• Tue. Sep 28th, 2021

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Hybrid Events: 12 Questions to Ask Before You Plan

The trend of hybrid events are full-fledged growing and has become the immediate future of the event industry. No doubt, it has been challenging 

for people like us to not head out of our home to meet people or attend  meetings and sessions in-person. Many major cities are still fighting with the novel coronavirus which has restricted them to gather in public. But we can’t just lock ourselves and wait for the pandemic to get over, can we?

We all know that this unprecedented virus ain’t going anywhere sooner. So why not deal with this in the utmost inventive way? You know who can help? Hybrid events. There are people who are still sceptical about taking their events on a hybrid event platform. So for them there are certain questions they must consider in response to conducting hybrid events. What are these questions? Well, you will find an answer to that just after you finish reading the blog! 

In this particular segment of the blog we have curated top 12 questions you must ask yourself before organising any event! Let’s have a look at them!

1. What does hybrid events mean?

A hybrid event is a conference, trade show, summit, meeting etc., that perfectly blends physical components alongside virtual attendance. With a hybrid event, the demand of the digital element can expand vividly and encompass all possibilities. You can organise a live instagram or twitter chats, or live stream the session. You can also hold an immersive online networking experience or even a flipped classroom as per your need. There are no ground rules on what a hybrid event must look like in 2021, just keep exploring and become creative to capture the attention of attendees and provide them with another level experience. 

2. What is the difference between virtual events and hybrid events?

A virtual event can only be conducted in a digital space with participants joining the event through three basic requirements – a device, a strong internet connection and a space which prevents all the distractions. 

Whereas, a hybrid event amalgamates both online and offline elements together. Attendees who are unable to attend the event in-person can easily tune themselves into the session via a virtual event software. Both the audiences can connect with each other in one similar frame. 

3. What are the crucial advantages of conducting a hybrid event?

After the implementation of social distancing protocol, people who are hesitant about traveling or gathering in groups, hybrid events have eliminated all their fear. Apart from that, Hybrid events have some additional unique advantages as well, they are as follows – a powerful unified message that can reach people anywhere, endless scalability, cost effective and user-friendly, greater reach and sustainable ROI, valuable attendee insights and deeply analysed data collection. 

4. What all challenges can you face while organising a hybrid event?

Different attendees have different wants and desires. To generate a more curative event experience, you must consider some key aspects that match the needs of both audiences. Following are some questions that you must ask yourself: How can you create new creative and qualitative content to engage & attract more attendees at your event? Will you need extra moderators to hook the attention of virtual attendees? Are you willing to invest in extra safety and health services so that the live group can interact face-to-face? How can you build engagement that helps your live audiences feel important while keeping the social distancing guidelines in mind?

5. How many attendees are you planning to invite at your event?

This is one of the most important question that you must consider. As per the COVID-19 guidelines, event planners are allowed to invite a limited number of attendees in the event space while keeping the social distancing and health related protocols in mind. The entire world is now adapting to the new normal which has inclined us to plan for fewer in-person attendees and more online participants in the near future. 

6. How to know your audience?

You just can’t make presumptions about the age of your viewer or their occupation that may impact your in-person performance. If the majority of the crowd is over 50, they will be less likely to take the risk of meeting in person, while a modern generation may be more responsive to it. A medical practitioner group can also be more cautious about reaching face-to-face than a web developer group.

7. Will a hybrid event need more resources for internal planning?

Making the event available remote and in person may necessitate additional planning tools. Our recommendation is to be selective with your partners and choose one who can not only adhere to your goals, but also knows all facets of organising live and interactive activities to assist you in making the best choices for your event.

8. What kind of venue set-up to choose while keeping social distancing guidelines in mind?

Collaborate with your event planners to design individual room layouts that compensate for social distancing. For example, if your event room is usually set up in theatre style or with round tables, you may need to arrange your theatre seating farther apart to have fewer guests at round tables.

9. Will your exhibitors need more  moderators for a better virtual experience?

Always keep in mind that your virtual attendees hold the equal importance in the event like physical ones to your sponsors and exhibitors. Encourage event exhibitors to have moderators available to hook attendees in your live exhibit hall by incorporating various fun and engaging activities during the event.

10. What ideas can I include in my next hybrid event?

Here are some innovative ideas for a hybrid event that will excite your audiences to the next level:

  • Online ticketing – enhance your attendees experience by selling a virtual ticket at a comparatively lower cost. 
  • Hold magnificent virtual and on-site networking receptions. For your virtual attendees conducting a live stream camera feed can be a reliable option. In the on-ground reception, add screens that showcase BOF networking reception. 
  • Are you planning to organise an entertaining event on-site? If yes then live stream the entertainment activity to your online prospects. If you’re inviting an actor, comedian, or musical group to your entertainment, host a live fan Q&A chat for your participants.

11. How to offer better networking opportunities for your hybrid event audience?

Most people attend an event just to reach out to potential clients, so you must create exciting networking experiences for both sides of the attendees. Similar networking opportunities can be provided to your virtual audience via BOF networking lounges and an AI-driven participant matching algorithm that allows online networking suggestions. Utilising your online event provider and event app will enable you to have a more seamless experience for all of your target audience.

12. How to curate better and qualitative content for online participation?

Note that online live viewers generally may not have the same span of attention as real in-person participants. Take our advice and offer more breakout sessions to your virtual participants. If you want to broadcast the live in-person events, you can simplify them to please all crowds.

Over To You

Hybrid events have come a long way and are going to stay for a while. Hope these questions were helpful to you and cleared all the doubts you had after encountering these 12 sets of questions. Before you start planning your event don’t forget to consider these questions as this may help you deliver top-notch hybrid events throughout your journey!