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What a Hybrid Event Looks Like

What a Hybrid Event Looks Like

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The world is moving into a hybrid landscape, and it is changing the way we do everything, from work to entertainment and events. Very quickly, live events, conferences, and the like had to switch gears and go virtual. However, things have rapidly progressed, with another new type of event emerging: the hybrid event.

Hybrid events use a combination of in-person and digital elements to create the optimal experience for various audiences. And while live in-person events are slowly coming back, reports have revealed that 64% of respondents considered virtual events extremely valuable. This means that the majority of businesses and organizations will likely keep doing hybrid events even after the pandemic. Understanding the hybrid setup can help you deliver better events. Here’s what it looks like and how you could implement:

What a Hybrid Event Entails

Hybrid events are comprised of two elements: in-person and virtual interactions. Doing events in this format requires an understanding of which parts of the program each of these elements is most applicable. Each segment of a hybrid event should be specifically designed for your target audience to drive specific outcomes and actions. This leads to one of the biggest challenges in executing a successful hybrid event: managing the complexity and cost of integrating various platforms and technologies to deliver engaging and bespoke experiences.

A successful hybrid event would require a single platform that supports multiple sizes and formats of media, both digital and on-ground collaterals. While it is possible to use several systems, it can also be complicated and costly. Hybrid events also entail innovative processes and technologies, including real-time transcription, translation, and even gamified content.

Lastly, these events need to mimic the engagement and community-building opportunities offered at live events to nurture leads before, during, and after the event proper. Ultimately, hybrid events are an investment and a challenge. However, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. About 97% of marketers believe that there will be more hybrid events this year and moving forward, while more than half of executives are expecting live events to have a virtual component in the future.

How to Make Hybrid Events More Engaging

Use Video Interaction

Video is an essential part of any virtual or hybrid event, but it should be used effectively. Many participants will look for face-to-face opportunities within the virtual platform, requesting options such as mini breakouts or individual video chats for speakers, sponsors, and even vendors. You can also incorporate live videos during the Q&A. In addition, our control room team can bring in attendees remotely via video conferencing, allowing the rest of the attendees to remain engaged.

Marketing

Just like any traditional event, marketing plays a big role in the success of your hybrid event, but marketing for hybrid events may be different from in-person ones. For one, you’ll need to reach both potential in-person and virtual attendees, and this may require an omnichannel approach. Finding the right marketers for these events is critical as they need to be able to cover the digital space as thoroughly as on the ground. Marketing specialists, in particular, can design campaigns that generate more buzz and incentives to attract more attendees. They will also have extensive experience in running social media engagement, content management, and search engine marketing campaigns to make your hybrid event a success.

Involve Your Audience

One of the best ways to hold your audience’s attention and keep them engaged throughout the entire hybrid event is by keeping them interacting, either with the content or other attendees. Virtual platforms can often feel disconnected, so you need to involve your event attendees. Some ways to do this are through interactive games like Kahoot, polls, or a well-facilitated question and answer segment. One of our blog posts also discusses how chat features in hybrid events can make audience members feel like part of the community. It allows them to feel connected, something that is typically missing during virtual events.

An article for alfordmedia.com | Writer: Georgiana Brie

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