A hybrid event allows attendees to participate from either a remote setting or in person. Hybrid events are becoming popular as a practical means of online collaboration. Over the years, there have been significant improvements in how these events take place, allowing convenience and flexibility to cater to various needs. Although more events are now shifting back to face-to-face interactions, there’s still an increase in the number of hybrid events.
Today, hybrid events provide several benefits. For example, a hybrid event can allow you to reach a wider audience with greater accessibility and more affordability. A hybrid event can be a workshop, tradeshow, or conference. In fact, it can be any type of meeting where some of the participants gather in person at a specific venue while the rest join online using their devices.
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If you’re planning a hybrid event, there are things to consider to ensure everything flows smoothly. Here are several valuable pointers to keep in mind to ensure the success of your hybrid event:
1. Establish the Objectives of the Event
When planning for an upcoming hybrid event, one of the main objectives is to define your goals and the event’s purpose. Think of ways you can provide your audience with value.
It’s best to utilize specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART) goals to aid with goal setting. For example, one of your goals could be to boost engagement on social media by 10% during and after the event.
When the success of an event is important, but you don’t have time to organize it yourself, you can consider teaming up with event planners or hybrid event producers to ensure a good start.
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2. Identify and Understand the Target Audience
The next important factor to consider is your target audience. If you fully understand your target audience, your hybrid event is more likely to succeed. Make it a priority to gather information about the participants, especially their preferences, needs, and expectations, to name a few. You should know how to draw them in and persuade them to attend your upcoming event.
3. Plan the Event Basics
After identifying the objectives of the hybrid event and your target audience, you can proceed with planning the basic aspects, such as the following:
- Time and date of the event, which can usually be adjusted before deciding on the final one later
- The number of participants
- The event type, which can be a one-day or multi-day gathering
- List of potential venues
The outline of the basics will serve as your guide in the planning process. Additionally, creating it ensures nothing is left out.
4. Prepare the Budget for the Event
Once you have an outline of all the basics for the hybrid event, you can start thinking about an estimate for the budget. Although the basics to include in your budget are likely to vary depending on various factors, you should include the following:
- Rental of the venue and furniture
- Audio-visual equipment along with live-streaming tools
- Event technology such as a virtual event platform or event management platform
- Marketing or advertising campaigns
Remember that you need to prioritize a clear budget right from the start. You can use a budgeting tool to ensure a clear perspective of your company’s finances. Although these are only the basics, expect additions to your budget list as your planning progresses. Doing so will allow you to assess your needs and negotiate with different vendors to ensure you get the best services.
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5. Set the Venue and Date for the Hybrid Event
When hosting a hybrid event, choosing a venue that can readily accommodate the virtual aspect is important. Make sure you consider the location, audio-visual equipment availability, size of the venue, and on-hand facilities.
The location is an important consideration. You should select one that’s accessible to the attendees. However, don’t forget to maintain a balance between accessibility and cost. Remember that venues in premier spots are likely to fetch a higher price tag.
As for the audio-visual equipment, you need to know ahead of time if the current audio-visual equipment in the venue will seamlessly integrate with the virtual event platform you’ll use. Don’t forget to check if there’s enough space for your live streaming equipment. Take note that you might need to collaborate with specific audio-visual companies in some venues, which will add to the cost.
The venue space and available facilities must also be a consideration. The venues you shortlisted must have reliable internet connectivity, storage space for audio-visual equipment, adequate space for attendees to interact, and an area for food and beverage services.
6. Choose the Right Technology for the Hybrid Event
If you want a seamless hybrid event, you should be able to accommodate the virtual aspect by choosing the right virtual platform. This ensures that your attendees stay engaged throughout the entire event. Today, you have various platforms to choose from. So make it a priority to identify your specific technology needs and outline the must-have features you require from a virtual event platform.
The key is to go for a virtual platform that allows you to navigate its features with ease. The right one will not only enable you to host your event successfully but also allow you to carry out your goals. Depending on the hybrid event you’ll be hosting, you should invest in additional solutions such as a mobile event application, live streaming platform, registration platform, or engagement tools.
Final Thoughts on Ensuring the Success of a Hybrid Event
Organizing a hybrid event involves taking into consideration several crucial elements. The key to hosting a successful one relies on fully understanding your target audience—both in-person and remote participants. Aside from knowing your target audience, taking into account the valuable pointers in the planning process will help ensure a successful event. A well-structured hybrid event will play a role in driving awareness and potentially boosting your revenue.
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