Hybrid Events are not a new concept, however they have become more of a consideration for an events organiser in the past year and will be for the forseeable future.
In this blog Lida shares some questions to ask if you are considering a hybrid event:
I think everyone is familiar, to one degree or another, with a hybrid event and knows that the word doesn’t just refer to a type of car!
Most people also know why and when one should consider a hybrid event however here are some questions that you may find useful to ask yourself and colleagues when planning your next event.
If you or your colleagues have run a Hybrid Event before, how did it go?
It’s always good to get feedback from any event so speak to as many people as you can and learn from any mistakes that have been made previously. You can learn from them what worked well and what could have gone better?
What are your reasons for choosing hybrid over in-person?
There are pros and cons for organising a hybrid event and as a company you need to decide the way your event must be run to achieve your goal.
A hybrid event enables delegates who are unable to travel for any reason, to attend virtually and, those who prefer or can attend in-person to experience the event face-to-face; this can also increase your event’s overall attendance!
Hybrid events can be very cost-effective and one is able to monitor the level of engagement through data tracking, which can be used post event to follow up.
What do you want to get out of the event? What’s most important to you?
As with a live event, you still need to have an ‘end goal’ to focus on, such as community building, customer engagement, brand awareness or lead generation. Once you decide this, you can then start to build your event.
Perhaps ask your key stakeholders how they would feel attending a live event against a virtual event to gauge an idea of numbers.
Will you be monetising the event?
Improve event registrations by selling a virtual ticket at a reduced price, so if for any reason a delegate cannot get to the event in person, they can still attend virtually.
What do you want your in-house attendees to get out of the event?
Delegates attending ‘live’ most importantly need to feel safe and this should be made clear on any promotional material. Easy interaction with any virtual elements is key and those delegates will feel they have benefitted by attending the event in person.
What do you want your virtual attendees to get out of this event?
Virtual delegates must be made to feel part of the event, as if they are attending in-person. Offer live chat, Q & A, networking opportunities so they feel part of the event.
Live online audiences do not have the same attention span so the content is key to engaging your audience.
How do you want them both to feel?
With a hybrid event, the secret to keeping your entire audience engaged is to make sure that your ‘live’ audience and virtual attendees have the same engagement features available to them.
How are you planning to integrate in person and virtual attendees?
Consider some or all of the following:
- live polling capabilities
- pre-recording audio and video
- live recording within the venue and adding a virtual element so international delegates can attend at leisure
- livestream to YouTube or Facebook
- utilising breakout rooms for networking
- interactive presentations
Will all the speakers be in the room or streamed in?
Speakers can obviously be streamed in very cost-effectively, from anywhere in the world, time zones permitting!! It can be a mixture of speakers live on the stage and others brought in on-line.
Are you planning seminar streams or breakouts during the event?
Do you have your own preferred Event Tech Platform?
Are there any Event Tech Platforms that are blocked on your internal systems?
Answering these questions honestly and in collaboration with your fellow organisers will get you well ahead as your start your journey planning your next event.
As I write this blog, we are all aware of the Delta variant (first identified in India) which seems to be the predominant variant in the UK now and may impact the government moving to stage 4 of its roadmap on 21 June. Indeed, you may be in a ‘surge testing’ postcode and may have had to have a PCR test, as is the case with a member of our team. Thank goodness it was negative!
As someone working in the events industry, unfortunately this may impact us quite considerably and, I would suggest, that all event organisers need to plan for a hybrid element.
I would actually go as far as saying that for any event taking place in Q4 this year or Q1 next year, with future implications of the coronavirus in mind (whatever they might be!) one should plan for ‘hybrid’ and if this is not required in the end and the event can be fully live, all well and good!
One of our partnered suppliers have put together a PDF checklist of items you may wish to consider in case your event may be affected by the introduction of local restrictions – you can download it below.
DeSouza Associates understand every event is different hence we have partnered with a few external suppliers to ensure we can offer alternative ideas and solutions based on each specific brief.
As hybrid event planners we can help you connect with the right venues, suppliers and platforms to suit your bespoke requirements, assist with design, building and delivering a hybrid event at the best negotiated rates.
Complete the form below or email us, alternatively call us on 01252 722185