Whether you’re a business leader (who’s looking to plan a recruitment event or interactive conference), or an event organiser, looking for the optimum way to run an event under current circumstances - hybrid events offer the best of both worlds for your intended audience.
What do hybrid events offer?
The key really is in the name when it comes to hybrid events. By combining elements from a live event - like a live host, guest speakers, an audience, even a stage (imagine) - with digital components from virtual events.
The great thing about mixing the two mediums is that no matter where your audience is, they can engage with your content. This instantly expands the size of your potential audience, whilst offering a considerable increase in ROI when compared to a traditional in-person event.
As with virtual and in-person events, the KPIs for hybrid events are attendance and engagement. This is the main hurdle for event organisers - ensuring that your hybrid event is firstly well-attended but also engaging throughout.
Why utilise hybrid event management in 2021
Although this study from last year revealed 86% of online participants reporting higher engagement levels than in-person events, it is far easier for a virtual attendee to drop out of an event than it is for someone to physically walk out of a conference.
Planning and organising an event that offers both of your audiences (online and virtual) the same experience is no small feat, that’s why utilising an experienced hybrid events company is the simplest solution to delivering an event that best represents the professionalism of your brand.
We’re pretty big advocates for hybrid events, and what makes them such a valuable experience for attendees. We’ve even discussed the pros of using an events management service like MDA training. If you’re gearing up to plan your own hybrid event, read through the articles we’ve included they’re sure to help.
8 pre-planning questions for hybrid event management
To accompany them, we’ve put together this list of things you may want to consider before you engage your online events company. Just some key things to bear in mind before you start planning your hybrid event in earnest.
What are the advantages of hybrid events?
As well as offering a fantastic solution to the current situation relating to COVID-19, hybrid events also offer almost limitless scalability, they’re cost-effective, provide better reach and ROI than in-person events and allow you to easily collect data on your audience.
What are the challenges involved in hybrid events management?
There are a host of hurdles to overcome when managing a hybrid event, you gain the challenges as well as the benefits of both virtual and in-person events. To name a few though;
- engagement of both audiences
- staffing for both event mediums
- health and safety measures
- social distancing measures
- which technology to adopt
How big is your audience going to be?
In-person audiences in the near future are likely to be limited due to social distancing measures, but when selecting your venue - take into consideration the amount of space you’ll need to make sure you can adhere to those measures.
Who is your audience?
Start with broad strokes, like age, gender and occupation. Then consider who the main consumer of your content would be, and where they fit amongst those demographics. A hybrid event offers attendees the best of both worlds; an in-person event for those comfortable with it, and an immersive virtual experience for those who aren’t.
How will you account for social distancing within the physical venue?
Whether your venue has auditorium-style seating or round tables and chairs, you’ll have to work closely with them to ensure that your attendees are outside of the two-metre guidelines required for social distancing.
How are you going to market your hybrid event?
Use the same channels you would to market a live event, like social media, paid advertising, content and email marketing. However, registration numbers for virtual events increase dramatically the week before the event, sometimes even after the start date. So, to maximise your audience you’ll want to ramp up your marketing efforts at least a week before your event.
How will you keep virtual attendees as engaged as your face-to-face audience?
The key to keeping everyone engaged is to ensure that all of the event’s features are available to all attendees. The virtual and in-person audience should be able to join in with the same games and activities, interact with one another and interact with the presenter as well.
Are you going to run the in-person and digital elements at the same time?
Live streams of the in-person event may make sense in some instances, but you don’t have to stream all your content live to your virtual audience. Hybrid events are great for combining pre-recorded content with live content - such as when a virtual audience watches recorded content and then the host ‘goes live’ to answer questions from the virtual or physical audience.
Hybrid event management from MDA Training
If you’re starting out in the planning process for your own hybrid event, bear these questions in mind when you start working through the potential pitfalls with your team. If you decide that managing your event is too much for you to cope with, know that the team at MDA Training are here to help.
Whether you need to utilise our complete hybrid event management service, you only need help planning or just in the delivery of your event - don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.