A hybrid event is one that uses both physical and digital tools in order to create an environment where people can meet, learn, network, collaborate, innovate, etc.
An increasing number of companies are using hybrid events to connect with customers. The idea is simple: use digital technology in the conference room in order to make it more interactive for attendees.
The main benefit of hybrid events is that they provide a more memorable experience for attendees. They’re also cheaper than traditional conferences as the cost of physical venues and catering is eliminated.
Many companies now organize hybrid events to make their conference rooms come alive, attract new audiences and enable learning and networking. It’s fair to say there are many benefits – but just how can you maximize these events?
In this article, we’ll discuss the top best practices for planning and organizing a successful hybrid event. We’ll also mention some of the tools that can help ensure your event is a success.
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- 1 1. Know your goals
- 2 2. Match the technology to your goals
- 3 3. Maximize engagement
- 4 4. Choose the right technology
- 5 5. Pick the right room
- 6 6. Create an attendee journey
- 7 7. Networking opportunities
- 8 8. Track results
- 9 9. Be open to revisions
- 10 10. Consider attendee capacity
- 11 11.Check systems are in place before the event
- 12 12. Have back ups
1. Know your goals
The first step towards a successful hybrid event is to identify goals. Once you know what you’re trying for, it will be easier to figure out how to achieve those results with the help of new technology and innovative ideas. For instance, a goal could be to improve on-site engagement by creating an environment where attendees can experience networking opportunities outside of the conference room.
2. Match the technology to your goals
Once you know what you want to achieve, it will be easier to find tools that can help you get there. For instance, if your goal is to improve on-site engagement, then tools like social media chatbots or virtual reality headsets can help with that.
3. Maximize engagement
Hybrid events are all about maximizing engagement, so it’s important to get the right people involved. Before you begin planning, find out who you want to attend your event and why. Consider holding an online survey before deciding if it is time for a hybrid event or not.
4. Choose the right technology
In order to maximize engagement, you need to choose the right technology. Here are some ideas that can help:
- Virtual reality headsets – these allow people at the event to experience things they would not typically get to see (e.g. walk on Mars). They’re great tools for collaboration and idea generation.
- Social media chatbots – these allow attendees to ask questions through social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc) during hybrid events, making it easy for the event team to interact with them in real-time within social networks.
- Beacons and location-based marketing – beacons are small devices that can be placed around the event venue. They allow attendees to receive messages on their phones when they’re in specific locations (e.g. next to a food stand). These tools are great for local marketing and can be used at various stages of an event (i.e. before it starts, during it, etc.)
- Chose the right software – Choosing the right hybrid event platform to connect with your attendees is an important part of the event organizing process.
5. Pick the right room
If you’re just getting started with arranging a hybrid event, it’s important to find the right room. It needs to be able to hold all of your attendees and technology without too much discomfort (e.g. not so many people that chairs are needed). Also, think about where you want people to sit or stand during the different activities – this will help give you an idea of what the space needs to look like (e.g. standing room only, sitting, etc.).
6. Create an attendee journey
Once you know what tools you’re going to use, it will be easier to figure out how to integrate them into the attendee journey. For instance, events can typically be divided up into three stages: before the event (informing and engaging people), during (connecting and interacting with attendees), and after (capturing and converting leads).
7. Networking opportunities
By using some of the tools mentioned above, you can create networking opportunities for attendees. It’s important to provide more than just an event space, so think outside the box and use technology that can help foster connections between individuals (e.g. virtual reality headsets).
8. Track results
It’s important to have a clear idea of what results you’re expecting to see from your hybrid event, so that you can track them. This will help you identify where improvements are needed, especially if the results are not what was expected.
9. Be open to revisions
Hybrid events are all about innovation and the unexpected, so it’s important to be open to revisions and willing to change things up if necessary. For instance, you might need to make some technology choices based on what is available or accessible outside of your control (e.g. hardware).
10. Consider attendee capacity
When planning a hybrid event it’s important to consider the size of the group you’re catering for, as this will determine a lot of your choices. For instance, if you have a smaller attendee capacity then choose technology that can be integrated into rooms with low capacities (e.g. outdoor technology).
11.Check systems are in place before the event
Before you go live with your hybrid event, it’s important to check that all the required systems are in place. Reputable technology providers will provide this for you (e.g. virtual reality headsets will require software updates), but make sure there is time allocated for these processes before you go live or attendees may be disappointed (and maybe even give your event a negative review).
12. Have back ups
When you’re organizing a hybrid event, there may be circumstances where some of your technology falls short. For instance, virtual reality headsets might not work with large crowds at certain speeds etc. It’s important to have back ups planned for these situations (e.g. an alternative activity).
Hybrid events are a fantastic way to engage attendees and experiences that have been done in this space have been very successful. It’s important to keep in mind that when you’re organizing a hybrid event, the technology is no longer an add-on – it becomes a key part of your event. If you follow the guidelines mentioned in this article though you should be able to pull off a fantastic event.