With the new technologies, it’s no longer required for the audience to attend the event. They can stay in the comfort of their own home and watch what you have to offer them. Who knows? Maybe if they’re amused and like what they see, they will attend in person next year. Or they will recommend your events, products, company, whatever, to their acquaintances. You get free advertising for your company, also known as referral marketing.
Other reasons for throwing a hybrid event are as follows.
You have the potential to reach an altogether new audience. People who may not have had the time or resources to attend your event can view your content at any time. This can feature on-demand sessions, live feeds, polls, and discussions, among other things.
You may keep the content up for as long as you like, allowing busy guests to access it at any time – and even return to it afterward for reference or other marketing purposes. This has a much longer-lasting effect than simply attending a one-time event.
Smaller budget needed
Marketers can stretch their resources and reach to invite thousands of people to join online in their hybrid conferences. This increases the event’s return on investment and reduces the amount of money spent on lodging, eating, and other expenses.
Higher Engagement and Better Data Collection
The most significant contribution of a hybrid event to physical events is undoubtedly its data collection. You can build a dynamic area for guests to learn, participate, and ask questions with the proper tools.
Virtual event software or an event app for live and online attendees can track, store, and analyse virtually every user interaction to glean insights that benefit the event’s main objectives and goals — whether it’s generating leads, improving a product, making an impression, or refining the marketing approach.
When done properly, a hybrid event can be just as fun and profitable as an in-person one. But it needs to be planned ahead and carefully with three primary purposes in mind: briefness, dynamism, and interactivity. Your in-person audience may stay for several reasons, but your online viewers are only one click away from leaving.
Take Apple and other successful companies’ events as an example. Apple events generate a lot of enthusiasm around new product announcements, and their high production value distinguishes them as a genuine master of using hybrid events to enhance their brand.
Apple rallied and came back stronger than ever after COVID-19 ruled out in-person events. While a virtual audience watched from home, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, visited the stage in person to announce the company’s latest product updates and advancements.
Apple continues to take the chance to provide a unique hybrid event experience to both its exclusive in-person audience and virtual attendees.
Apple is one of the largest companies in the world, and reaching its level can be complicated. But organising a hybrid event that gets people talking and increases your company’s profits is easier than you might think.
How To Host a Hybrid Event
The basics and equipment
Organising hybrid events involves organising the same event in two dimensions: face-to-face and virtual. It implies greater efforts because it is like organising a face-to-face event and a virtual event in parallel, with the needs and requirements of each one but following a common thread that provides coherence to both.
Plan early and ahead
It doesn’t matter which type of event you’re about to hold. You should always plan ahead to prepare it without pressure and due dates getting on your nerves, Furthermore, you will always face changes and unexpected situations during the planning process, which is acceptable and accepted. Yet another reason to begin early!
- Technical support: The equipment of the hybrid event, as well as the technical support, is very important for a hybrid event.
- A room with the right light: To organise a successful hybrid event, we recommend a room with natural light and also with the possibility of having additional spotlights.
- HD camcorders + tripod: It is necessary to have at least 3 cameras so that there are several points of view and the virtual attendants don’t get bored. If you watched a TV show that didn’t change its plane, you’d get weirded out. It’s the same with hybrid events.
- Technical staff: You need people on your team prepared to handle the software and other technical aspects of the event.
Things you can do to make your hybrid event a success
1. Make sure that remote attendees can participate in the event
To make your hybrid event a success, you need to think about strategies for remote attendees to truly participate in the event. Remember that everyone likes to feel relevant and interact with the situation they are in. A hybrid event is different from an online event, where attendees are passive in front of a screen.
Try to interact as much as possible with your attendees with question sessions and a chat with remote attendees. Offer them the possibility to share opinions on networks like Twitter or Facebook. It happens all the time with regular TV shows or more special ones. Social media gathers people together and you should leverage that when hosting a hybrid event.
2. Keep the sessions short and entertaining
Attracting the attention of hybrid event attendees can be tricky and challenging. We already mentioned it, but online attendees can leave with a click if they do not find it interesting.
Grab their attention: use GIFs and fun graphic images. Make jokes. Ask frequent questions or invite people to share their thoughts online. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something to keep people entertained.
3. Create value for sponsors
Event sponsors want maximum visibility. They want everyone to see them, hear them, and have their name on their lips. It’s time to convince them of the value of hybrid events by 2021. To be honest, they are usually quite interested right off the bat for three simple reasons:
- The audience is international, not just local
- Sponsors can interact live with virtual attendees through chat and Q&A
- The metrics of a hybrid event are much more accurate
Nevertheless, you still need to convince them that your event will be useful and make a profit for them. They’re the ones mostly paying for it anyway.
4. The host is more important than you think
No one likes to get bored. Especially not during an event that is supposed to be fun and exciting. Get a good spokesperson who can capture the attention of all attendees, while making them feel comfortable and integrated. Someone who will not neglect the online attendees, encouraging their participation while at the same time creating the perfect atmosphere for the in-person attendants.
5. Provide On-Demand Content to Increase Audience Activation
One of the disadvantages of attending a physical event, such as a conference, concert, or trade exhibition, is that you can’t observe all of the presentations to determine if they overlap.
Fortunately, a hybrid seminar or event can record and upload all sessions and presenters as on-demand videos, allowing attendees to catch up on what they missed later. Both audiences now have the choice of selecting which films or content to download, resulting in a higher level of engagement and enrichment from your event.
6. Collect Data like There’s No Tomorrow
As mentioned above, it is easier to analyse the behaviour of users attending the event virtually. The data stored is essential for further evaluation of the success of the event and future plans.
Did people stay for long on the hybrid event software, did they share information on social networks, did they interact when asked to do so, or were they simply passive individuals? This type of information and much more can be obtained thanks to today’s technology. And it goes without saying how useful it is for improving any aspects that require it.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.