Last year was no less than a roller coaster ride. The new normal the year brought along with it is here to stay a little longer. In a matter of months, virtual events have become an integral part of our lives. Event organizers plan to add a virtual element to the physical events even after the end of the pandemic.
They had to brainstorm to make online events creative and impactful. Even though online events come with countless advantages, they can never overpower the importance of in-person events. Event organizers found their way through the pandemic, and another form of event that came into the limelight was hybrid events.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is one that combines both physical and virtual events. You can host an in-person event and add a virtual element to it so that more audiences can attend the event from any part of the world. It is a perfect solution for those who cannot be present on site due to some reasons such as travel, or the onsite factor has capacity limitations. You can conduct a pre-event survey to have an idea about the ongoing situation. If you feel most people prefer online events, hybrid events would be the best fit for you.
Let’s go through some factors that will make it clear why hybrid events will shape the new normal of the event industry-
- People generally feel that hosting hybrid events will split your audience; however, it isn’t even near to being true. Hybrid events help you get more audience and increase your reach immensely.
- Hybrid events allow you more engagement opportunities with your attendees. You can add various engagement options to interact with your attendees, like online polls, Q&A sessions, and comments.
- Hybrid events are excellent opportunities to get more sponsorship. There are a few reasons to support this, the first is better audience reach, and the other is flexibility in sponsorship prospectus.
- Higher Return on Investment (ROI)- Hybrid events ensure higher ROI due to higher audience reach and scalability.
Ways to engage attendees in hybrid events-
There are some common tips you can follow to make your next hybrid event a remembering experience. Let’s dive into the ideas that can help you engage the audience in the world of hybrid events.
Both sets of attendees are equally important-
While planning your upcoming hybrid event, consider both sets of attendees, i.e., virtual and in-person. Neglecting even one of the sets can be quite risky for your event. Create an event flow that can engage virtual as well as the live audience, and add value to their time.
Keep the content precise, informative, knowledgeable, and engaging. It will deliver you the best results. Having content so powerful that can keep all the attendees hooked is the first and the most impactful tip in the world of hybrid events.
Include engaging activities-
It is easier for the in-person attendees to interact with each other than those attending an event online. Staring continuously at screens can be tiring and boring at the same time. Offer various ways to virtual attendees to keep themselves engaged. You can conduct live polls, surveys, Q&A sessions, and several other segments that will keep the audience glued. You can also host live quizzes during the event. It is the most effortless way to keep the audience engaged and make sure the attendees have a deep understanding of your brand and the objective of your event.
Keep the sessions short-
Another way of engaging attendees during the hybrid event is to keep the sessions short. People have a short-lived attention span, and you need to keep it in mind while planning your upcoming event. Online meetings and sessions can make people feel drained by the end of the day, popularly known as ‘Zoom Fatigue’.
To avoid situations where people find it difficult to continue with the event and leave mid-way, Always keep the sessions brief and crisp. You can have long sessions at physical events, but stretched sessions and virtual events don’t go well together. You can also add pictures, graphics, and videos to make the session more memorable.
Another way to engage your attendees is by inviting celebrities to your event. You can collaborate with some known faces to create hype about your event. It will also help you develop brand awareness and increase engagement. You can ask the celebrity to promote your event that will help you gain more attention. This strategy will help boost excitement among people, and more people will attend the event.
Encourage the audience to interact with each other-
Make your in-person and virtual attendees connected throughout the event. Though it is a bit challenging, some ways can make it a smooth process for you. Create opportunities to encourage interaction between both sets of the audience. One way to do so is by including activities ensuring the involvement of both groups.
Some hybrid event platforms like Dreamcast have one-on-one interaction features allowing attendees to reach out to others, including the organizers and the sponsors. This feature enables the attendees to build networks and connect.
To Sum Up
The past year was full of challenges, and it came with lots of bad experiences and lessons; one was to stay prepared every time. Organizing hybrid events will help you open up to new opportunities and brand popularity. These events are an excellent way to reach out to new stakeholders and will help you widen your audience reach. Recent studies and scenarios suggest that hybrid events are the future of the event industry.
A successful hybrid event is the result of proper planning, research, marketing, and efficient technology. The tips discussed above and hybrid event platforms like Dreamcast will help you with hybrid event planning and make your upcoming event a pleasant experience for your brand and attendees.