Hybrid Events: Do’s and Don’ts

Virtual presentation with full auditorium

We’re all starting to get a little familiar with hybrid events. Let's now master the art of designing and hosting successful hybrid events to ramp up revenue and continue to target your audience accordingly. As states start opening up, event planners are starting to figure out the best way to plan events. Virtual events have proven to have a wide reach and a great potential for revenue. Joining the virtual aspect with in-person events seems to be the best way to host events today. However, hosting hybrid events takes time and needs to be planned properly to ensure a successful outcome.

When event organizers and planners start planning hybrid events, it’s imperative to make sure everything is created and designed accordingly so that nothing is left to chance. This means testing all equipment, keeping all your attendees in mind and other extra factors that come with a hybrid event.

Do’s and don’ts of hosting hybrid events

One of the best things about research is that we can understand what works and what doesn't work. When it comes to events, each type of event is different. You need to plan accordingly and make sure you are focusing on what fits your event the best. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you have a successful hybrid event.

✓ Do: Make sure to have a solid engagement plan with ALL attendees

With hosting a hybrid event, you need to keep in mind that there are in-person attendees as well as virtual attendees. It’s important to create a plan that engages both types of audiences throughout the event.

Features such as live Q&As, polling, social media integration and other networking capabilities will help in facilitating and continuing the conversation between both parties from beginning to end.

╳ Don’t: Have too much planned that might overwhelm your audience

Scheduling breaks during the event is key to these types of events to not to overwhelm the audience. Remember, attendees will be connecting to the platform virtually and it will take them a few minutes to get used to the platform. Give them additionally time to also figure out how to navigate through the different pages and content. 

You need to give your virtual attendees the chance to figure out how to engage and navigate the platform as the event goes on. Scheduling breaks will give them the time to do so without feeling the need to quit if they get frustrated.

✓ Do: Test all content and technology before hybrid events

There’s nothing like planning everything only to find out that your audio or video platform doesn’t work when the event starts! With hybrid events, you will be using streaming platforms and other modes of technology such as mics for speakers, etc. to engage the audience. Make sure to do a test run with featured speakers and guests so that they are prepared when they go live.

Additionally, you might also need to do a test run with all the platforms and tools to ensure that they work. Additionally the sound and video quality needs to be clear as well. This is imperative to ensure that your audience will continue to enjoy the event and will stay engaged and immersed the whole time.

╳ Don’t: Forget that hybrid is not the same as in-person

This is extremely important because you need to be aware of both types of audiences. Simply placing cameras around the room to stream the event will not do it for the virtual audience. 

When planning a hybrid event, you need to create ways for the in-person attendees to be able to network with the virtual attendees, especially because networking is one of the major reasons that people attend conferences in the first place! Designing breakout rooms is a great example of how you can capture your virtual audience and keep them engaged through their screens.

virtual presentation panel

✓ Do: Plan on setting a budget for hybrid events

While hybrid events are a cost-saving option for attendees, as the host, you are planning two events. Try to be mindful of how much you are going to spend on the event to incorporate everything you want. You need to create the right budget for both the in-person and virtual aspect so you won’t get caught off-guard with costs as you plan the event.

╳ Don’t: Expect too much

Take a deep breath and let the event play out as it will. You have done all you can in planning the best event, so don’t set your expectations too high. This is especially important when it comes to the audience interacting with each other. If your event has the engagement capabilities and entertainment that is suitable for the audience, you are good to go!

✓ Do: Follow up and collect feedback

In order to improve, you need feedback. Make it a point to send out surveys or other feedback opportunities to see what your attendees liked and what could have been done better. This will be valuable information for you to continue to provide value to your clients and customers. Your next event will only be better and more successful.

╳ Don’t: Forget to use social media

Social media will be your friend and way to help you get the word out there. Put your marketing budget to good use and promote your event on social media to reach your target audience. You can create buzz on the various platforms and keep your audience engaged even before your event starts!

Have you been inspired to design your next virtual or hybrid event? Check out the Top 7 Benefits of Hosting Hybrid Events to design your very own event. 

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