How we plan and attend events has been forever changed since COVID-19. Thankfully technology has grown leaps and bounds since then. If you have an event planned for the next year or beyond, it would be a wise decision to consider your options to ensure your event can occur, even if you cannot make it happen in person.
Here are a few things to consider when switching your traditionally in-person events to a hybrid event model or entirely online:
Is your venue open?
First, contact your proposed venue to see if it’s open for the capacity you need. Ask the venue about its health and safety protocols and their cancellation or refund policies if the in-person components need to be scaled back or cancelled due to public health orders or other reasons.
Are sponsors and attendees ready to travel?
Even if your venue is open, many people will not feel safe going to in-person events for a while. This includes people with health conditions or those who are not vaccinated. If your event is in a municipality restricting event size or requiring attendees to provide proof of vaccination before entering the premises, that could prevent some from participating in person.
You can send a survey to potential attendees to gauge how many would be attending in person and how many prefer virtual. Call sponsors and speakers personally to ask their comfort level holding in-person events or if they prefer a virtual option.
What event components can be virtual?
Even when planning events with primarily in-person attendance, we suggest making some of your speakers or presentations suitable for live-streaming or offered 100% virtually. This provides valuable content that can be recorded. The recording can be distributed after the event to attendees or as a resource on your website.
However, we know not every event session works virtually, especially if it’s a hands-on workshop requiring specific tools or equipment. In this case, consider shipping virtual attendees their supplies in advance. If this is not possible, consider a less hands-on way to do the session or, as a last resort, cancel that specific session from the program.
Create a plan to switch to a hybrid or virtual event
Feel free to continue planning your 100% in-person events but create contingency plans if that’s not possible. Have discussions with hybrid event planners and producers to get the infrastructure in place, so if you must switch at the last minute, either partially or entirely, you know what to do.
It can’t hurt to schedule an exploratory call with a Hybrid events specialist to see your options. You may decide to incorporate a more hybrid model now to save any potential headaches later. Schedule a time to chat with us today, and we can share some great virtual and hybrid event options.