Everything you need to know about hybrid events.
In the current scenario, the business world has changed 180 degrees.
Offices have shifted to work from home services. Live meetings are now held through online conferences and meetings. The Internet has become the main source of communication for business owners, in the present times.
People from all over the world have understood the importance of virtual meetings and events. However, virtual events are not the only solution for the future. Face-to-face interaction is also necessary during certain situations.
So, a new type of event called ‘Hybrid Event’ has come into play.
As the name suggests ‘hybrid’ is an amalgamation of two different aspects. In our case, a hybrid event comprises an offline or live event along with a virtual one. Now you may wonder – how is this possible?
If you are involved in a business, you may have attended live business conferences or product launches of famous companies.
A great example would be the live webcast of the working of the new device, Neuralink, presented by Elon Musk and his team. This event had an audience present physically while it also allowed people from all over the world to attend this live streaming.
You can also consider an online workshop, involving some participants present physically, as a hybrid event.
Did you know that according to statistics, 70% of the total respondents believe hybrid meetings are important for future events?
So, hybrid events allow the participants to be involved in a meeting either physically or virtually.
Before we talk about how to manage a perfect hybrid event, it is necessary to know the two types of hybrid events.
Internal Hybrid Events
Internal hybrid events are usually held to benefit the company’s employees, stakeholders, and other people who are involved.
Now, huge corporations have a lot of stakeholders and employees. It might get difficult to gather for a meeting on the same day at the same time. Due to this, hybrid events can help those people who cannot attend the offline session to attend it virtually and give their inputs.
For i.e., team meetings, discussing new venture plans, etc..
External Hybrid Events
On the other hand, external hybrid events are for your potential clients, audience, and people out of your organization.
External hybrid events can help your company or organization gain more attention and reduce the additional costs of setting up a venue for many audiences.
For i.e., product launches, trade shows, etc..
Other than the fear of pandemic and no social distancing measures, hybrid events are more beneficial than just individual virtual or live events.
Let’s take a quick look at all the benefits.
Hybrid events can help in increasing audience or company participation. Participants interested in live events can join it.
However, those participants who cannot make it to the live event due to some constraints can easily participate virtually. In this case, you can ask your participants to register through an event app.
Documenting the Event
Once you stream your live event virtually, you also have the option of saving it for later. An event app can help you store all the details of your event.
This can have various benefits like if someone has missed the event, you can easily share it with him. It can also serve as evidence in the future.
Engagement with the Audience
Hybrid events allow you to engage with your audience. More participation means higher chances of audience engagement.
As you have an audience both virtually and physically, you can easily engage them in your conversation by holding questionnaires, online polls, or asking for their inputs on certain decisions.
As feedback is an important aspect of communication, allow your audience to submit feedback through event apps like eventRAFT’s review and rating feature.
It depends on your outlook towards engaging your participants. However, hybrid events just pave the path!
Hybrid events can help in reducing the overall expenses of your company. Your company can solely focus on the content part rather than worry about the event’s budget.
You can book smaller halls, fewer expenses related to meals, chairs, tables, and many other hidden expenses. Through hybrid events, you can invite all the important people for the live event and arrange virtual events for the other employees.
For all this, you just need an event app to help you get through all the planning.
These virtual events can also help your employees by reducing their travel and other expenses.
Hybrid events are a sustainable option as they reduce the overall carbon footprints. If your company follows environmental ethics, hybrid events are the best safe alternative for your company.
You can save electricity, prevent wastage of food, reduce excessive usage of harmful disposable items like plastic bottles, etc..
Thus, hybrid events can help your business in various ways.
Planning a hybrid event is no piece of cake. It requires extensive planning, proper resources, and lastly, a great amount of time.
However, we can give you some pointers on how to have an excellent hybrid event with no technical or other issues.
We cannot stress how important it is to begin your preparations early to avoid any confusion later on.
According to us, event managers should have an outline and schedule prepared to implement and execute everything flawlessly. Everything from the venue, meals, invitee count, and other requirements should be fulfilled. The management team should also give importance to technical aspects like cameras, microphones, streaming portal, etc..
Additionally, the presenters should do their part properly by meeting the requirements and deadlines of event planners. They should prepare their presentations, speeches, and everything as planned to avoid mishaps.
It is very important to rehearse before the final event. Rehearsal can help you in gauging your performance, camera angle, and microphone settings.
Your speech or presentation can be very convincing but if the delivery is not proper due to technical issues like microphone problems, it can reduce the influence. The position of the camera also matters as eye contact is necessary to keep your virtual audience engaged.
It is equally necessary to engage with your online audience too. So do not solely focus on your live audience. Maintain eye contact with your online audience to make them feel involved.
As mentioned earlier, you can engage with your live as well as the virtual audience through user-friendly polls, Q&A sessions, asking for feedback, and many more.
The EventRAFT app allows you to share documents, live streaming links, and Q&A links.
Social media can help you get more audience for hybrid events if your event is not audience-specific. Advertising about it across various platforms can help you gain enthusiastic participants interested in your event.
Through social media, you can also evaluate your performance during the live event through the participant’s feedback.
You can also start a Twitter thread, with eventRAFT, and see if your online participants are facing any issues. If they do, rectify it as quickly as possible.
The harsh truth is no matter how intellectual and crisp your speech or presentation is, if it is not interesting, your live and the virtual audience may lose their attention span.
So, to avoid this situation, keep your content interesting. Use real-life examples to make the content more relatable and believable. Have facts to prove your notions. In the case of presentation, use proper styles and graphics to make it more appealing.
You can also engage them in some fun brainstorming activities for more inputs.
Do you know what exceeds everything? Time management. If you have planned your event properly and everything is going as by the schedule, your audience is more likely to enjoy the session.
On the other hand, wasting your audiences’ time due to technical or any other issues can reduce the overall effect of your content. It can also cause the audience to have a biased perspective when it comes to you.
Dressing professionally is necessary to create a professional atmosphere. It is also likely to create a good first impression in front of both your audiences. Make sure you do not overdo it. Minimalism is great for capturing attention.
You should have an easy registration form for all your participants. A complicated and haphazard form can push the attendees away.
To achieve this, try to build a quick and efficient registration portal or branded website for your event. Keep separate options if they want to attend it live or virtually.
You can also send them a reminder 24 hours before the event through email or text. We enable you to send push notifications and reminders to all your participants.
A major disadvantage of virtual meetings is your audience losing interest or getting distracted. To avoid this, we suggest having interactive sessions with your virtual participants as well.
Ask them regarding any questions or suggestions they would like to offer. Most importantly, do not leave the stage empty for more than four to five minutes.
You can also reach out to every participant through our one-to-one chat session feature.
Stressing never helps if you are fully prepared. Even if you have the perfect setup, speech, presentation, and arrangements, a moment of nervousness or weakness can cause potential harm to your event.
So, the best way to reduce stress would be to not think of the event like a professional gathering and rather an intellectual and friendly conversation between two parties.
Hope this helps you better in managing hybrid events. The key thing is to understand the audience, their interests and building a content pipe that helps you showcase the best.