How to organise a hybrid event

How to organise a hybrid event

A hybrid event is an event that com­bines the com­po­nents of a live, in-per­son event and a vir­tu­al event. The ben­e­fits of this style of event include increased reach, greater engage­ment, and improved Return on Invest­ment (ROI).
This arti­cle looks at how to organ­ise a hybrid event allow­ing you to ben­e­fit from the points men­tioned above and take advan­tage of enhanced flexibility.

Summary:

  1. Plan the num­ber of atten­dees expected
  2. Plan a bal­anced agenda
  3. Cre­ate a buzz
  4. Ask for event feedback
  5. Con­clu­sion

1. Plan the number of attendees expected

In order to plan your event cor­rect­ly, it is impor­tant to have a good idea of the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants expect­ed. It is impor­tant to set up dif­fer­ent tick­et types in your online tick­et­ing soft­ware : one for in-per­son atten­dees and one for vir­tu­al participants.

2. Plan a balanced agenda

The chal­lenge with hybrid events is that you’ll be pre­sent­ing to two dif­fer­ent audi­ences — in-per­son atten­dees and vir­tu­al par­tic­i­pants. Each group has dif­fer­ent needs and expec­ta­tions from the event. How­ev­er, in order for a hybrid event to be suc­cess­ful, it is impor­tant to sat­is­fy both audiences.

In-person attendees

In-per­son atten­dees are like­ly to be more engaged as they have invest­ed time and mon­ey into trav­el­ing to the event. Fur­ther­more, being at the loca­tion of the event tends to help peo­ple stay focused and be more present in the moment.

The mere fact that they showed up in per­son to your event is a def­i­nite sign you already have their atten­tion — and they’re will­ing to com­mit their time to you. Whilst get­ting their atten­tion is easy, main­tain­ing this through­out is more of a challenge.

There­fore, pro­vid­ing con­tent that holds their inter­est is essen­tial. Some great ways of doing this include:

  • Define what they want - They may want to lis­ten to spe­cif­ic speak­ers, learn more about your ser­vices, under­stand your mis­sion bet­ter, or have oth­er spe­cif­ic needs. Find out what their rea­son is and tai­lor your event to deliver.
  • Offer an exclu­sive ses­sion - Record the con­tent. At the end of the event you can add extra val­ue by offer­ing the record­ing to all attendees.
  • Hire enter­tain­ment - It keeps atten­dees engaged. You could have dancers, magi­cians, or stand-up come­di­ans deliv­er short per­for­mances rel­e­vant to your event or brand.

Virtual participants

Vir­tu­al par­tic­i­pants are slight­ly more dif­fi­cult to engage with and it is high­ly like­ly that atten­dees are mul­ti­task­ing when watch­ing your event.
As a result, keep­ing them engaged can be chal­leng­ing — chal­leng­ing, but not impos­si­ble. That’s why it’s also impor­tant to define what they want and give it to them.

Here are some tips:

  • Keep con­tent short and eas­i­ly digestible - Make it use­ful, rel­e­vant, and infor­ma­tive. Their remote set­ting offers mul­ti­ple distractions.
  • Use polls - Online Polls allow you to inter­act with the par­tic­i­pants dur­ing the event. Short quizzes will do this too.
  • Opti­mise for mobile use - If they can eas­i­ly switch from a com­put­er or lap­top to their mobile phones then they’ll have one less rea­son to miss out on parts of your event.

3. Create a buzz

Mar­ket­ing is so impor­tant for a hybrid event because it gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow your event and ensure the peo­ple who would like to attend know it is hap­pen­ing. It increas­es brand and prod­uct aware­ness, boosts cus­tomer loy­al­ty, and gen­er­ates leads. It also allows you to build last­ing rela­tion­ships with your attendees.

To cre­ate a buzz around your event con­sid­er these use­ful mar­ket­ing strategies:

  • Email mar­ket­ing — Emails are one of the most effec­tive ways of direct­ly reach­ing out to tar­gets. To max­imise their impact, craft strik­ing con­tent, per­son­alised sub­ject lines and com­pelling call-to-actions (CTAs). To do this, you can use a CRM.
  • Social media mar­ket­ing — Find out the social media plat­form where the major­i­ty of your tar­get audi­ence engages with and con­nect with them there.
  • Con­tent mar­ket­ing — Opti­mise your con­tent to deliv­er the most impor­tant mes­sages about your event. This includes announce­ments of speak­ers, details for reg­is­tra­tion and an out­line of top­ics covered.

While research has shown that the above-men­tioned mar­ket­ing strate­gies has worked won­ders for mar­keters, there’s no say­ing they’ll have the same pos­i­tive impact on you. The only way you can guar­an­tee they’ll also work won­ders for you is to use Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tors (KPIs).

Here are the KPIs to monitor:

  • Email open rate - Strive to go beyond the aver­age open rate of 16.97%. In addi­tion to the email mar­ket­ing strate­gies dis­cussed, effec­tive strate­gies cre­ate curios­i­ty and improve demo­graph­ic targeting.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) - This refers to the per­cent­age of clicks of an email. If it’s high, it indi­cates right demo­graph­ic tar­get­ing, cap­ti­vat­ing CTA, and excel­lent email content.
  • Social media engage­ment - This describes the effec­tive­ness of your com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your tar­get audience’s online com­mu­ni­ty. The more engaged peo­ple are with you on social media, the high­er their inter­est is in your event.
  • Social media shares - This refers to the num­ber of times peo­ple share your con­tent on social media. A high num­ber of social media shares is ben­e­fi­cial for you — it increas­es the num­ber of peo­ple who want to attend your event.
  • Con­ver­sion rate - This refers to how many peo­ple reg­is­tered for your event through your mar­ket­ing approach.

4. Ask for event feedback

source : https://paperform.co/templates/event-evaluation-form/

Get­ting feed­back is incred­i­bly impor­tant. It not only tells you how atten­dees felt about the event, but it also helps you under­stand what you can do bet­ter for future events.

Here are some ways of gath­er­ing feedback:

  • Feed­back forms - Via email, send your tar­get audi­ence a set of ques­tions. Most ques­tions should have mul­ti­ple choice answers. How­ev­er, be sure to include a ques­tion that allows them to give open-end­ed answers too.
  • Net Pro­mot­er Score (NPS) sur­veys - Also via email, ask your audi­ence to rate your event. NPS sur­veys are effec­tive because they’re sim­ple to complete.
  • Phone calls - Hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with your tar­get audi­ence is a sure­fire way of under­stand­ing them. Lis­ten to the tone of their voice and their choice of words to get a sense of how they feel about your event.

To ensure that you’ll be receiv­ing the cor­rect feed­back, ask these questions:

  • Were you sat­is­fied with the event?
  • Was the event easy to navigate?
  • What were your favorite moments?
  • Did the event meet your expectations?
  • What could be improved upon?
  • Would you attend future events?

5. Conclusion

Orga­niz­ing hybrid events isn’t so sim­ple. How­ev­er, it’s not rock­et sci­ence either.

As dis­cussed above, you need to be mind­ful that you’re organ­is­ing an event that caters to two types of peo­ple. And if you’re plan­ning to organ­ise a hybrid event the sec­ond (or third or fourth…) time around, don’t for­get to ask for event feedback.

Cre­ate an event


Author Bio: 

Rebec­ca DiCioc­cio is the Mar­ket­ing Man­ag­er at Paper­form. Out­side of work, Rebec­ca can be found explor­ing the out­doors or with a book in hand. Rebecca’s back­ground in copy­writ­ing and keen inter­est in SEO and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing mean she under­stands the impor­tance of stay­ing up to date with the lat­est trends in a dynam­ic and ever chang­ing industry. 

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