This article is part of an Events Insight series paid for by Cvent.
Hybrid events can broaden your audience and brand exposure, offer an international perspective, and provide a richer experience for everyone involved. But there are a lot of misconceptions circulating about what a hybrid event format entails and the best ways to plan for these events.
By the simplest definition, hybrid events are a mix of in-person and virtual events. However, just recording your event and streaming it live isn’t enough to call it hybrid. The secret ingredient to a hybrid event is engagement and to generate engagement with a virtual audience you need to really think about the full experience you provide them.
Most audiences will not view a virtual offering as a replacement for attending in-person. Instead, offering a virtual experience for your event can expand the reach of your event and introduce it to new audiences. Having your event available virtually enables you to attract attendees from around the world. You can finally invite people who may be interested in your event but were limited geographically by an in-person only offering previously.
A good hybrid event is a balancing act in which the in-person and virtual audiences are treated equally. However, this does not mean you can get away with using the same engagement tactics for both audiences. Your end-goal should be: one event, two experiences.
Forgetting to acknowledge and adapt for the online audience is a common mistake among speakers and event hosts. To avoid doing that, make sure to welcome both your virtual and physical attendees at the start of the event to ensure that the people present in the room know that your virtual audience is also an important part of the event.
Avoid ‘webinar fatigue’ by including content with a cinematic appeal or one that encourages dialogue between the speaker and audience. Schedule Q&A sessions and behind-the-scenes content during in-person coffee breaks so that your online participants are never looking at an empty conference room.
Facilitating virtual attendee interaction may seem daunting, but there are several session formats that can help. An example is to have virtual roundtable discussions that let attendees connect and network with one another. You can also host live Q&A sessions that allow participation from both virtual and in-person attendees.
When you start to plan your next hybrid event, don’t get too caught up in misconceptions. Here are 5 Tips to Nail Your Next Hybrid Event that will set yours apart from others.
If you want even more in-depth tips on hybrid events, take a peek into Cvent’s exclusive eBook.
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