Hosting a hybrid event requires a lot of hard work and a clear thought process as the host needs to meet the needs of two different sets of audiences. If you are planning to host a hybrid event soon, this article will at as your hybrid events guide.
10 Vital Elements to Host a Successful Hybrid Event
1. Understanding Your Audience
The most important element while hosting a hybrid event successfully is to understand the needs of your target customer base. Identifying your target audience is essential to understanding their needs and requirements.
Conduct a thorough analysis of the consumer’s details and track their behaviour to identify their problems and needs. Only when you have identified the needs and priorities of your target audience, should you move forward and find the most appropriate event platform or event technology for your hybrid event.
2. Equal Attention to Both Online and Offline Audience
During hybrid events, you are catering to both online and offline audiences. Sometimes, the online attendees might feel ignored while you are busy catering to the needs of offline audiences. Therefore, you must pay special attention to integrating the online and offline audiences.
You must plan your event sessions while keeping in mind the needs and preferences of both in-person and virtual audiences. Make sure that your online attendees don’t feel ignored and get as much attention and engagement as the in-person audience. Another essential element that you need to focus on is superior networking features for providing an in-person event experience to the online attendees.
3. Choose a Hybrid Event Platform
Choosing the most appropriate hybrid event platform is another important element for hosting a successful hybrid event. The right hybrid event platform would consist of unique features for engagement and networking among the online attendees. Features like social walls also play a crucial role in integrating the virtual audience with the physical ones. Moreover, the hybrid event platform should focus on catering to the needs of the virtual attendees.
The platform must be easy to use and navigate making the attendee onboarding and joining process easier. Additionally, you should ensure that the moderators and event presenters know how to use the platform. Live event support is also an integral feature to look for in a virtual event platform. Don’t forget your online audience during Q&A sessions and provide them with an equal opportunity to speak.
4. Pre-plan the Agenda
Set a clear agenda for your hybrid event. Identify the topics you address and the type of sessions you will conduct within your hybrid event. Plan this agenda well before the event and communicate it to the potential attendees so that they have time to prepare and register. The agenda of your hybrid event should take into account the needs and preferences of the online audience.
For instance, the ice-breaking activities should facilitate the inclusion of both in-person and virtual attendees. Keep the sessions short to save your online attendees from undergoing screen fatigue. The agenda should provide a physical event like experience for the virtual attendees. Moreover, the online attendees should have the opportunity to interact with the live attendees and vice versa.
5. Create Meaningful Content
You must invest a lot of thought and time in creating compelling content. The high competition in this field makes it very difficult to hold the attention of your virtual audience. Therefore, you must have a clear thought process and invest time and money in creating content that could induce them to attend the event.
You can use videos, social media posts, blog posts, website content, and emailers to create great content. Creating good quality content will help you generate some pre-event hype and attract more people to your hybrid event. A value-adding content will help you keep the virtual attendees hooked to their screens.
6. Focus on Engagement and Interaction
Your hybrid event should not be boring and look like a formal conference. It should focus more on keeping both types of attendees equally engaged and provide them with an opportunity to interact with others. Try to make the event more conversational by including dedicated Q&A sessions and live chat features to your event.
You can also include separate breakout sessions to keep the attendees engaged. The hybrid event software you choose must provide engagement and networking features like live chat, live polls, Q&A sessions, virtual photo booths, social walls, and networking lounges.
7. Use Social Media to Promote the Event
Social media is the best place for your hybrid event marketing. Use the power of different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Create dedicated pages on these platforms and consistently post on them to facilitate the promotion of your event. Make the visitors sign up to your email list and send them emailers to communicate the event agenda and its benefits. Remember to include the event registration link in your emails.
An event landing page is the first place where your potential attendee engages with the event. Therefore, make sure it is highly creative and consists of all the necessary details about the event. Inviting your sponsors and guest speakers to make social media posts promoting your event is also a great marketing strategy.
8. Leverage Networking Features
Networking is a very crucial element for hosting a successful online event. Make sure that the features of the hybrid event platform you select take into account the needs and requirements of the online audience and foster networking and interaction among the online and offline audience.
Many hybrid event platforms provide match recommendations to the attendees based on similar interests. Features like networking tables allow the virtual attendees to join the meeting with the in-person attendees and communicate with them in real-time.
9. Rehearse and Test the Equipment
Rehearsing is a great practice as it helps instil confidence among the team members, and You must conduct numerous rehearsals before the actual event to make sure that everything is in place. You must also test all the equipment and see that everything is working fine.
Moreover, you must ensure that all the required software is downloaded and the team members are familiar with it. Nothing can be more embarrassing than a situation where the host’s mic is not working properly and the audience cannot hear him. Therefore, always double-check your event whereabouts.
10. Conduct Mid-event Data Analysis
While post-event analytics is important, you can consider conducting a mid-event data analysis. This data can be used to make immediate amendments and modifications in the event.
The points discussed in this article present the 10 essential elements that you should consider while planning a hybrid event. Keeping these simple points in mind will help you develop an effective and efficient plan for your hybrid event.