Let’s start with what a hybrid trade show is – it’s not all face to face and it’s not all online, it’s a little bit of both and everything in between. A hybrid trade show combines a live face to face event with a virtual online component. It is an option that is available to bring online viewers together with the face to face attendees. And most importantly, it is the new wave of trade shows.
As we move into a post-Covid world adapting to the changes that occurred has provided some challenges but also some amazing opportunities to grow and take the changes in stride. Trade show organizers rapidly implemented a number of changes to the way they ran their events. Just stopping the world of trade shows was never going to be an option. Adapting to a new way of trade shows was the only way forward. It has happened and hybrid trade shows are taking over as the best way forward to accommodate all trade show options.
The traditional face to face trade show is still not possible in all countries. Offering a way to accommodate both those that can travel and those stuck behind a computer screen gives hybrid trade shows a position to suit both types of attendees. It is also important to note that it isn’t just leaving or re-entering countries that can cause problems with attendance but many businesses have taken a financial hit and purchasing flights and accommodation on top of the trade show may reduce the opportunities for attending. A full virtual trade show is still an option however if meeting in the middle is an option you can have the best of both worlds.
There are a number of key things to consider when planning your hybrid trade show:
Keeping everyone interested on your hybrid trade show
Maintaining the interest of both those that are face to face and those sitting at home watching from the comforts of their lounge is crucial to the success of the trade show. The hybrid trade show needs to Include polls, quizzes, and interactive moments which will help encourage both sides to maintain involvement. If you have a break out option in the face to face presentation then an option for breakout room needs to be made for those attending virtually. Live chats can help people interact with those attending and also creates an opportunity for people to share information, which can offer a stepping stone for further communication. Sometimes just typing a few words in response to a question can create the confidence the attendee needs to open up.
You will still need to organize a venue to accommodate those attending, however the size and space options will probably be smaller. The costs saved on the venue hire can be put towards other aspects that will make the ultimate hybrid trade show.
How the event is streamed is imperative for the success of the event. Different camera options, lighting options and microphones can help to involve those virtually but also include those face to face with the virtual attendees. Having someone dedicated to this aspect is imperative to a successful link between those attending and those attending virtually.
Marketing hybrid trade show
Marketing hybrid trade shows needs to include both sides of the hybrid event. The option for virtual attendees creates a broader and more extensive audience for the trade show. Multi-channel activities need to suit the virtual attendee and those face to face. What will the speaker schedule look like and what will be the take away for both attendees.
Registration tool for your hybrid trade show
Attendees need to be clear about their options and costs for the event. Make the two different options easy to select from. Will you let those attending also go virtual? Covid-19 has a funny way of changing plans at the last minute so make sure you have options available to change registrations or adapt to the needs of your attendees quickly.
B2B matchmaking will be very important to streamline so that those attending face to face can still meet with others virtually. The app needs to be able to cater for these needs and quickly identify the type of meeting it will be, virtual or face to face.
It’s easy to focus on your target clientele but don’t forget about the exhibitors. They need to be able to cater for both face to face and B2B matchmaking which is possible and ultimately will increase their exposure. Some of the exhibitors may be new to the hybrid trade show and linking them up with others that are experienced in catering for both markets could be an advantage.
Staffing for hybrid trade show
Organize to have staff that cater for those face to face but also make sure there is staff available for those who are attending virtually. The team that supports the trade show can make sure both face to face and virtual meet in the middle and become one event.
Do not forget the time zones of the attendees and the conference times! It probably is not going to be a perfect schedule for everyone but be mindful of capturing the key speakers to make sure they are at times that suit the majority of the attendees. There are other options to alleviate some of the problems with incongruent time zones such as synchronous and asynchronous components that also may be worth considering.
Hybrid trade shows are novel events and AladdinB2B are the experts with experience at catering for these events. AladdinB2B is a leading trade show technology offering event organizers the premium tools they need for shows and B2B interactions. The experts at Aladdin have designed an optimal solution for digital trade show operations – users are guided from registration to entrance, simply completing the steps in between. AladdinB2B’s event platform provides all of the tools you will need to start planning your next event. If you’re looking to provide the best experience for your guests, AladdinB2B is ready to make it happen.