Along with conducting business, companies had to explore new ways to host their event to stay updated with the market trends. For the event organizers, it was a big transition from in-person events to virtual events. They had to work significantly to create virtual experiences similar to in-person experiences for users’ satisfaction.
Since the pandemic, virtual events have become common and will remain preferable for their immense benefits. However, with the ease in travel restrictions and social distancing, a new event has appeared in the market that combines the in-person and virtual attendees in a single event to empower more networking and engagement.
Hybrid Events enables you to have two experiences – in-person and virtual under one platform. Since both in-person and virtual experiences have their advantages, uniting these two experiences into one can bring out the potential benefits to the event managers.
However, the question is How to Run Successful Hybrid Events with Virtual & In-Person Components?
In this article, we discuss the six steps to planning a Hybrid Event.
Steps to Planning a Hybrid Event
To host a Successful Hybrid Event, follow the below essential steps-
Determine the goals of hosting a hybrid event
Do you want to generate more leads? Create brand awareness? Pull more customers? More sales? Market your brand? Obtain a sponsorship fund? All of these?
Begin with identifying your goals and make a plan that helps you in accomplishing them. For example, if you want to generate more leads then try to engage the audience more. Choose a hybrid event platform like Dreamcast that offers great engagement and networking features to the attendees.
Choose the effective Hybrid Event Management Platform
Now, when you know the goals of hosting your hybrid event, you can evaluate what features your event platform must have to achieve your goals. Selecting the perfect event platform is an essential step of hybrid event planning.
The hybrid event platform should be able to make a balance between in-person and virtual attendees. Some of the particular features your platform must have:
- Live Streaming
- Networking Table feature
- Live Chat
- Live Polls, Q & A, and surveys
- AI-powered matchmaking tool
- Data analytics and reporting
- Reliable Customer Support
- Audio/Video conferencing
- Feedback submission
- Social media integration
- Customized branding
- Dynamic booths to attract sponsors
All the above features will help you in running a successful hybrid event. Get in touch with Dreamcast that offers all these features with customization.
Creating a Balance between the needs of In-person and Virtual Attendees
As earlier said, there should be a balance between two different audiences with different aspects. To make the hybrid event successful, find a way to bridge the gap between both audiences to keep them engaged. Determine what each audience expects from the event.
The in-person audience would like to engage and connect with others. They have traveled so far to attend the event, so they expect a full day of the sessions with fewer breaks and more focus on speakers. On the other hand, the virtual audience would prefer short-duration events. They would not engage by themselves and need networking features to connect with others. They want more breaks to stay connected.
To cater to both audiences, find a common ground between them and work accordingly. Do not allow the virtual audience to attend every session like an in-person attendee. Make recorded sessions available to virtual attendees on their demands. Try to keep the virtual interaction between in-person and virtual attendees when both are attending the same session simultaneously. Plan Q & A session for both audiences and indulge both of them.
The point is to understand both audiences’ requirements and cater to them accordingly to keep them satisfied and happy.
Prepare Hybrid Event Marketing Strategy
Spend sufficient time in the event promotion. Create a buzz in the market to empower a large number of registrations.
Target social media marketing to reach the virtual attendees. Some social media marketing ideas:
- Create an attractive page that displays the entire details of the event and make social media posts and ads like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn
- Create a relevant hashtag for the event and promote it everywhere
- Place a countdown clock on the website
- Encourage sponsors to promote your event
- Email marketing
- Boost up schemes for registrations like early-bird discount
Follow-Ups and Surveys after the hybrid event
Post-event, make a follow-up with both in-person and virtual attendees through emails and messages.
Look at some follow-up messages that you may send to the attendees:
- Send Thank you email to all the attendees who spent their valuable time in the event. Share event photos and highlights.
- Send a “Sorry! We missed you at the event” email to those people who registered for the event but couldn’t attend due to some reason. Send them event photos and highlights to tell them what they missed and encourage them to join you in the next event.
- Send a survey to the attendees to take their feedback. Ask for a rating. Allow them to share their event experience in the comment box to get deep insights.
Measure the success of your hybrid event through Data Analytics
The hybrid event platform provides data analytics to the event manager to determine the attendees’ behavior throughout the event. Get a report from the technology partner that includes all the aspects of an event like number of registrations, number of attendees, number of downloads, number of sessions viewed, number of chats etc. These data will help you in analyzing and making a strategy for the next hybrid event. Consider what attendees liked and disliked in the event. Send more follow-ups to those attendees who were more engaged.
Hosting hybrid events empowers you to merge the best features of in-person and virtual events. Managing hybrid events with the engagement of both audiences could be tricky and complex.
But with the right tools and innovative features by Dreamcast, it is easy to host a hybrid event and get a better ROI.
Get in touch with Dreamcast now!