hybrid events 2021

Our last article explained how to upgrade your virtual events to actually entertain and engage your remote audience. Now though, we’re showing you how to master the hybrid events model. We’re not going to have conference halls back anytime soon, but at the same time, there will be opportunities to have small gatherings. By leveraging technology and the warmly welcomed return of in-person micro-events, your business can create an impressive experience.

Most of the focus in this article will be how to enhance the experience for online attendees – this is the group that requires more thought and planning to ensure that they leave impressed by the insights, entertainment, and knowledge garnered from the event.

What are hybrid events?

Hybrid events are essentially a combination of a traditional event with technological tools that provide experiential value, increase audience engagement and open up broader access to event attendance. For an event to be hybrid, it includes a group of people meeting face-to-face and another accessing the event remotely.

If you’re looking to enhance a fully virtual event, we’ve got an article for that too!

Benefits of hybrid events

An event’s goal often is to showcase services or products to the audience, engage with the brand and come away with key learnings. A hybrid event, when done well, offers the opportunity to increase ROI and generate reach and engagement.

Here’s a shortlist of why hybrid event works:

  • Reaches a larger audience
  • Provides new and engaging ways to deliver content
  • Cuts overheads per attendee
  • Improves the experience for all attendees, both in-person and virtual
  • Removes travel costs for those attending virtually
  • Offers personalised content
  • More environmentally friendly

How to plan your next hybrid event

Planning a hybrid event does require a lot of focus on organising the logistics. A lot of event going hybrid for the first time will end up with a disjointed result, where there is no interaction or coherence between the virtual and in-person attendees. It ends up feeling as though two totally different events are occurring at the same time. Here are expert tips to succeed when designing your hybrid event.

Measure success

Before getting into logistics, choosing a venue or anything else – spend time to get clear on exactly what makes your event a successful one and settle on how you’re going to quantify these metrics. Not only does this help shape the event with a clearly defined purpose that all decisions stem from, but also this is highly valuable data for future events. So, in a nutshell, set goals, set how you’re going to measure them, and consistently incorporate them into the event’s planning stages.

Audience segments

Defining an audience for an event is always up there on the list of to-dos. However, with hybrid models, there’s more factors to think about. For example, the price for your virtual audience will often be lower, opening the doors to people who wouldn’t otherwise be attending your event.

Also, you can factor in people that live further away. After that, it’s a matter of how you’re going to reach these people. Do these audience segments require an offshoot campaign?

What’s going to excite your in-person audience to attend will be very different from virtual attendees’ enticements. Attending an event often involves good food, a standout venue and even freebies. Having one campaign often doesn’t work when reaching out to those tuning in from home or the office – so much of the attractions and benefits will feel irrelevant. A separate event campaign showcases all the ways that this event provides value to remote attendees.

Video styles

Videography matters. It’s essential to a hybrid event. If you don’t already have a team allocated to ensuring video is on point – then it’s worth putting that as a priority.

Managing the videography isn’t just checking that the video and sound are running smoothly. Creating quality shots along with a style that’s professional, engaging and on-brand with crisp sound shows that you value those tuning in from their computers.

An added bonus is you have these epic shots to share across social media, making attendees look forward to the next event and increasing your brand’s visibility across social channels afterwards.

Use tech to stand out

People are fed up with Zoom. Not to bad mouth the platform – it has enabled so many vital communications across 2020 and into 2021.

If you’re hosting a hybrid event and looking to impress – use the wealth of tech that is out there! Think about how you can make each stage of the event interactive – creates competitions, add in fun demos, quizzes. How will your event pull in the user so that they aren’t staring passively into the laptop?

Make your event authentic

Lauren Weatherly, Forbes writer and PGi’s SVP of Marketing, puts this perfectly:

“People don’t want events for the sake of events. An event’s content should deliver value to attendees in ways they did not before the pandemic.”

If you’re hosting an event, it really does need to be educational, insightful and worthwhile. Online events have torn down a lot of barriers to entry, namely the cost of renting a venue, so people’s social media feeds are filled with invites to events. The quality of what you’re putting out combined with a solid marketing campaign will sell tickets.

Take breaks and offer shorter sessions

Zoom fatigue is not something you want your attendees to feel – that huff and scrubbing of the eyes are familiar to many of us by now. Give people plenty of opportunities to stretch the legs and brew a cuppa. If you’ve got keynote speakers, shortening each presentation down helps create a flow to the event.

At Film Your Event, we are fully equipped with expertise and a talented crew to provide all the video work that you need for your event to be the best that it can be. You can check out our production packages here and how working with us maximises your event’s potential.

If you are looking for virtual event services in London or Belfast, get in touch with our sister companies:

Virtual Events London & Virtual Events Belfast