Hybrid event ideas:
best practices to improve your hybrid event
Why explore hybrid event ideas?
Hybrid event best practices
Hybrid event ideas that encourage engagement
Give all attendees equal status
These might include giving your virtual attendees a dedicated onsite moderator or MC who voices their questions to the speaker during live Q&A sessions. Or allowing them to plan out their day – scheduling meetings in breakout rooms like they would if they attended in person, for example.
Event managers tell us that one of the main challenges they face in running events generally is that attendees can be passive. Being in a big hall with hundreds of people can deter some people from speaking up but with online events, you can be more anonymous. Audiences tend to react more when they’re under less pressure so encourage people to ask what they really want to know! Using interactive presentation software allows you to gather responses across both audiences simultaneously.
Bring the fun
Often, it’s the entertainment that really gets people talking about events. Whether it’s the cocktail bar, the live band or the amazing food, bringing the fun factor is important and this doesn’t easily translate to virtual environments.
That’s why you need to get creative – give them recipes so they can rustle up their own cocktails, live stream the band’s set, add a virtual photo booth so they can share their favourite drinks creations or dance moves. The options are only limited by your imagination! The more fun they are having, the more likely they are to share their experiences on social media and create buzz for your brand.
Add the wow factor
A large section of your audience will be sitting at a desk following your event. Aside from the amazing content you will have built into your programme, it’s vital to have attention-grabbing features that make your guests sit up and take notice or at least put down their cup of coffee for a minute! Hybrid events platforms offer many unique ways to get the attention of your audience and special technical effects to make your event stand out (we call them wow features).
It’s not all about the short-term buzzes, when it comes to making a lasting impression, having an event app is invaluable. Your clients can revisit your content for months after the event, watching sessions they missed or rewatching their favourites, downloading details of their new connections. It becomes a mine of information, both for onsite and virtual guests.
Discuss your hybrid event ideas with an experienced partner
It’s not all about the big effects either, sometimes it’s the small tweaks that make your event memorable. Using a particular technique in a different context, for example – instead of using QR codes on presentations to get more information, you might implement the technology to add a fun element to an ice breaker.
Hybrid event ideas that maximise networking opportunities
The added bonus of hybrid events is that you can begin this networking before the event itself starts. You can split attendees into virtual groups, provide talking points or ice-breaking activities or use smart matchmaking technology to boost networking.
It could be as simple as asking your guests to give their main hobbies and interests as part of their registration, for example, or a more detailed questionnaire that allows buyers and sellers to be matched. Again, the same system should be used for in-person and online attendees so making new connections is easy for all your guests.
Ideas for customising your hybrid event
Hybrid event best practice: always vary the content
How to progress your hybrid event ideas: where your provider comes in
Discuss your goals for the event and tap their brains, try free demos and walk-throughs. Let them guide you through a typical platform set-up so you can see what it looks like and how it works. Talk to them about which features can help you reach these goals.
Ask them how they support both the hardware and software requirements. Do they have local audiovisual partners that can set up the equipment you’ll need, such as microphones, cameras and lighting? Do they offer a project management tool to guide you through each step?
Whatever’s holding you back, it doesn’t have to. With the right platform, the transition to hybrid can be straightforward and enjoyable! We all know that when you’re pressed for time, the tendency is to stick with what you know. But don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from choosing the right solution for your business event.
Now you’re armed with some best practice examples of hybrid event ideas, your next step is to find the best hybrid event platform provider to partner with. Visit our guide for more on making the right choice