A hybrid event is an event organized both online and in person. It tries to merge the best of both worlds offering new exciting experiences for everyone involved. Hybrid events have been around for some time, but now they are becoming far more apparent and used. The benefits of these events are numerous. Apart from the global reach and detailed data collection, there are also better attendee engagement and increased ROI. AladdinB2B is one of the world’s leading platforms for hybrid and virtual trade show events.
Hybrid events are much more challenging to organize than in-person events, but we have prepared the key strategies that will help you overcome this challenge – the secrets behind a successful hybrid event. They also provide different opportunities for event organizers. Many apps and online tools are available to make the event better and more successful than ever. We have mentioned that the hybrid events have been around for some time now, but there is still confusion between virtual and hybrid events. For a hybrid event there has to be one in-person group of attendees and another group that will attend the event online, while in virtual events, there are just online attendees.
Here are the top five fundamental strategies behind a successful hybrid event.
Setting the expectations right from the start is crucial. You need to have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish and what steps to take to make it happen. It is best to set measurable goals; thus, you can improve your next event. Since there are two aspects of the event, it is better to set the expectations for both the online and offline parts. Try to maximize the benefits of both aspects.
Apart from that, providing information upfront is very important. In the promotion of the hybrid event, you need to state that there will be online and offline attendees. Those who will attend the event online need to have detailed and clear instructions on how to submit any required information in the registration process. Furthermore, you need to provide directions for logging in. Another common way of resolving any possible questions and inquiries is setting up a live chat before the event takes place.
Content of your hybrid event matters
Probably the most challenging aspect of the hybrid event is keeping both audiences engaged equally. The best response to this challenge is to provide them with rich content. Content is what attendees are after. Since there are two aspects of the event, the audiences will have different needs and different experiences. Though some content must be the same online and offline, it is wise to create some of the content separate for virtual attendees. In this way, virtual attendees will be more engaged.
Do not forget to utilize every benefit of the hybrid events. One of them is that the content can be available long after the actual event. You can reuse it as many times as you want. Furthermore, if you are using some tools for your content, check if its operations are at hand. When you are planning an event, organizing is essential. Lastly, do not ‘over-tech’ the event. Technology is exciting and should be used in moderation. Too much technology will confuse the audiences.
Knowing and engaging an audience
The online audience will likely have different backgrounds. They may be from various countries – maybe even continents, and you need to prepare for these differences. It is impossible to tailor the event according to each attendee. Therefore, you need to find what is the same for all of the attendees. It is the value they want to get from the event.
When planning and organizing the hybrid event, you need to recognize the attendees’ priorities and the reasons for attending. Answering questions about why they are there and what value they want to receive will keep both audiences active and engaged. Indeed, it is more demanding to keep the online audience engaged, but if you provide them with the value they are looking for, the engagement is guaranteed. You can also have different hosts for online and in-person events. It will contribute to better audience engagement. Nobody will feel like they are neglected or forgotten.
Rehearse properly for your hybrid event
You have prepared everything. All apps, software, and tools are working and ready. Everybody knows what their job is and when they need to start. Everything is in place, and all the experts are there. You also have a backup plan for most of the aspects of the event. You have prepared everything in advance, so you can calmly wait for the event. There is nothing else you can do, right?
We hope that you have answered that question with a no. The next step to take is rehearsal. You need to try the whole event at least twice to see what works and what could be improved. Practicing is beneficial both for the speakers and for event organizers. In your mind, it might be perfect, but you will notice places for improvements during the rehearsals. Apart from that, during the actual event, attendees will see the practicing. They will see your confidence and that you know what you are doing.
When you have done everything well, the event was successful, there is one last thing that you need to do – it is the follow-up. The chances are that most of your audience will be online. The registration forms and the data you receive are like a goldmine. The virtual component data will help you see what worked well and what did not. It will also enable you to grasp when the audience was engaged the most.
Do not forget the physical attendees. You can send them a survey after the event that they need to complete. Sharing relevant content with attendees after the event is far more potent in capturing leads than a more traditional, in-person-only, follow-up strategy.
Regardless of the goals you have and the number of attendees, these strategies will help you planning and organizing a successful hybrid event. It is crucial to invest a lot of time in the planning stage. In the end, you have to prepare for the unknown.
AladdinB2B is the world’s leading platform in organizing online and hybrid trade shows. Contact one of the Genies to help you in a successful event organization.