Virtual meetings are here to stay, but now we’re getting back to normal it’s time we talk about hybrid and how to utilise it to create an amazing experience for both audiences! Here’s our step-by-step guide to hybrid events that are interactive, engaging and will leave your audiences wanting for more!
We hate to break the bad news, but, creating successful hybrid events are not simply a matter of streaming sessions from a live conference. There are lots to it to get it right and interactive for all.
1. Create an event mission and brand your event!
A strong, clear event mission complete with its own branding ensures that your audience will remember and talk about it. Whether you are presenting a talk or delivering a conference series, event branding can significantly help your event marketing goals by cementing a clear message you want to deliver.
A strong message and memorable feel will give the audience an image to remember along with takeaways to latch onto, you could use an event hashtag you can get users communicating with you later.
2. Use event management services
It is the event manager’s job to help you meet your business goals and objectives. This role becomes of utmost importance when planning hybrid events as realistically, there are two events taking place simultaneously! So, how do you ensure your event is successful?
Event professionals are normally responsible for:
- Planning the logistics of the event
- Promoting the show
- Choosing the most impactful platform for virtual attendees
- Securing required bandwidth and technology
- Organising rehearsals
- Securing the final agenda
- Ensuring the budget is within parameters
- Organising the event debrief and analysing ROI
At The Secret Event Service we help deliver all the above and then some. So, you can accomplish your event goals and objectives and put on a dazzling event that will seriously wow your audiences and customers! You can find out more about our services here.
3. Set expectations for both in-person and virtual audiences
Preparing attendees for what will take place at an event is essential. This means making sure your virtual guests know how to log in and use the system, that your live guests know there will be a virtual audience and that both know how the agenda will play out.
Creating user journeys so everyone is aware of how the day is coordinated is a great way to bridge that understanding of the two. It may also highlight some key areas that are just asking for some creativity in terms of content, marketing, or user engagement!
4. Get creative with content
The lights and cameras and mic are on. Everyone has taken their seats at the live event and virtual attendees await your speaker’s first words. The big moment has arrived. Is it impactful?
The difference between a standard presentation and an excellent one is the content and visuals. Has everyone prepared and rehearsed before going on stage? What does the presentation look like on the big screen and little screen? Are there too many words or too little depending on the subject matter?
Giving enough time for the preparation of the speaker slides and rehearsals is paramount for the event to be successful both online and in person.
5. Make the content evergreen
One of the best things about the digital part of a hybrid event is that the content can be captured for on-demand use long after the event has ended.
Recorded sessions can be used by those unable to take part in the live event. You can even widen this scope out to use it to attract attendees to your next event or even your lead generation strategy.
6. Think Digital First
When making decisions about speakers, room layouts and the day’s flow, digital attendees should stay top of mind. Recognise the reality that a remote attendee is just not going to have the same level of attention span as someone in the room – there are so many more distractions whilst at home or in the office!
Think about shorter, more focused sessions to keep attendees’ attention better. This supports the in-room attendees, as well, by shortening the overall program. This can be complemented very well with panels, fireside chats, breakout discussions, sponsored sessions, or networking areas to keep attendees moving between activities and create a flow for the day. Furthermore, using the correct AV equipment, both live and remote guests can attend and collaborate with each other!
7. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse!
You have invested time, money, and energy into pre-event marketing and hype engaged the best show management and creative teams in the industry, finally secured great speakers that are impactful and engaging. What’s next? Rehearsals!
Scheduling a rehearsal with all speakers to practice for both live and virtual audiences is very important. It will identify any potential problems and ensure everyone understands what they need to be doing on the day.
Want to learn more about our hybrid events from the Secret Event Service? Click here!