There’s no doubt that the event planning industry has changed drastically. One significant change is how to hold successful events in today’s climate: hybrid events. A hybrid event is an in-person and virtual combination of two or more events. It allows attendees to choose where they want to be: in person or online, at home or in the office.
Hybrid events are becoming popular for businesses as they look for ways to continue meeting face-to-face while keeping their staff safe and healthy as we continue to live with COVID-19.
What is a Hybrid Event?
Hybrid events are a combination of a conference and a workshop. They are a great way to bring people together. Hybrid events are also known as “unconferences” or “un-meetings.”
Hybrid events can be helpful for companies who want to bring together their teams to learn, share ideas and build relationships. These events are usually small (around 100 people), so participants get the most out of the experience and have time to network during breaks between sessions.
What are the Types of Hybrid Events?
Hybrid events are events that combine multiple formats. For example, a conference, symposium, and workshop; a conference, workshop, and hackathon; or a conference, hackathon.
These are examples of hybrid events because they combine two or more formats within one event.
What are the Benefits of Hybrid Events?
- Lower Costs: A hybrid event is usually less expensive than a traditional conference or trade show. You can save money by combining your venue, catering, and technology needs into one package.
- Better ROI: Because of the lower cost and greater flexibility in scheduling your event, hybrid events are easier to plan and execute. This makes it easier to get valuable results from your investment in attending an event.
- Better Audience Engagement: Hybrid events tend to have higher attendance rates because they allow attendees more time with speakers during networking breaks. This gives them more opportunities to interact with industry peers and learn more about new products or services being offered by exhibitors at the trade show portion of the event.
- Increased Brand Awareness: The combination of a keynote speaker as well as an exhibit hall allows attendees to learn about new trends in your industry while also having direct contact with vendors who can help them implement these changes back at their office or work site.
- Increased Customer Loyalty: The high-quality content from keynotes and hands-on learning opportunities provided by exhibitors will keep people coming back for more!
How to Plan a Hybrid Event?
If you’re planning a hybrid event, think of it as if you were planning a traditional conference or meeting. You need to:
Identify Your Target
The first step is identifying who you want to reach with your event. This will help you determine the type of event and the format that will work best for your goals.
When you’re thinking about your target, it’s essential to consider the following:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their interests?
- What motivates them?
- How can you reach them?
You can use this information to create a persona, a made-up person representing your ideal attendee. This will help you better understand who you’re trying to reach and how to best communicate with them.
Determine Your Goal
Once you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to set your goals. What do you want to achieve with this event? Are you looking to generate leads, build relationships or educate your audience?
Your goal will drive every decision you make about your event, from the venue to the type of content you offer. That’s why it’s essential to take the time to determine your goal before you start planning anything else.
Some examples of goals for hybrid events include:
- Generate leads
- Build relationships
- Educate your audience
- Increase brand awareness
Remember that most hybrid events are delivered over multiple channels, so there should be some overarching theme that unifies all components.
Additionally, consider how your organization will use online tools during the event—for example, using hashtags on Twitter or wishing attendees good luck with video greetings at registration. These little touches help make an experience feel personal regardless of whether participants attend in person or virtually.
Now that you know the basics of hybrid events, it’s time to start planning yours!
A hybrid event can be a great way to reach your target audience while keeping your staff safe and healthy. Follow these tips to ensure a successful hybrid event:
Schedule Adequate Time for Networking
Attendees should have plenty of time to network and build relationships. When you’re planning your event, be sure to schedule plenty of time for networking. This can be built into the agenda by having breaks between sessions or hosting a mixer at the end of the day.
If you’re using an online platform, there are also ways to encourage networking. For example, you can create chat rooms for attendees to mingle in or have people introduce themselves in the comments section of each session.
Whatever format you choose, give attendees enough time to network so they can build relationships and make connections.
Make Sure Your Speakers Are Engaging
The keynote speaker should be engaging and deliver quality content to educate and entertain the audience. Working with a speakers bureau is the best way to ensure you get an engaging speaker. A speakers bureau can provide a list of potential speakers and their bios and videos.
This will give you a better idea of who would be a good fit for your event and help you decide.
When you’re looking at potential speakers, be sure to consider:
- Their topic
- How they deliver their content
- Their style
- What type of reaction do they tend to get from audiences
Once you’ve found a few potential speakers, reach out to them and see if they’d be interested in speaking at your event. If they are, work with them to develop a presentation that will educate and engage the audience.
Plan for Breaks
Attendees will need breaks between sessions, so make sure to schedule adequate time for them to rest and relax. It’s a good idea to insert breaks every 60-90 minutes. This will give attendees time to grab a coffee or take a walk and help them stay engaged for the rest of the event.
If you’re using an online platform, you can also use this time to run polls or Q&As with the audience. This is a great way to get feedback from attendees and keep them engaged during breaks.
No matter how you choose to use break time, be sure to schedule enough so attendees can recharge and be ready for the next session.
Have a Variety of Activities
Offer a variety of activities so that attendees can choose what they’re interested in and won’t get bored. When you’re choosing activities, be sure to consider the following:
- The interests of your audience
- The goals of your event
- Your budget
- Your time frame
Some ideas for activities include:
- Panel discussions
- Group exercises
- Breakout sessions
- One-on-one meetings
- Product demonstrations
Remember, the goal is to offer a variety of activities so that attendees can choose what they’re interested in. Providing various activities will keep everyone engaged and ensure that your event is a success.
Keep it Organized
A hybrid event can be complex if you don’t use a trusted hybrid event software by Eventtia, so plan ahead and keep everything organized. This will help you avoid any last-minute problems. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Start by creating a master list of everything you need to do. This should include everything from booking a venue to sending out promotional materials.
- Then, create a timeline for each task and assign it to someone on your team. This will help you ensure that everything is done on time and that no tasks are forgotten.
- Finally, make sure to stay organized during the event itself. This means having a clear plan for each day and ensuring everyone on your team knows what they’re supposed to do.
We’ve covered a lot of information about hybrid events in this article, and hopefully, you’re now more familiar with the concept. The key benefit to having a hybrid event is that they allow you to reach your audience in different ways.
If you’re new to organizing hybrid events, there are many considerations. Knowing what type of event will work best for you is an essential first step.