Thursday 11th February 2021
12

6 Ways to make your Hybrid Event Successful

The event industry met with a great recession due to the global pandemic covid-19. 

This was the time where the whole ecosystem of our society came to a complete halt. 

And especially the event industry faced great hindrances and challenges. 

Just in a matter of few weeks, everything turned upside down. 

People associated with the event industry be it organizers or workers faced the utmost crisis. 

In a nutshell, the physical/in-person events were crashed completely and had no relevance thereafter. 

And amid all this eventually, there was the birth of virtual events. 

The organizer/hosts turned their physical in-person events into virtual completely. 

And people giving a fair response started attending these virtual (online) on full throttle. 

But after all of these, we even came to the significance and impact of live events which use to happen on-site in-person.

And there are still certain cracks that a virtual event cannot fill. 

Making physical events still the most engaging and impactful form of program. 

After all these mixed experiences we came to a conclusion that the event ecosystem needs virtual and physical events (in-person) both. 

And then we build something called a hybrid event. 

So what’s a hybrid event? 

A Hybrid event is basically an amalgamation (mixture) of virtual and in-person events.

As per the need, an organizer can plan a hybrid event which would be a mixture of the in-person and virtual event.

If we bring the hybrid event into the smallest chunk. It is basically an event in which the audience participates on-site as well as virtually as per their choice and preferences. 

So, a physical audience who are attending the event in-person and also audiences who are connected through the screen.

There are various factors, why we need to keep virtual events into consideration. 

It is beneficial for both the parties be it the organizers who save bucks on the cost end or the attendee who gets the privilege of participating at his convenience.  

Reasons 

1- Due to the pandemic COVID-19, there was a need to take precautionary measures for health and safety. Pushing us to keep a physical distance. And this became a strong cause for change. 

And then people had the privilege of joining from their own space and convenience. Keeping their health on priority. 

2- In-person participation incurs costs on time and money. 

3- Location's capacity is also a barrier where it is limited to a number.

Essentially the core objective of a hybrid event is to give a very similar experience to both audiences who have joined physically and virtually at the same time from all across the globe. 

When an event is turned into a hybrid, giving it a wider reach in terms of audience. The participation figures can raise up to 300-400%. 

Complimenting businesses with a lot more possibilities and user interactions.  

This is all the beauty of a hybrid event.

So I'm listing down below - 

6 ways to make your hybrid event successful - 

1- Purposeful Planning 

2 - A true hybrid event 

3- Interactive

4- Two audiences

5- Leading People 

6- Event Flow

1- Purposeful Planning - 

Image Courtesy Pexels 

 

You need to be crystal clear on the objectives and purpose of hosting your event. 

It is important to have a clear plan but in the context of a hybrid event, it becomes even more significant. 

Because you as an organizer would be catering to two audiences at the very same time.

Their responses and interaction might differ. 

And in terms of the audience also need to make an intersecting point between where they both are content. 

It is definitely going to challenge you as an organizer to grab their attention and its retention.

And this would take time and effort from your end.  

If you're aware of what you want. You're only then eligible to make it and bring desired results onto the table. 

Also having a clear-cut vision gives us the privilege of taking needful and goal-oriented actions.

So make sure you allot a substantial amount of time to this task. 

2 - A true hybrid event - 

Image Courtesy Pexels

 

So normal live streaming of an event on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other media platform doesn't qualify to be called a hybrid event. 

A hybrid event as we already discussed earlier is something in which you give a lively experience to the audience who's connected virtually.

Making it as identical experience as possible. 

For instance, a live audience and audience connected on the screen go through the very same experience, be it in terms of participating in q&a. Live polls chat, etc. with their fellow attendees. 

The access and possibilities to host and even to be part of hybrid events have grown in these years. And all credit goes to the evolving technologies and invention of the game changer the "internet". 

And its accessibility all across the globe. 

You, as an organizer, need to take the service of an experienced and professional streaming service provider who can stream your event live with help of their advanced infrastructure and network. 

Make sure the team possesses some high-quality microphones, cameras, skilled staff, and meets all other requirements.  

Loaded with all the needed infrastructure so that a person living in the remotest of any country gets access to your event with the sheer live experience.

The bottom line is you need to make the right choice in terms of choosing a service provider. As it's going to be the identity and face of your whole event. 

Appoint wisely. 

3- Interactive - 

Image Courtesy Pexels 

 

The very first objective should be to make your event more than live streaming.

What makes a hybrid event different from any other virtual event is that it's interactive. 

It creates an engagement with the audience in such a way that they don't feel the absence of any physical infrastructure. 

Performing in different ways through chat, live poll, question/answers, and other forms of communication.

So at the hybrid event, you bring in an interactive online model that fuses the physical element of the program. 

And this helps you to enlarge the width and reach a larger audience who can participate and experience it. 

To keep your hybrid event alive you need to make it a lot more interactive concise and entertaining. 

So unless and until you form a very good conversation and engagement with your audience. 

Your audience can slip at any moment and the worst part is that they're just a button away. 

You also need to make it concise and to the point, because a lot of time people lose the spark because of boredom and repetition. 

Bombardment of information also might take away the interest of the audience and leave you with no benefits. 

In a nutshell keep it entertaining, interactive, concise. 

Project event components at regular intervals keeping the audience intact.

4- Two audiences

Image Courtesy Web

 

The amazing and at the same time biggest challenge of a hybrid event is that you've to cater to two audiences. 

Giving them a very similar experience of your event in different means. 

For the audience who are connected to you in your live event (physically), it becomes comparatively easier to grab their attention and to leave an impact on them. 

But when we talk about the people who are connected virtually with your event it becomes difficult for you as an organizer to influence and keep them engaged.

And keep them connected to the event as same as to the physical ones. 

If this is a challenge, at the same time it becomes a point of opportunity for you as well. 

As to bring something onto the table for the audience. 

Something different and impactful.

And in this case, you need to do a lot of homework. 

As to how you will deviate the attention of both the parties who are connected and part of the event.  

Some tips would be to make sure that they have access to all high-quality content on-demand throughout.

Always keep them updated with the different activities of the event. 

And never ever let the point come in which they get blank as in what's happening around? 

You also need to work upon the format of your event. 

Keep them engrossed. 

5- Leading People 

Image Courtesy Pexels 

 

A major chunk of success depends upon the people leading up in the front. 

That would be your moderator, guest speakers, presenters, and other key people participating in the event. 

Doing their part and making it appear flawless. 

So now it is the primary responsibility of the people on the screen to make the whole event engaging and lively. So that no one feels left and blank be it the person connected in-person (physically) or on the screen.

Make sure you have effective speakers who have a good grip on communication. Who can influence and leave an impact on the listeners with their experience and knowledge. 

Parallel the responsibilities of a moderator are to see that everything flows into order and keeping the audience in the loop.

And you as an organizer again need to make the right choices on getting people on board.  

6- Event Flow 

Image Courtesy Unsplash 

 

When we look at the standard format of an event. It flows into three sects.

The first set is introduction and preview in which there is an introductory session. 

Briefing about the whole idea of your event by your moderator or any relevant person. 

Then you move on with introducing your panelists, speakers, and other guests to the audience. Giving a short explanation about what things would be presented and concluded at the event. 

Then the second set goes through the live play of the whole seminar/presentation, as to speakers taking the charge and performing their part. 

And the very last set is the q&a session. So now this is the most important segment as there is a lot of possibilities for engagement with an audience. 

Let the moderator collect questions from in-person and audiences connected virtually from the remote geographical locations. And bring it to the speaker's attention and get it addressed.

So, a hybrid event is only possible when there is the availability of technology. Unless and until the event is backed up by some really savvy infrastructure, it's not going to work. 

You need to have a build infrastructure complementing your vision and desire. 

When there is a combination of a clear vision and technology. That's a point where the magic will happen. 

So, the bottom line is that you shouldn't at any cost compromise or do any sort of adjustments in this respect. 

Because if you do so you'll have to compensate it in terms of audience. 

So make sure you have it all sorted and clear.

And also if you've got any questions or suggestions feel free to comment down below!

 
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