Hybrid conferences, meetings, or events are those that include at least one set of in-person/face-to-face guests that interact online with other remote meeting attendees. While hybrid occurrences have existed for some time, their significance will only increase during and after the Pandemic.
Hybrid Meetings combine the benefits of in-person and virtual engagement between speakers and participants.
With the onset of the Pandemic, many of us have turned to virtual meeting tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and others to exchange ideas and stay productive, even when we can’t be in the same room. These tools can be used together with others.
Online meetings are beneficial, productive, and allow for remote participation, but combining the advantages of the virtual with the benefits of the real will create an event that goes much farther.
What is a Hybrid Conference? – Take a Different Approach
The essential distinction between hybrid and virtual meetings is that the combination of live and virtual events results in a variety of modes of attendance. Our surroundings have a significant impact on our capacity to maintain attention.
- During a live-person meeting, the setting is arranged to transmit the meeting’s message and maintain attendees’ interest. However, if attendance is virtual, they have no influence over their environment and may become disoriented.
- This variety of participants and meeting kinds causes a customised solution, and the meeting’s overarching objectives will dictate how the meeting is constructed.
- Hybrid meetings can span the in-person and virtual meeting spectrums. We’ve seen hybrid meetings that range from a split between a face-to-face and a virtual audience to have solely presenters at the live event, to in-person pods/breakouts that converse in a virtual environment, to a totally live audience with a virtual presenter.
The advantages of Hybrid Conference for you and your company are:
- Expanded reach and attendance
- Increased audience engagement
- Increased chances for sponsorship
- Environmental damage reductions
- Cost savings on travel
- Fill your marketing funnel for the rest of the year
- Increased rate of return on investment
- More useful data and metrics
- Increased adaptability
- Adapt to your audience’s evolving demands
Engagement is a critical component of hybrid events.
What is a hybrid conference?
- It’s what distinguishes your event from a YouTube TEDx video. These talks are inspiring. educational, but not engaging.
- Engagement is also what differentiates a hybrid event from a live event that incorporates technology.
- Your audience will not watch your event on television; instead, they will take part via their mobile devices or computers, providing real-time comments.
A hybrid event is not…
- Streaming sessions from your phone
- Following the event, a shareable video on demand (VOD)
- Prioritising your in-person audience over your online audience
What is a hybrid event?
- A seamless integration of technology that enables engagement between a live and virtual audience
- A viewer-friendly experience that caters to all audiences
- Bringing your online and live audiences on an equal footing
How to Plan an Event Using a Step-By-Step Approach
While no two events are identical and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to organising and executing any event, the following are critical procedures to follow when preparing any sort of event:
Step 1: Define the goal and aim of the event
Before we arrange anything else, we should consider the event’s original aim. By defining the aim and aim(s) of the event, we may have a better understanding of how the event should be planned.
The event’s purpose may or may not be clear: you may be briefed to arrange a yearly meeting, in which case the goal and aim are quite obvious. In certain instances, you may need to specify the purpose on your own.
Ensure that the event’s objective(s) are clear/specific and quantifiable. For instance, if the event’s aim is to raise brand recognition, you might establish quantifiable targets such as “gain 100 social media mentions/followers/shares during the event.”
Step 2: Create a basic plan for the event
We may create a preliminary plan for the event based on the objective(s) described above, which contains basic elements such as
Timeline: a rough estimate of the proposed date of the event (i.e. in 6 months)
Attendee information: How many attendees do you want to invite/target? Is it going to be an online event? Will you welcome people from outside the nation if it is an offline event? Demographic information on the attendance, and so forth.
Step 3: Establish a budget for the event
You may now calculate an event budget based on the basic strategy outlined above. It’s critical to develop a budget as soon as feasible since it will aid in the clarification of other event planning aspects. it’s also critical to ensure that you have enough money to pull off the event.
Budget preparation for various sorts of events will involve a variety of elements.
Step 4: Confirming the location and date
It’s critical to reserve your venue (and event date) as soon as possible if you’re doing a hybrid event. The sooner you contact venues, the more possibilities you’ll have and the more probable you’ll secure the location. Secure a location based on your selection, considering your objectives, budget, timing, and any other pertinent factors. Consider the availability of a quality Internet hook-up.
Step 5: Develop a strategy for your technology stack
Nowadays, a successful event cannot be managed without the help of technology. We propose adopting hybrid event management software to avoid having to handle many technologies and platforms that are incompatible with one another.
- · Online registration and ticketing: You’d want a dependable platform that enables potential attendees to reserve and pay tickets to your event.
- · Attendee tracking: Keeping track of which visitors attend your event and what they do while there.
- · Attendee management: Managing your event’s attendee list, from check-ins to access control.
- · Send targeted emails and manage discount offers and early bird tickets.
- · Payments and invoicing: When necessary, generate and distribute customised invoices to suppliers and guests.
Step 6: Ensure the confidentiality of the information
This process involves securing speakers/talents/exhibitors, as well as third-party suppliers and sponsors.
Conduct research on possible speakers and compile a list of suitable speakers. Contact them to check their availability and interest in speaking at your event. Don’t forget to provide data regarding lodging and transport, as well as headshots and bios of confirmed speakers, for promotional reasons.
Carry out the same procedure with sponsors. You may choose to contact sponsors that have associated with similar events to yours.
Step 7: Promotion of events
As said, publicising your event is critical. Using the information gained in the preceding stages, you should:
- Develop a professional website that is compatible with mobile devices and is linked with your online booking system.
- Determine the event’s central messaging: how you intend to add value to guests and what sets your event apart from the competition.
- Paid internet advertising may be essential, but organic presence should be built through content marketing (blog) and social media.
- Collaborate with influential individuals
- Use email marketing to its full capacity; send reminders to potential attendees frequently before the event’s date.
- Don’t overlook more traditional methods of advertising, such as posters and other hard copy materials.
Hybrid meetings provide both personal relationships and connections that extend much beyond the event’s physical boundaries. With virtual meeting technology advancing at a breakneck pace and increasing in reliability daily, hybrid meetings are becoming the new normal.