Hybrid Events: 5 Things to Consider

If the past two years have taught us anything it’s:

  1. Chances are you’re on mute.
  2. If your choice of zoom-based bottom-wear is boxers, do us a favour and stay sat down.
  3. Joe Wicks is miles more fitter than I’ll ever be.

Something that we never thought we’d learn from lockdown however, is that not only is hybrid/from home working viable, it can also be super effective in some instances. This is also the case for events/conferencing.

Organisers were forced to go virtual, bringing in speakers and attendees using the power of the internet. This at first seemed like a complicated alternative but as we got more and more used to logging onto our browser rather than entering a busy events space we realised that this option is not only a lot easier but also a lot more accessible for speakers and attendees. A conference could invite talks from all over the world with the click of a button and instead of capping tickets and profits there was an unlimited amount of spaces available.

It’s no secret that hybrid events are here to stay, but make sure you follow our top tips to make sure your one is a success:

Establish a strong brand

Chances are, you already have a successful brand if you’re starting a hybrid event but let’s say you are starting from scratch. You’re going to need a fancy, catchy title. For example ‘The Wirral Chess, Badminton and Porridge Conference 2021’ wouldn’t be a good idea.. Well, it wasn’t a good idea when I hosted it anyway. You need something ideally short and ideally snappy. Following that are your traditional brand 101 requirements; graphic design, promotional videos and websites (just to name a few.) That reminds me of my next point…

Organise speakers as early as possible

The last thing you want when organising your ‘2022 World Baking Conference’ is for Paul Hollywood to be snapped up by your bread-baring rivals. Get in contact with your speakers as early as possible so you can get them booked and promote their talks. Even overshoot the amount of speakers you want to get in contact with because the chances are not all of them will be able to attend. Speakers and talks are the backbone of a successful conference so ensuring you’ve got the biggest name you can get is integral to your event’s success.

Set up a snazzy sales website

When users want to attend your event they will all pass through one ‘box office’ and that will be your website. Of course, you want the website to look good and reflect the brand you have established but there are a few things that could go unnoticed. Firstly, you will need to make sure that the design of the site encourages the purchase of tickets. It needs to be super easy for someone to put in their payment details the second you convince them to attend. Secondly, it’s important to provide as much information as possible regarding the event. An extreme example could be if you include a date but not a time it could turn potential customers away because they’re not sure if Phillip Schofield’s ‘Coping with Grey Hair’ seminar will clash with their appointment to the salon. A good looking website is always a requirement in our modern world but if it doesn’t function in the way a user would expect then there won’t be an impressive turnout.

Deliver high quality video broadcasts

Your speakers are booked, your brand is established and your attendees are excited. You’re now going to need to deliver your hybrid event. Some speakers are completely virtual, some of them are happy to turn up and you can’t rely on simply live streaming a zoom call. Some of the most successful hybrid events include high-end vision mixing and streaming, this turns a regular conference into something that actually feels like an event. Producers can bring in custom graphics, choose the most engaging camera angle and make it feel like the attendees got their money’s worth when realistically the content of the seminar remains the same. Of course, other things play into this (internet connection, streaming providers etc.) but that’s a topic for another day. The key to a great hybrid event/conference is making the viewer completely forget they’re not actually there.

Provide virtual goodie bags

Lastly, goodie bags! We all love them. Yes, I’d love a stress ball with your logo on it and a pen that hardly has any ink in it, thank you! Okay, who am I kidding? Goodie bags are usually filled with cheap, useless branded nonsense that seemingly serves no purpose. Well that’s where you’d be wrong. Although goodie bags appear like a waste of time they play into the idea of providing value to your attendees feeling as if the money they paid has gained them a lot back leading to customer satisfaction. This is still the case with hybrid events. Either choose to post out physical goodie bags (which could be super expensive) or liaise with websites, software providers etc. to try and get your attendees free codes to online products. Make sure these products are relevant to your event and 9 times out of 10 they will be more than happy.

There we have it, with all of these tips and tricks under your virtual belt you should be on your way to the next big thing! If you need any support with some of the above mentioned services such as graphic design, videography, web design and live-streaming please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of experts take pride in their ability to help brands and individuals achieve their business goals.

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