If you’re new to the world of hybrid events, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Why would someone want to combine an online event with a live one? It turns out there are several reasons why this approach can be so successful: by bringing together the best of both worlds, you can maximise attendance and create a truly unique experience for your attendees. So if you’re planning your next event, here are some tips on how to make it a hybrid success!
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Set goals before you begin
When planning a hybrid event, it’s important to set some goals and objectives before you get started. What do you hope to achieve? Increased attendance? More leads? Greater brand awareness?
Pre-event research will help you to find out what the aim of your event is, and give you a better idea of how best to achieve it. Once you know what you’re working towards, you can start to put together a strategy that will help you reach your target.
Choose the right tech partners
To maximise the potential of a hybrid event, you need to be able to ensure that everything is working as it should. If someone is watching your live stream online and suddenly the video glitches or stops playing for no reason, they’re going to assume that something has gone wrong with your event and not bother trying again next time.
The best way to do this is to work with a tech partner who specialises in producing great results across all platforms – you’ll have access to a team offering round-the-clock care and support so that any issues are resolved quickly and effectively.
Working with a well-known brand also helps give attendees confidence in the quality of your event from day one, so make sure you choose carefully!
Create agendas that work for both audiences
With great power comes great responsibility, and if you’re planning to hold an online event alongside your live one, you’ll want to ensure that each audience is receiving the right experience for them.
For example, if you’re attending a keynote speech by someone high-profile in person, you probably won’t want any distractions while it’s happening. But if you’re watching online, maybe there will be other features on the website that would benefit from your attention at this time.
To make sure things are balanced correctly, try creating two separate agendas for each side of the event (one for the live attendees and one for viewers online). You can then use these documents to help plan out what content should happen when during both events – which should save you a lot of time and stress in the long run!
Select the right streaming option
One of the key decisions you’ll need to make when planning a hybrid event is which streaming option to choose. Do you want people to be able to watch the live stream on their computer or mobile device? Or would you prefer they tune in to a dedicated channel on TV?
There are pros and cons to both approaches, so it’s important to think about what will work best for your event. If you’re expecting a high volume of viewers, for example, having a dedicated channel on TV might be the best way to go – this will ensure that everyone has a great viewing experience without any buffering or glitches.
On the other hand, if you’re expecting most of your viewers to access the stream online, then making sure it’s easy to watch on all devices is essential. You’ll also want to consider whether you want to live stream the entire event or just certain parts of it.
Plan for flexibility
No matter how well you plan, sometimes things will go wrong – and that’s ok! In fact, it’s perfectly natural to expect a few hiccups when planning a hybrid event.
The key is to be prepared for them and have a Plan B in place. This could mean having alternate content ready to go if something goes wrong with the live stream, or having someone on hand who can help resolve any tech issues quickly.
In general, it’s always a good idea to be as flexible as possible when planning an event. That way, if something unexpected comes up, you’ll be able to deal with it quickly and efficiently without causing too much disruption.
Make use of social media
Social media can be a great way to engage with attendees before, during and after your hybrid event. By creating a hashtag for the occasion, you can help people connect with each other and share their experiences online.
This will also help you keep track of what’s going on across all platforms – so you can see which parts of the event are most popular, and make changes accordingly.
You can also use social media to give sneak previews of the event content, announce speakers and panellists, and run competitions and giveaways. The more active you are on social media, the more engaged your attendees will be!
Interact with your live and virtual audiences
One of the best parts about holding a hybrid event is that it allows you to interact with different groups of people in different ways.
Whether it’s engaging in Q&As on Twitter, taking feedback from live attendees and using it during your next online session or simply getting them excited about the event: this kind of interaction will improve the quality of both elements and help keep them connected.
In fact, if you’re looking for some fresh ideas for holding a successful hybrid event, why not try combining both elements into one? For example, get your virtual audience involved in your live stream by asking them questions via social media, or get everyone together to watch a recorded version of a keynote speech at the end of the day. The more interactive you are, the more memorable your event will be!
Integrate live & pre-recorded content
When planning a hybrid event, it’s important to think about the overall structure and balance of the content. You don’t want all the live content to be at the beginning or end of the event, for example, or all the pre-recorded content in the middle.
By mixing and matching live and pre-recorded content, you can create a more balanced agenda that will keep attendees engaged throughout. This also gives you some flexibility if something goes wrong with one of your live sessions – you can always fall back on pre-recorded content to fill in the gaps.
Follow-up with the attendees after the event
One of the best things about holding a hybrid event is that it wraps everything into a single—albeit long—day. Instead of sending each attendee home with a bundle of materials, you can share all your knowledge and resources in one go – meaning they have more time to absorb the information and put it into practice!
To help them get the most out of your event, be sure to send follow-up content after the main sessions are over. For example, if there are useful research or case studies from industry experts which will benefit everyone, tie these up with details on how people can access them easily.
Including links to slides from presentations can also be helpful so attendees always have access to key takeaways.
By taking this approach, you’ll ensure that your virtual and live audiences can get the most out of each session.
Hybrid events provide a great way to bring people together and create a unique experience tailored to a specific audience. By following these tips, you’ll be able to put together an event that’s highly engaging for everyone involved!