Hosting hybrid events has many advantages to you as a producer or manager, including an expanded reach, budget reduction and higher return on investment (ROI), among others. But, providing an outstanding experience to both sides of your audience, in-person and virtual, may require some creativity from you and your team.
No matter what type of hybrid event you’re hosting, there are many different ways to make it special for all attendees. So, what does it take to create a positive, memorable hybrid event experience? Let’s find out!
Start With The Event Implementation Process
When it comes to providing the audience with the best hybrid experience possible, it’s essential that you start honing every aspect of your implementation process. It’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of in-person attendees, but what about virtual attendees? On the big day, the venue will have a lively atmosphere, with plenty to see and do, while people explore exhibit booths, sponsor messaging, presentations and so on. Recreate that same excitement online with a few creative tricks. For instance, stream some pre-recorded video of the action backstage, build sponsorship material for online users, or set up virtual exhibitor booths. Run a live video segment during breaks that showcases event happenings — take videos of the crowds, venue space, interview individuals and so on. Planning specific ways to ensure virtual users feel as though they’re physically there will improve the all-around experience for everyone.
Get Help From A Virtual Event Platform
It isn’t too hard to set up a live video feed and broadcast it through a social media site like YouTube, but that’s the bare minimum of what a virtual audience expects in 2021. They should feel as though they’re getting maximum value for the cost of a ticket. As such, go above and beyond by working with the best virtual event platform for your needs. These programs give you a way to craft meaningful experiences among those tuning in online, through a number of different engagement features:
Public & Private Live Chat
In-person attendees have the luxury of face-to-face interaction. Deliver an element of that to your virtual audience through live chat in both public and private forums. Using a platform that has moderation capabilities lets you conduct Q&As, one-on-ones with speakers, attendee networking sessions and live polling to gather feedback.
Virtual Exhibition Booths
Access to virtual exhibition booths gives your speakers and sponsors the opportunity to create their own portal to use as they wish. With this, they can craft an experience similar to their in-person booth, including branded messaging, proprietary videos, virtual speaking engagements, third-party content and other unique opportunities for attendees.
The virtual side of your hybrid event is always vulnerable to technical issues, be it poor venue WiFi, camera or microphone failures, or ticket registration, among other things. As such, make sure your platform comes with a full team of technical professionals who can provide you and your team with the proper support, while at the same time addressing any needs online attendees may have.
Social Media Integrations
Social media has never been more important for enhancing the audience experience at a hybrid event. Since a virtual audience is already at their computer, it’s easy for them to share posts around your event content and hashtag. And, don’t forget about new and emerging social media platforms. Today’s consumer has almost nine social media accounts, on average. Make sure your content strategy includes things like short videos for Snapchat and TikTok, longer-form posts for sites like Facebook and attractive images for Instagram.
Work On A “Big Draw”
With your hybrid event, give both types of audiences a value proposition that justifies the ticket price. In-person event production is always a treat, but what about those who cannot attend the live show? When pricing for a virtual component, think about ways you can make the experience worth it — that could mean delivering swag bags via snail mail, personal video conferences with keynote speakers, automatic registration for a giveaway contest or an early-bird preview of upcoming product demonstrations, for example.
Send Personalized Emails
As any good production manager knows, the experience doesn’t end when the event ends. A few days after the curtains close, follow up with personalized emails to your hybrid attendees. Go beyond addressing them by name, by calling out certain interactions with sales people, other attendees or speakers. For example, if there were common topics brought up in certain break-out sessions that the audience member participated in, share subject matter around those points. Pass along some noteworthy recorded materials, images, audio recordings or transcripts that may be of interest to the attendee. Adding value after the event will only help them connect more positively to what transpired.
Are you searching for the best hybrid event platform?
Discover the advantages of using a secure, seamless and stable event platform from Second Stage. We’re the country’s number one name in hybrid event experiences, and will give you the necessary tools to take control of the event management and production process. From high-quality video streaming to fully customizable dashboards to a full suite of audience outreach features and so much more, our end-to-end platform and team of production specialists will help you craft an unforgettable experience.
Let us show you how you can benefit from a hybrid approach that amplifies your upcoming event content – contact us today to learn more about our solutions.