hybrid events guide for you.
What Are Hybrid Events?
Hybrid events are events that are hosted both physically and virtually. In other words, hybrid events strike a perfect balance between the benefits of a virtual event and the engagement potential of a physical event. Hybrid events are tailored in a manner that helps them cater to the needs of both the digital audience and the in-person audience. The hybrid model can be opted for conducting all types of events. It could be a conference, an AGM, a meeting, or a trade show.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
Let us have a look at the benefits of hosting hybrid events.
Increased Audience Reach
Hybrid events are a great way to reach out to more people and widen your customer base. It can help you increase your event attendance by attracting new customer segments to attend. This can further lead to an increase in sales and develop a global brand presence.
Despite the engagement features provided by virtual event platforms, it still lacks the engagement of physical events. A hybrid event helps bridge the gap between virtual events and physical events by providing a perfect mix between both. It provides the virtual attendees with an opportunity to engage with the live audience. Moreover, hybrid events have the potential to keep both in-person and online attendees engaged.
Reduces Environmental Costs
It reduces environmental costs by reducing the use of paper and plastic. Moreover, going digital helps reduce the carbon emissions caused due to automobiles, resulting in a cleaner environment. The reduced need for catering will help save the environment from the increased use of plastic.
Not just the environmental costs, but hosting your events using the hybrid model helps you save on a lot of other costs. The cost of catering, lodging, and traveling gets reduced significantly. It favors both the hosts and the attendees as it leads to significant cost savings for both of them.
Helps In Data Collection
Hybrid events help the hosts track every detail about the attendees like the time spent, and the most liked sessions. Moreover, it also helps keep a track of the attendee’s footprint. In other words, it allows you to track the trajectory or path that the attendee followed while navigating through the event. You can use these details to take corrective measures and ensure the success of your future events.
Better Accessibility and Flexibility
Hybrid events are much more accessible than physical events. Hybrid events allow people to attend the event from anywhere using their laptops, phones, and tablets. Moreover, most of the virtual event service providers have browser-based virtual event solutions. In other words, the attendees can attend the event without downloading any app by simply using the event link. These virtual event platforms also provide third-party integration making hybrid events more accessible than physical events.
Better Sponsorship Opportunities
Hybrid events have a greater potential to increase event attendance and engagement. Therefore, they have become an attractive alternative to physical events for sponsors. This has further led to an increase in sponsorship opportunities for the hosts.
Hybrid Events – Best Practices
Choose the Right Hybrid Event Solution
Choosing the right hybrid event technology provider can either make or break your event. Therefore, you should first identify your requirements and match them with the features of the hybrid event solution. This will also help in decision-making.
Cater to Both Online and Offline Audiences
One of the most important aspects of a hybrid event is to cater to both online and offline audiences. Make sure that all the elements of the hybrid event are tailored to suit the needs and requirements of both online and offline audiences. You can also add an interactive element by promoting interaction among the virtual and in-person attendees. In addition to that, make sure that the speakers address both the audiences. This will help provide an immersive and enriching experience for both.
Plan and Create Information Rich Content
Plan your content before the actual event and make sure that it adds value to the attendees and is information-rich. Remember your online audience is as important as the live audience. Therefore, while planning your content you should keep both your audiences in mind.
Conduct a Trial Run
Conduct a trial run before the event to make sure everything is in place and all the equipment is working well. Conducting a rehearsal will help ensure that the event runs smoothly. In addition to the above, revisit all the videos, presentations, and content to avoid any glitches. It will help avoid panic at the last minute and provide you with an opportunity to make improvements.
Conduct Technical Check
No matter how well you plan your event, even a small technical glitch can take up a lot of your time. While the live attendees might have the patience to wait for it to resolve, the virtual attendees might soon lose interest and drop off from the event. To avoid this situation, you should carry out a thorough check on all the equipment and technical aspects.
Provide 24×7 Support
24×7 support is a crucial feature to look for in a virtual event platform. Make sure the platform you choose provides 24×7 technical support both before the event and during the event. This will help you ensure that the technical glitches get fixed quickly.
Focus on Pre-event Promotion
Pre-event promotion plays a crucial role in inducing people to attend the event. You should use the power of social media and email marketing to promote your event. Creating a unique event landing page and posting content regularly on your social media pages can go a long way in increasing your event attendance.
Taking feedback helps build trust and make the attendees feel like you value their ideas and opinions. Moreover, it helps you take corrective steps for future events.
Hope this article helped you get deeper insights into hybrid events. You must now be aware of their benefits and the best practices that you should follow to host a successful hybrid event.