How to Host a Hybrid Event
During this Pandemic, it has been hard to host an event without exposing Covid-19 to you and your guests. Thankfully, event planners are flexible and became comfortable creating digital meetings. Although, virtual meetings and/or events are evidently here to stay. There's still a way to celebrate your event with the people you love and, at the same time, be with the ones who can't come.
Hybrid events can be a little bit intimidating at first. But creating a successful hybrid event depends on your team's effort and planning at every stage. I've done a lot of research and done a lot of practice doing this type of event. Some were successful, and some might need some more practice. So, here's what I've learned in creating a successful Hybrid Event.
What is a Hybrid Event?
Hybrid events aren't a new concept, although these events existed way before the ongoing pandemic. These events contain the element of a physical event and a digital event. In a hybrid event, some of your guests will physically attend at the primary location, and some will be live streaming the event from somewhere else.
How to Host a Hybrid Event?
Planning is crucial in any event. Taking care of every detail for the event is the host's job. Especially if you have two sets of audiences, planning needs to be more detailed and intricate.
1. Learn your 6 W's
First, what are the 6 W's? These are the questions you want to answer to be clear about your vision for your hybrid event.
Who is the event for?
What will they do/learn?
Why is this event appealing to the guests?
Where will it happen?
When will it happen?
Who will conduct the event?
Answering these questions is the first step in planning/hosting your very first Hybrid Event.
2. Prepare a Detailed Plan for the event
You are the creator of your event. Find something unique, engaging, and meaningful. You need to curate an event that meets the needs of your two audiences. Every detail is essential to your planning stage, from the schedule to the main event until the last part. Remember to cater to both live stream attendees and in-person attendees.
3. Content Creation
Hybrid events need more time and planning for creating their content. The needs of the two groups are different. Live audiences tend to attend more sessions with fewer breaks, while virtual audiences are the exact opposite.
The virtual audience will prefer short, easy-to-grasp content, while the live audience will likely expect detailed and elaborate content. Finding the perfect balance for the needs of the two groups will be quite a challenge.
4. Intermission / Ice Breaker
Most Hybrid Events prefers to have entertainment as an intermission or an ice breaker for the both live and virtual audience. It can be a musician, magician, games, and other fun stuff your audience can enjoy live and virtually. Your audience would enjoy themselves more, especially if you hired the perfect entertainment for them.
5. Choose your Virtual Platform
Since you will have a virtual audience, choosing the right virtual platform is crucial. You need to utilize the platform that you picked. It should offer you live streaming, engagement, networking features, high-quality audio and video, and the choice to record the sessions. These features are important and are non-negotiable terms.
Here are some virtual platforms you can use:
Before you decide on your virtual platform, request a demo. Check for features you want in the demo and see if the platform offers you the tech support you need.
6. Talk to your attendees
It's essential to communicate with your attendees. Communication makes sure that they have the correct information and are updated for the event. Changing your communication strategy before the event is very effective. You can release a trailer for your event.
Virtual attendees need more attention, especially if it's the first hybrid/virtual event for them. It would be a better experience for them by designing event FAQS. It should address all common and related questions about the event.
7. Be Flexible
Things don't always go to plan. Given that time should be flexible in these events. There may be unforeseen glitches with your event technology. RELAX. When this happens, you can always reschedule the sessions and ensure that the show must go on. But make sure to announce the changes to your attendees.