What are hybrid events and how does one plan them?
Creating a successful hybrid event starts with reliable tech. If it’s not fully “live” and it’s not fully “virtual,” it must be a hybrid event.
As companies become more comfortable hosting virtual meetings using video conferencing, the idea to add a virtual component to a live in-person event has become the next natural step.
These events, known as “hybrids,” can attract audiences from around the globe as attendees no longer need to travel to a specific location to “attend” them. Online attendees only need to login and livestream the event while at home, in the office or wherever there’s a high-speed internet connection.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event can be a tradeshow, seminar, workshop, conference, or other meeting that takes place in a physical venue, while also being attended by a live and interactive audience online.
Why have a hybrid event?
Convenience, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to attract large audience participation are key advantages to holding virtual events. As the availability of high-speed internet has become more wide-spread, Wi-Fi calling and video conferencing using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service and softphone technology, have given the average person the ability to participate in virtual meetings.A successful hybrid event should be as exciting and satisfying for those attending virtually as those who are physically there. Whether they are live at the event or using virtual conferencing to access it, attendees will need to be given the same interactive opportunities. This includes participating in Q&A sessions, interacting with speakers, and engaging with other attendees. Since virtual event information can remain online and be accessed and viewed repeatedly, hybrid events can leave a stronger impression than conventional ones. Companies can also acquire vital insight and statistics on what works and what doesn’t by using polls, immediate feedback, and digital tracking
Planning a hybrid event.
Just as in-person events give attendees the opportunity to network and socialize, hybrid events will need to offer the same experience for the digital audience. But creating a successful hybrid is more than just streaming sessions. With careful planning and the right venue, equipment and technology, a hybrid event can be productive for everyone involved. Here’s how:
Defining the event.
All factors should be taken into consideration when planning a hybrid event. In other words, be ready for almost anything.Start by defining the purpose or topic of the event. Then create a schedule or agenda and participation guidelines to work from. Along with planning the flow of the event, create backups and failsafe plans for any situation where things might go wrong.
Finding a venue.
A hybrid event still needs a suitable venue for the in-person part of meeting. A professional setting gives the event a polished look and feel and should be large enough to allow adequate space for in-person attendees to socially distance.It’s also important that the location can handle all the technical requirements needed to make the event run smoothly.
Choosing the right technology and equipment.
Because a hybrid event is tech-driven, if you don’t have the right tech, the event most likely won’t succeed. The virtual attendees’ experience relies heavily on the quality of the virtual event setup. One of the major technical requirements for any virtual event is the ability to stream high-quality audio and video.In addition to high-quality microphones and cameras, hybrid events require tools like mixers, lighting, trained staff, a reliable Wi-Fi connection, and a stable platform to record and stream the event.
It’s important to make it clear in the invite that the event will have digital as well as in-person elements and audiences. This allows prospective attendees to select which option fits their comfort level and current ability to travel.Make sure virtual guests know how to log in, and that all attendees know how the agenda works.Using video chat apps, all attendees should be able to participate via mobile devices or computers and interact in real-time. When everyone has the same options, no one gets left out.
Get on the cloud
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