With the pandemic a little bit more under control, and the now new normal settling, hybrid conferences are more popular than ever! Virtual events were all that could happen with restrictions in the past. But now with the vaccine rollout, hybrid meetings and hybrid events are a possibility.
What is a hybrid conference?
What is a hybrid conference you might ask? A perfect blend of a face-to-face live event and virtual event in one. They might happen at the same time as each other or could be separate events. So the physical and virtual attendees can communicate at the same event. You can also take your usual in-person event and add a virtual component to it (adding a live stream and virtual networking for example).
Why should you do a hybrid event?
There are many benefits to hybrid events such as:
- Increased reach with more potential guests
- More sponsorship & partnership opportunities
- Greater flexibility for your guests
- And think about the carbon footprint of flying an international audience to your in-person meeting!
You can create successful hybrid events for your trade shows, virtual conferences, webinars, and more!
What equipment is needed for a hybrid meeting?
You may need live streaming equipment for your physical event so that your virtual audience can follow in real-time. Such as cameras, sound equipment, a live streaming service (YouTube Live, Twitch, Vimeo, TikTok Live, etc.)
You will also need a good video conferencing tool (like Zoom or Microsoft Teams) or even better, a networking tool that will allow your attendees to walk around and talk to each other in between presentations and webinars.
Make sure you have all the necessary tools setup for the event, like your keynote, video conferencing tool, webcast equipment, all ready to provide the best possible virtual experience.
Top 3 strategies for your hybrid conference
But planning and participating in a hybrid event can be difficult for newcomers. There are some hybrid conference guidelines we should all follow.
This might sound daunting, but don’t worry–we’ve got you! Keep reading for our top 3 strategies to build success with a blended approach.
1. Make a Plan
As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. This saying applies to your hybrid conference which needs goals to work. You and your event management team need to meet before the event to make objectives that you want to achieve. Here are some things you need to plan:
- Budget: Decide how much you want to spend on your physical and virtual events and go from there. Remember hybrid events have some different expenses such as a virtual events platform.
- Location: Even though your hybrid conference is happening online you also need a location for your physical audience.
- Social distancing for in-person attendees: Make sure you follow the rules inherent to the pandemic depending on where your in-person event takes place.
- Timing: How long will your sessions be? Will you have many talks at the same time or one main speaker?
- Time zones: Make sure as many remote attendees can attend your virtual meeting by choosing the right time, in the right time-zone.
- Team: Will you need new workers or facilitators for your hybrid event? If hybrid events are new for your team it is a good idea to take on new hires with experience.
- Registration process: How do people attend your event? Will remote participants receive a link by email? What about onsite participants for the in-person conference?
- Promotion: From social media, to email, or on-demand content, think about all the way you can promote your hybrid event.
Once you can answer some of these questions you will be ready to start your event.
2. Engage Your Audience
The more engaging you make your hybrid conference the more successful it will be. We’ve all experienced screen fatigue or Zoom fatigue at one stage or another so make sure you keep your audience awake. Here are some engaging features you can use to make your event more interactive:
- Breakout rooms: They will help your guests to talk in a more intimate setting. there can be a booth for each exhibitor, tables for one-on-one discussions that promote real human connection
- Customizable floor plans: Bring your event to a whole new virtual location. You can even reproduce your real-life location so that remote attendees feel like they are part of the live event.
- Polling: This feature is a great way of asking group questions to a larger audience.
Make sure that you also pick charismatic speakers who will include your audience in the discussion. The more engaging your event is, the more likely people will return in the future.
3. Manage your team well
You need to almost divide your team in two for the event. You need a physical team and a virtual team too. Try to pick an event planner to communicate with the two teams so everyone’s on the same page for your hybrid conference.
You might need some extra training for your team members if hybrid events are new. The good thing is that this is an investment into your future. Many people enjoy the flexibility of hybrid events, so your team will be ready for these events going forward.
Now that you’ve read our hybrid conference tips, you’re ready! Start planning your next hybrid event. Your audience and your team members will appreciate the tips you’ve learned.
The first step when planning your hybrid event is an event platform. Remo has a great platform you can use for your event. With customizable floor plans, a flawless presentation mode, and interactive features, you will have everything you need.