Before the current health crisis, online events were somewhat novelties for companies—whether they were live streaming a concert or hosting a webinar. However, the pandemic has boosted the popularity of these events by a whopping 1,000%.
With many places now starting to ease their safety protocols, hybrid events—a combination of in-person and online events—have become the next great option for organizations and attendees. Running a hybrid event isn’t as simple as making your in-person event also available on Zoom, however, so here are tips to help you organize a successful one.
A hybrid event will have a lot of moving parts, so it’s important to have a system that seamlessly works for both the in-person and virtual components. Remote participants will certainly have a different experience from in-person attendees, but you should ensure that they can experience human connections during the event as well.
You will need a platform that allows virtual attendees to connect before and stay after the event in order to foster social interaction (albeit virtual). Platforms like Brightcove, Certain and Intrado offer a variety of tools, including live streaming and attendee engagement solutions. Meanwhile, HeySummit allows you to build a landing page for your event, onboard speakers, and register attendees in one unified interface.
To ensure your platform solution is optimized for your event, do a few trial runs before the event. Simulate interactions, anticipating issues that can happen during the event to test out various scenarios and solve for them. Don’t forget to make accomodations for remote speakers as well.
The audience is important, but sponsors are often the backbone of an event, and require the right attention as well. They can help provide funding, credibility, exposure and other resources such as guest speakers. There are many companies you can reach out to, but not all of them will be suitable for your event. Finding the right ones doesn’t just entail developing attractive sponsorship packages—you’ll also need a proposal that contains your event’s goals and tells your company’s story.
What exactly is your event's objective? What are your audience demographics? You’ll want like-minded sponsors who will benefit greatly from supporting you. There are many sites that can help you connect to potential sponsors. SponsorPark is a good option for events under the arts, entertainment, sports, and special causes categories. Similarly, SponsorMyEvent is a sponsor search engine that is used by companies like Forbes and TEDx.
A hybrid event will require that you, at your chosen venue, leverage your onsite tech stack, with the necessary elements to create a remote centric stream. Some may think this makes logistics quite tricky to manage, but proper tech can make or break your entire event. Virtual attendees will be discouraged by technical glitches like choppy audio and low-resolution streaming, so make sure broadband access is strong and your content is engaging.
To meet everyone’s needs, it’s absolutely essential to invest in the very best audio equipment. To name a couple, we like Riedel for assignable comms and Yamaha, one of many strong digital console manufacturers, which employs fiber-based data transmission.
You’ll also need high quality video equipment to deliver the best resolution to your digital attendees. Digital cameras like the Panasonic AK-UC4000 4K Camera for example, will give you professional-looking footage due to the high quality video recording options they offer.
Social media is a great way to connect with both current and potential audiences. While promoting before an event is a no-brainer, doing it right it involves more than putting up digital content on social media.
Consider tapping influencers who are relevant to your brand to help widen your reach. During the event, you can have a team member post live updates on Twitter or Instagram, so that even non-attendees are in the loop. You can also mount paid ads to amplify your event.
Post-event, you can keep people engaged by posting photos and videos from the event. Plus, you can invite visitors to share their experience online, too—be it through your own branded hashtag, or incentivized through promos with partner sponsors.
Safety protocols may have eased enough to be able to attend an event physically, but strict protocols should still be in place. You want your event to be as enjoyable and safe as possible for everyone involved.
Share the protocols you have set on your social media platforms and other event communications, and keep reminding your attendees as the event draws nearer. This can encourage even more people to attend since it shows that they can trust your company to care about their safety.
Minimize physical contact between your guests and organizers by providing online registration and virtual payment options. And be sure to limit how many people are attending in-person, carefully analyzing your space constraints, so social distancing is still possible.
Running a hybrid event isn’t easy, especially if you’re not used to hosting virtual events. However, implementing these tips can improve your chances of pulling off a smashing success.
Are you looking to partner with an experienced production company for your upcoming hybrid event? Contact us today. We’d love to help you deliver.