The best elements of both in-person and virtual events combine to create interactions that are bi-directional and uniquely connected for all attendees. As a result of the success of these events, all stakeholders – the event’s host, sponsors, and exhibitors – gain a lot of value as well. Hybrid events can also be very beneficial. Your event will achieve a wider reach while still providing opportunities for engagement. From start to finish, planning an event incorporating both physical and virtual aspects is more complex. However, we can help! Check out our checklist for everything you need to do to run a hybrid event.
The Hybrid Event: What is it?
Hybrid events combine live in-person events with virtual components that can either be recorded or live streamed. During the pandemic’s early stages, many businesses decided to adapt their event strategies and host them online instead. The benefits of incorporating hybrid events into a company’s calendar have increased with the opening up of more countries and more companies reverting to their old in-person event strategies.
Hybrid Event Checklist: Planning a Hybrid Event
Right, so that’s a short explanation of what a hybrid event is and why it’s so important. Now let’s talk about how it works. Basically, how do you plan one? Below is a hybrid event planning checklist you can use when planning your event.
Decide what your goals and KPIs are
You have to take time to determine precisely what you want to achieve and define how you are going to determine success or failure. Then, you can begin planning an event carefully. The following questions can help you get started:
- Is there a particular reason for you to hold this conference in the first place?
- How do you plan to achieve your short-term goals? Long-term goals?
- Is your company promoting the latest technologies at a physical trade show, with access to elements from a virtual exhibit?
- Do you know how to provide industry knowledge through a hybrid conference?
- What will be the role of the digital elements in the achievement of these goals?
- Your main goal for your event is to increase the brand awareness of your event or are you more concerned about turning a huge profit at the end of the day?
The following are questions that you need to answer before you can begin to find venues, create events content, select a virtual event platform, and come up with the event agenda. An in-person event, such as a conference or conference platform, is more than simply adding a webinar to the agenda; the event has to have a goal or mission. With today’s sophisticated audiences, it is tough to engage both your offline and online visitors if your event lacks form and purpose.
Identify your target audience
Personas or attendee profiles can help you identify your event’s target audience. Identify the reasons why your hybrid event will appeal to your audience after you’ve established who they are. It is critical to keep in mind that each decision you make should result in creating value for your attendees – this includes the speakers you choose, the sponsors you attract, the content and programming you select, and the experiences you create online or in person.
Taking advantage of primary and secondary audience data (such as insights from your event platform) is among these tactics. Analyzing data from prior events can reveal hot topics, influential speakers, and more. Ensure that you take into account information like attendees’ professional roles, the demographics of the audience, their needs, and their pain points.
Prepare a budget for your event
Identify your industry benchmarks and data from past events, both virtual and in-person, for comparison. Provide an account of all offline and online expenses involved in planning the event. This includes speaker fees, entertaining and managing artists, venue fees, hybrid event platform costs, food and beverage costs, AV and production costs, and marketing expenses.
Throughout your event planning, you should update and adjust your event budget as you acquire more information and more details about each item. Throughout the planning process, you will be able to keep an eye on the total amount of money spent on your event as compared to your initial budget. The first thing that you should do when planning your event is to identify the key players and stakeholders. Ensure you are on the same page regarding the budget.
Select the right technology for your event
You should make sure that all of the necessary technology is in place for the virtual component. The following equipment is required: cameras, lights, microphones, projection screens, and projection capabilities. Virtual events platforms are also necessary. These platforms enable event components to be integrated easily. The ease of using an event management tool like Accelevents allows you to manage all ticketing and registration while encouraging participation and networking across digital and physical sessions. Make sure the platform you choose is capable of:
- The company offers live support 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- With real-time registration and sales statistics
- That can be integrated with social media
- Provides live video streaming
- And text-based chat
- To facilitate networking
Bring a team together
You need a great team if you want your hybrid event to be successful. Some unexpected roles may arise as a result of virtual elements. You will want to include the following members in your typical event support team:
- Facilitator – In addition to acting as an emcee, he or she must be active in getting the participation of the online audience. In addition to taking questions from the in-person audience, they will make sure to include questions from the digital audience as well.
- Social media moderator – When you’re using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to connect with your audience, you need someone to monitor those platforms. Any inappropriate comments can be deleted and all questions can be delivered to the facilitator.
- Tech support – Yes, the technical support for the event will be provided by professionals. You will also need to hire people with a high level of expertise in your online platform, who can assist users if problems arise. Accelevents is a leading provider of 24/7 support, and our first response time is an average of 37 seconds. This is exceptionally good. When you have an event to run, who has time to wait 4 to 5 hours for a reply?
- Production technicians – To get the best results, it is a good idea to have someone with experience in audio and visual production on hand. If necessary, these people may also assist in troubleshooting the equipment in person.
The marketing of the event
Developing an effective marketing strategy for your event will help you reach your target audiences. Create a marketing strategy that incorporates all aspects of the event:
- Your event website and registration pages should be launched as soon as possible.
- Promote your event organically and inorganically on social media using an event hashtag.
- Send remote attendees a swag kit, which includes branded merchandise, before the event. Provide prizes for posts that achieve maximum traction and encourage them to promote this on social media.
- Promote, invite, remind, and follow up with email marketing throughout the event.
- Keep social media updated throughout the event. Let participants know that it is expected. Connect two audiences with social media. Consider, for example, encouraging a meeting between an in-person attendee and a virtual attendee to be captured on the screenshot.
- A summary of the entire event should be emailed to all attendees after the event. Provide an overview of the session, key points, sample snippets, as well as links to resources and on-demand sessions.
Hybrid events provide loads of opportunities for you to innovate, improve your ROI goals, and keep your stakeholders happy – no matter from which part of the world participants attend your event. Here is a hybrid event checklist that you can use when putting together an experiential hybrid event. Using this checklist will help you get started in creating your very own experiential hybrid event. It will be a big help to get one of the first ones to use it!