Choosing the wrong digital platform and strategy for your hybrid event can have devastating consequences. As an event organizer, your goal is to put on an event that allows in-person and virtual attendees to get as close as possible to the same experience. With the right event plan and platform, this is possible.
What are hybrid events?
Hybrid events are conferences that are held in-person with virtual elements for those who cannot attend. It usually involves a platform that allows for live streaming of sessions and interactivity for virtual attendees to simulate the in-person experience as much as possible.
This style for events became popular during the pandemic when people could not travel to attend these live events anymore, due to travel restrictions, budget, or personal comfort level being in large crowds. They have since gained in popularity, and many organizers have seen the tremendous value of this event format and plan to incorporate more virtual and hybrid elements into all their future events.
Even without the pandemic causing havoc on our travel and events, hybrid models open up your events to more people who would be unable to travel to events. It also provides event continuity if you need to cancel the live component for any reason (such as a venue accident, global pandemic, earthquake). With your hybrid infrastructure already in place, it would be much easier to pivot more or all of your events online in the event of an emergency or catastrophe.
There are many values and fun things you can do when you host a hybrid event:
1. Boost participant engagement online
When your event is in-person, it’s easier to get people to participate and feel part of the action. Those attending sessions virtually may feel a disconnect from the energy in the room. Look for a hybrid event platform that incorporates ways for the participants to interact with each other and the presenters.
Here are some examples of how you can encourage engagement of your virtual participants:
2. Add gamification
Games and interactivity are fun and engaging ways for participants to collaborate, network, and practice what they learn at your event. For virtual attendees, this could be as simple as software that feeds polls, quizzes, and surveys to virtual attendees to answer in real-time. Then the presenter gets access to share the results of the poll while on stage.
In-room participants can be directed to a survey link accessible on their phones so they can participate in the same polls.
3. Offer live and on-demand sessions
One of the great parts about broadcasting events online is that it’s easy to record each one. These recordings can then be offered to attendees who couldn’t participate that day, or who want to rewatch a particular session. With some hybrid event platforms, you can also upload pre-recorded video sessions and host recorded live streams from the event on-demand after the conference.
Will your next event be a hybrid one?
Do you think you’re ready to host a hybrid event? The SmartLink team can help you choose the right platform, create the right event plan, and help produce a successful hybrid event where participants get the near-same experience, whether in-person or online. Talk to us today, and we can help you get started.