If we could take one key learning from more than a year of Covid-19, it would be this: virtual events are here to stay. We recently conducted research based on the experiences of the event organizers, which indicated that around 70% of them are planning a virtual or hybrid event till the end of this year.
While virtual events certainly benefit situations like this pandemic, many people still value direct in-person communication at live events. Our research also showed that one of the biggest concerns among the event attendees is “screen fatigue” - tiredness from spending long periods in front of the screen. So, now is the time to combine the best of both worlds and adapt to the future of the event industry - which will be hybrid.
Let’s start with the basics - what are hybrid events? A hybrid event combines the elements of virtual and in-person events. For example, some participants can attend the event onsite, and another part can join online.
Create engaging custom content
Hosting a hybrid event means providing two different experiences for the attendees. Not two separate events, but experiences. The event organizer should tailor the content according to those experiences.
For example, it’s much harder to keep your virtual attendees engaged compared to the onsite ones. Here are a few action points from our team:
You can have a separate host introducing the flow of the virtual part of the event.
Segment the content: some parts like the opening or keynote sessions can be streamed both onsite and online. However, the interactive sessions should be separated and arranged differently.
Create separate registration pages for virtual and onsite attendees.
Offer the content on-demand. The virtual attendees might have different flexibility, so it’s essential to offer them that option.
Connect your virtual and onsite audiences with interactivity: use live Q&A sessions and polls so that all the attendees can participate.
Value for sponsors
The event sponsors should get as much value as from the onsite event. On Deal Room, sponsors and partners can get a variety of brand visibility and interactive functions for a hybrid event:
Sponsors can display their banner physically in the venue and virtually on the main event page, attendees profile page, in the sessions and meetings view.
Sponsored sessions dedicated to the product presentation.
Sponsors can have their brand visuals in the emails sent to the participants.
A full own virtual booth, where sponsors can have their logo, banner or video, a short description, and team.
Participants can book a meeting or chat with the booth owner virtually.
Sponsor-themed short surveys, sponsored polls, and contests.
Ensure Covid safety onsite
This should be a top priority when organizing the onsite part of the event. Depending on the number of participants, organizers can adjust the precautions, but the general rule of thumb is:
Follow the local and national guidelines regarding Covid regulations.
Make sure the event staff has been tested a few times before the event.
At the venue entrance, organize professional and fluid process: temperature test, vaccine certificate check, instant Covid testing (if necessary)
Ensure both the attendees and staff are conveniently equipped with personal hygiene items like face masks and disinfecting liquid.
Before the event, prepare a system to track meetings and contacts.
Taking these precautions will ensure the attendees’ health and safety and establish confidence in the event organizing team as reliable and caring professionals.
Choose the event platform
A hybrid event requires top-notch technology to execute both online and onsite parts. An all-in-one event management platform will help you fulfill the requirements from both sides.
An event platform should have a studio integration. At Deal Room, our team also provides technical equipment and a team to stream content to both audiences.
Provide the speakers with microphones, multiple cameras, green screens and make sure they know exactly what is happening and when.
Ensure the online attendees know how to use the event platform and have step-by-step instructions on attending the event virtually.
Provide live support for them in case they encounter some problems.
A hybrid event is a great middle-ground option for creating an engaging and lively experience. The hybrid approach offers face-to-face interaction, takes advantage of the event technology, promotes sustainability, and complies with the safety regulations.
Are you planning to make your next event hybrid? Contact us for help!
Our friendly and experienced team is ready to help.