The event industry works a step ahead considering all the possible pitfalls. But no one has ever imaged an unforecasted outbreak of COVID-19 global pandemic to get prepared for it on time. The global health crisis has severely affected almost every nation resulting in dipping down various businesses across the globe. No entity in their worst nightmares has ever imagined such a condition to get prepared to deal with it. Restrictions have been imposed on traveling and gatherings, thus resulting in the cancellation of various events planned up for the year. However, leaving the event industry in complete flux. It is one of the entities that has been majorly impacted by the wrath of the global pandemic in 2020.
With the change in scenario, the event industry and organizations around the globe leverage virtual events to keep the business going. Today, virtual has become the new normal. It allows organizations to connect and network with remote employees, global delegates, customers, attendees, etc. seamlessly. Organisations that never thought about moving their events online are today hosting internal and external events virtually. Virtual events came as an aid that enables the industries to keep going. It has become an integral part of almost every sector to carry out recurring meetings, conferences, or any other type of event. It helps in generating leads and revenues even in the time of the global health crisis.
Virtual events have many perks to offer that are not compatible with traditional physical events. Even though virtual events have many benefits, while hosting online events during a pandemic, organizers have come to a conclusion. Face-to-face interactions hold their own significance and will always be a part of the event program. Here, hybrid events came into play. Hosting hybrid events is just making a buzz and has become the talk of the town.
Hybrid events: A mix of virtual and in-person events
A hybrid event is a mix of virtual as well as in-person events. It brings the best elements of both the event world together in the same frame. Hybrid events offer the flexibility to attendees to attend or be a part of the event either in-person or virtually. It allows attendees to visit an on-site location to attend an event in-person or access the event from a remote location virtually.
Hybrid events are organized at a physical on-site location paired with a hybrid event platform service provider. Right planning, strategy, tools, and technology, promotion are a must to kick off a successful hybrid event. Have a look at the few hybrid event advantages:
- WIder reach
- Increased attendance and participation
- Better engagements
- Better sponsorship opportunities
- Reduction in expenses
- Eco friendly
- Greater ROI
- Valuable data tracking
We have listed the top 5 secret key elements that help you to pull off a successful hybrid event. To know more, read on:
1. Create an effective plan and strategy
Create an effective game plan to ensure a successful hybrid event. Right planning and strategy are a must before proceeding further. Firstly, figure out why you are hosting a hybrid event? What is the objective behind it? Who is your potential target audience? What do you want to deliver to them? What you want to achieve out of your event? And so on. Answers to certain questions should be clear in the mind of the organizer and planner to create an effective strategy.
Once you are clear with it move on to another set of questions and answer to yourself. Will your event be gated or free? What will be the registration process? Will offer on-demand content to attendees who missed? What engaging features would you like to include in your hybrid event? And so on. After analyzing the answers to the following questions plan your hybrid event strategy accordingly for a successful event.
2. Select the right technology
Picking up the right technology or hybrid event platform is a must to drive a successful hybrid event. The virtual component of the hybrid event is carried out on a hybrid event platform that offers engaging services. The hybrid event platform that enables you to organize live polls, surveys, Q&A, games, quizzes, is the best bet. It helps in keeping virtual attendees engaged throughout the event. While selecting a platform keep it in mind it should facilitate one-on-one interactions via audio, video, and keyboard chats. It helps in delivering real-life event experiences to virtual attendees.
3. Engaging content
Content is the king whether it’s a live event or a virtual event. The two formats of events are entirely different from each other so does the content. With live events, attendees are in a physical environment where long speech from the speakers works well. But with hybrid events, attendees are watching the event in-person as well as virtually. Virtual attendees can not stare at the screen for a long time as there are no physical surroundings. Ensure that the speech and presentations from your speakers are not very elongated.
Keep the talks and sessions short with engaging content. If required, split the sessions into small parts. Incorporate Live polls, Q&A, quizzes, etc. amid sessions to gain audience insight and keep them engaged with the event. Keep your event content informative, valuable, and actionable to ensure success. If your content is good people will come again and again to your event. The powerful, engaging, and exceptional content helps in driving better engagements at the event.
4. Promotion and marketing
Marketing your event becomes more than important with hybrid events as it attracts in-person as well as virtual attendees. However, it simply means just doubling up your number of attendees at the event. How good your event is if your audience is not aware it is of no use. Display the information about your event on the landing pages of your website. Apart from it, you can leverage direct marketing, emails, public relations, social media integration to promote your upcoming event.
5. Create personalised experiences for attendees
Creating personalised experiences for event attendees is one of the most significant aspects of hybrid events. It offers personalised experiences pre, post, and during the event. Well, creating such experiences for attendees is not possible without the attendee data. With the right technology, you can get valuable data records of the attendee’s digital footprint. It helps in identifying and analysing attendee’s behaviors and trends. Therefore enabling you to create targeted events or campaigns for a specific set of attendees. The data collected during the event help in curating the content for a specific audience segment to deliver valuable and memorable event experiences.
Hybrid events have made their mark in the event industry with the number of benefits it serves. Even after the phase of the global health crisis passes, hybrid events are here to stay. It has been proved as one of the beneficial event formats to host the events. With adequate planning, the right technology, engaging content, the right promotion you are all set to host a successful hybrid event. If you have not yet thought about hosting one, think about it, and leverage hybrid events. Benefit from hybrid event advantages that are far beyond the reach of traditional physical events!