Event marketers, planners, businesses, and individuals will explore a new events landscape in the coming year. We’ve heard dozens, hundreds, or maybe thousands of times over the past two years how the COVID-19 pandemic taught us to be flexible. We know the dilemma of connecting virtually with loved ones, coworkers, and clients. Hybrid events emerged to solve these challenges -- they cater to in-person and remote audiences. Still, they can be a challenge to pull off perfectly; as the saying goes, “with change (and some pain) comes growth” these changes instigated impressive innovation and new opportunities.
During this time, innovation will continue to bring about a new set of questions, opportunities, and concerns as companies leverage the benefits of hybrid events this year. Hybrid events are the best of in-person and virtual formats: they combine engaging face-to-face connections and immersive online experiences to engage untapped audiences. Event organizers can make the most of the program when planned and executed correctly.
While a virtual or hybrid event cannot compete with the energy and connection of an in-person event, there are several upsides to fully or hybrid virtual events. You can engage with more supporters and make your presentation accessible to them on a global scale, allowing anyone with an internet connection to attend.
According to the Event Manager Blog, 71% of event organizers want to retain Virtual events elements even if in-person events open.
Expect to see multiple smaller-scale events spread across the 2022 calendar. Instead of significant, large-scale events, a hybrid event platform allows businesses to plan events on their scale.
Once thought of as a revenue source, events are PR activities. Rather than targeting a smaller number of people with a gated event, open virtual and hybrid events target people at multiple points in the sales funnel.
Data and metrics are a change catalyst in the events realm, and it is the impetus for companies to host hybrid and Virtual Events. Each event visitor is meticulously recorded, thereby influencing critical business decisions. Expect to see pronounced increases in event data mining -- we suggest planning accordingly with surveys, games, and visitor statistics.
Event platforms like WeInvite offer businesses the opportunity to engage with attendees in various ways. WeInvite’s webinar features enable users to host up to 50,000 visitors and is a scalable, open cloud technology offering advanced features. It’s integrated with Zoom, which means your attendees will easily find their way into the event. We’ll cover a comprehensive list of features at the end of this article.
While planning an event, think about your target audience and how best to engage and include them. Create a strategy to elevate your audiences experience – your participants are the heart of your event. Yet, events are for brand marketing and are essential to business.
Take hints from sports broadcasts; observe how they use live audiences to engage viewers. When the virtual audience sees the live one, it elevates their experience. The reverse is also true – a large online audience makes your live audience feel like they are a part of something extraordinary. The in-person audience consists of the few who experience your event in a live setting.
Here are a few tips to help your event be memorable and successful:
Camera setups and live event streaming to virtual audiences are not enough. Remote attendees want to feel invested. We have a few suggestions to make this happen -- there are many ways to engage remote and in-person attendees together.
Allow live Q & A, voting, or comments for remote attendees and allow live audiences to see the comments and questions. You may want to hire an emcee to moderate this portion of the event. The in-person audience can do the same on their mobile devices to ensure everyone can participate equally. Another option is to offer in-person and remote attendees opportunities to take photos and videos then share them using event-related hashtags.
Trade Show News Network advises that event organizers think of the event as an interactive webpage. They also recommend that your hybrid event have a solid content strategy with impactful material, so start planning as early as possible. Be creative and build your event to match your brand’s image.
A dynamic speaker or entertainer in front of a live audience may lack experience or the ability to excite remote audiences. Consider schoolteachers who had to teach both in-class and remote students in 2020 – many remote students felt invisible. Juxtaposed with that is a talented YouTuber or online influencer; they engage remote audiences flawlessly and speak in front of a webcam for hours. Whomever you choose, your emcee may need some rehearsing.
Incorporate VIP in-person ticket packages into your event, especially if your meeting is open to all and free to attend. VIP tickets maximize revenue and make in-person guests feel essential – because they are! Also, limiting the number of attendees can simplify event management and make engaging both audiences equally a little easier.
Pre-running your event program is critical to preparedness. It offers foresight into glitches and technical issues and prepares you for them. Rehearsing with in-home presenters acclimates them to the camera and your event platform; it helps them feel comfortable. Also, consider having a team member available to assist with technical issues that might occur.
When planning the event, stretch the program content as far as possible to appeal to both audiences, which is a little complicated. Design content for the live audience, then adapt it for your distant audience.
Think of it this way: your live audience has a more significant stake since they paid to attend in person. They’ve put in the effort and taken the time to be present and network. Consider what each audience will see and how they interact during the event.
WeInvite simplifies connecting with customers, clients, and colleagues. Think of it as your conferencing tool with a suite of features that take you from planning to production.
WeInvite features include:
WeInvite is a comprehensive platform that takes you from planning to the event stage. Sign Up here on our site today to explore our features and reach out to us for a demonstration. We’d love to hear from you!