In previous articles, we explained the key elements of a hybrid event and what their main benefits were. In this article, we are going to focus on how to organize a hybrid event for it to be successful. If you don’t implement an effective strategy or the tips we share here, it is not an easy work.
The fact that this type of events englobes presential and virtual attendees implies having to consider many elements or aspects. Both parts must obtain the same value. The audience of a hybrid event must feel they are living a quality experience in every moment. For this to happen, we must consider all the event lifecycle, planning and implementing actions “before, during and after”.
How to organize a hybrid event following the essential steps:
Before the event
Define your goals
Even if it seems obvious, it is essential to stablish your goals before you start planning and creating your event. For an event to be successful, you must be clear on why you are organizing it and what you want to achieve with it. It is not necessary to be many objectives, better few and concrete or accurate.
Build your audience
Once defined the goals, you should start building your audience. Actually, this action must be done not only when the event is about to happen, but all-year-round.
Organizing a hybrid event means you can reach exponentially many more people than if it was only presential. But you must be careful that the attendees of your event are part of your target. Ensure you are organizing the adequate event for the adequate people.
In addition, you must be close to your audience. Once they have registered for your event, start thinking about following emails, social media and all that kind of communication that will allow you to be in touch with all your attendees. Make sure they don’t forget about the event and have an interest in it.
Create your marketing tools for the event
This is not a mandatory step, but it is highly recommended. It is about creating a website for the event and an app for mobile devices. These elements make it possible to provide relevant content and information as well as the program of the event, the speakers who will come, etc.
Both the web and the app are two important things that can be the first touchpoint for both presential and virtual attendees. Also, the attendees can use the app to chat between them, program meetings and networking, among others.
Especially, you can use the app to keep attendees active, send them alerts, reminders and generate expectative about the event.
Choose the adequate platform
Apart from the audio, video, and lighting, you will need a great streaming platform to host the virtual part of your hybrid event, and it is not especially easy.
In this step, you must make sure the program you choose is as good as the event you want to create and that It can fit your idea. For this to happen, the Watchity platform makes it easy for you. It allows you to completely customize your streaming, adding overlays, logos, texts, etc., structuring it in the way that best suits, and facilitates the managing of the live shows while transmitting a professional aspect to the audience, among other features.
Registration for the event
The attendees must fill a form before the event. This can be done online, through the event app or web, or using integrated apps and social media profiles.
Therefore, with Watchity you can create registration forms, defined the protected access, manage the attendees lists, add calendar reminders, and send reminder emails. This is all you need to control the attendance and activity around your event.
During the event
Access to the event
As you can suppose, there will be two different ways to access the event, one for the presential attendees, and one for the virtual ones.
If we talk about physical attendees, they should be able to access the event through a contactless ticket with the event app and downloading and presenting their badge as they already registered and are part of the event.
In the case of online attendees, they should be able to access from their profile if they registered before. If they haven’t done it, they should be able to register at that moment as visitants and create a profile with their personal and contact data, just like the other participants.
Moving around the event
One inside, attendees must have ease to move around the event, whether physical or virtual.
In the presential part of the event, the attendees must have a map of the site to know where the talks and the conferences are done, and where the meeting points are located. This cal also be managed easily with the app we mentioned earlier. Make them feel comfortable inside the event!
In the virtual part, ensure the attendees know what the schedule is, what conferences are done and where, who the speakers are, etc. Make them see the event is worth it!
Make hybrid content
Maybe this is the most obvious point of these tips, but it is also one of the most important. If you are hosting a hybrid event, you must create content for all your audience, no matter it is online or live.
Based on your initial goals, you can provide content in different formats depending on which of them suits your audience best. For instance, all the conferences, sessions, and presentations (and almost all the video content) can be recorded. So, you can offer this content under request and after the event.
Involve your audience
Especially in the case of the virtual attendees, it is easy to lose the concentration sometimes when the session is prolonged. In both audiences it is necessary to do short breaks because an input or attention overload reduces the capacity to absorb new information. But it is not about a literal break, it can be an ideal moment to launch a Q&A, to remember the hashtag of the event and invite them to share tweets, etc. It is a way to promote the interaction maintaining their interest in a more relaxed way.
After the event
Measure the success of the event
This stage is very important, and, because of it, it must be included in “how to organize a hybrid event”. Once the event has finished, you must measure the post-event analytics to see if it has been successful or not. Virtual event metrics are formed by attendance, engagement of the attendees, clicks, searches and visits to the profiles, among others. Physical event analytics depend on the system that controls offline data (often, it controls scans, attendance, etc.).
All this monitoring is always easier with Watchity since it allows you to monitor and analyze all data during and after the event. Also, you can discover how many audiences has seen the content and where it has had more impact. Likewise, you will be able to understand your audience and obtain information about their actions and reactions.
Even your hybrid event has finished, you must keep engaging your audience. To do this, you can carry out different actions.
On the one hand, follow-up emails. For instance, you can send your viewers an email to remind them the best moments or to send them an image of the event. Also, you can add links of some content of your organization, such as eBooks, infographics, or corporate videos, among others. If you have an upcoming event, you can also invite them.
On the other hand, lead nurturing. Even some of the assistants to your event can be current customers, many of them may not. For this reason, you must try to generate leads with them taking advantage of the touchpoints during the event. Once you have generated the lead, it is time to feed it from actions such as offering a product demo, scheduling a meeting to understand the needs of the attendee, or sharing relevant content.
Is it clearer now how to organize a hybrid event?
So much for our advice about how to organize a hybrid event. We have done a selection with some of the most important ones. If you would like to find out more information about hybrid events, you can download the “Watchity’s Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Hybrid Event“.
And if you would like to know how Watchity works, don’t hesitate to send us a message or request a demo.