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The 411 on HYBRID EVENTS

Hybrid events are a new trend that is catching fire in the industry. The business benefits of hybrid events are so great. They will not disappear anytime soon.

There will always be a need for conferences and trade shows because there is value in knowledge-sharing, networking, and showcasing products. However, they cannot be the only type of event that companies do anymore. Events like these have to evolve with changing times or fall behind. Organizations should now offer online content as well as live events to keep up with the speed of technology and the fast pace of information distribution.

Before we look at what are some best practices for making hybrid events successful, we need to know few things.

  1.  What is a Hybrid event?
  2.  What are the benefits?
  3.  Why is it here to stay?

What is a Hybrid Event?

Hybrid events are a combination of online and offline events. They are aimed at many different audiences, They take place in both a physical location and digitally.. They provide an opportunity for the organizers to use data collected from online surveys, social media, or other digital channels to create a better experience for the attendees.

The proliferation of these types of events is on the rise because it’s more cost-effective and time-efficient than organizing an event that exists solely on one platform. Hybrid events can be used to increase engagement with attendees and increase content distribution through relevant channels.

What are the benefits of Hybrid events?

There are many benefits. It allows the event to be more interactive and flexible because the location of the event is not a concern for some and attendees can participate virtually from any location.

Hybrid events have been around since early 2008 but they are becoming more popular as the years go on. These events offer a mix of in-person and virtual interactions, which can be done from any device, on any platform, and at any time.  These events are important for innovation and creativity. They allow participants to experience face-to-face interactions as well as virtual interactions.

Some of the most successful events are ones that embrace a hybrid approach. Consider New York Fashion Week: a week-long, citywide event. It’s got runway shows, presentations for the press, and after-parties. It caters to audiences of all kinds and encourages them to participate in different ways: by attending runway shows, watching them on livestreams from home, browsing through products at showrooms, scrolling through collections on Instagram, etc.

What are the best practices for Hybrid events?

We should not think of hybrid events as a replacement for regular events – they are a supplement to them. In the future, more companies will start using this formula. They’ll also have to decide which event type is best.

The best practice for designing an event that embraces a hybrid approach is the following:

1. Be creative in your thinking and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in digital marketing.

2. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of your goals and objectives for the event.

3. Have the event virtually first, making sure that attendees know more about the agenda, and then hosting it on location for a more interactive experience.

   Examples:
  • The first-day attendees could get a debriefing virtually by the hosts virtual outlining the format of the event, have some time to understand the navigation of how to interact within the event before it starts. Then the next day the event would combine in-person, and virtual events. There’s a lot of variables to consider in using this approach, (such as the. size of the event, number of attendees) of how much time is needed to educate the attendees.
  • You could consider the first day devoted to orientation and the next day to kick off with presenters or go gradually to the number of events attendees could attend.

4.  Ensure that participants know how to interact with the different event formats. In smaller events, the most common example is the video conferences (i.e. the checkerboard format of people) on Zoom where both presenter and attendees are on the screen and you can interact directly. Another example is in a webinar form where attendees are not shown on the screen, only the presenter, and attendees can interact through a chat box, either in Q&A format or they virtually bring the attendee to the virtual stage.

5. Consider the location when choosing what format to have for in-person events. Again a lot of variables to consider, such as where are the attendees they are traveling from to attend. If you’re holding it in a hotel,  the size and number of rooms needed? If your holding it in your company can your network handle the bandwidth needed for the virtual component of your hybrid event? If you have remote participants, then  you should consider whether or not they have access to a computer or mobile device

6. Make sure all your equipment is compatible with all types of equipment. In other words, if you outsource the work for the event to a production company to run the event, are they using software or gear in sync with what you have? If you are operating in a Macintosh environment, and the vendor using Windows to run their software, what type of modifications or added tools are needed to deal with compatibility issues to running the event? If you’re an attendee, is your computer or smart devices can access the event? Is it powerful enough to interact without interruptions (i.e. connection issues)

Implementing these objectives into your marketing strategy will allow you to advertise your event successfully on social media platforms.

In summary (i.e why Hybrid events are here to stay)

There is not a one size fits all answer to this question. The decision depends on the event’s type, the desired outcomes, and the cost-benefit analysis of hosting it virtually or on-location.

The decision to have a hybrid event will boil down to what you want out of your attendees and their preferences. For example, if you’re looking for an intimate experience where attendees can feel more connected with one another then hosting in-person would be preferable. If you’re looking for more engagement and interaction between attendees then holding the event virtually would be preferable.

One thing is certain, hybrid events will never go away because they are a great way to create engagement, generate revenue, and save time. Hybrid events will not go away because they offer a mix of in-person and virtual interactions. It is a way to maintain relationships but also provides the convenience of online interaction.

 


Robert Lee

best practice, hybrid events, remote production, video conference

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