What are some tips for a successful hybrid event this 2021?
- Clearly define the event’s goals
- Check if your content is engaging
- Ensure audio-visual systems are working effectively
- Make your audience feel safe
- Rethink the event’s schedule
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry has witnessed a drastic shift in the way events work. More and more companies are considering holding hybrid events instead. For this reason, planners should learn more tips on holding successful hybrid events this 2021.
By definition, hybrid events combine virtual and face-to-face events. This type of arrangement has distinct advantages over traditional setups, such as cost-efficiency, enhanced content engagement, increased ROI, wider audience reach, and safer online audience participation. If it so happens that participants are too far from the venue, they won’t miss out on the event using available digital tools. With hybrid events, there are also lucrative opportunities from enhanced data collection and new lead generation.
Despite its numerous advantages, hybrid events still present unique challenges. There are several factors you should keep in mind to ensure an engaging and memorable attendee experience is delivered. Read on.
Clearly Define The Event’s Goals
Defining event goals is critical in successful planning. Think about why you are holding a hybrid event in the first place — this is the key to ensuring your plans are on target throughout the event decision-making. As every decision you make has a corresponding cost, defining goals will also help you avoid wasting resources. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sponsor engagement, participant satisfaction, profit, and the like.
For example, if you are holding a product launching event, your goal can be to encourage attendees to purchase the product. Knowing this, you will be able to formulate better strategies to highlight the features of your product and generate better conversion rates.
Check If Your Content Is Engaging
Hybrid events are much more challenging to plan successfully compared to traditional events because there is a need to keep virtual and in-person attendees engaged. In particular, numerous distractions can drive virtual attendee engagement away like the urge to browse through social media, family distractions, and more.
To ensure your event effectively reaches its goals, check if your content is engaging. Curate a naturally interesting event topic that will attract the target market. Invest in marketing tactics that will allow your audience to see the value of your event.
You can also enlist a lively and knowledgeable speaker to deliver the content, or organize a variety of activities. Consider having live polls, conducting live Q&A, or coming up with catchy hashtags that can be posted on social media. Improve collaboration among your virtual and in-person attendees by holding quizzes and other collaborative tasks.
On the same note, make sure your hybrid event is of a “digestible” duration. Humans have a limited attention span. No one will want to sit through a 4 or 7-hour event, so try to keep it at 2-3 hours for maximum engagement and participation.
Ensure Audio-Visual Systems Are Working Effectively
Hybrid events heavily rely on technology to run successfully. For the virtual component, choosing a good video conference platform is only one thing. You will need to hire professional tech teams for lighting and sound. The last thing you would want to experience is pixelated video quality, a lagging screen, audio problems, or a slow internet connection.
You would do well to know that a distinct advantage of hybrid events is that you can come up with immersive audio-visual presentations to engage your audience. Take this opportunity to deliver your content creatively. Use animations and timely content to excite attendees and stand out among competitors. It would also be useful to consider choosing a well-equipped venue with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems.
Make Your Audience Feel Safe
Given the continuous threat of the coronavirus, audience safety should still be a priority. It’s natural for attendees to have their fair share of doubts about attending live events because of the pandemic. To ensure its success, reassure that your audience will be safe throughout the hybrid exhibition.
Roll out advisories about the safety protocols you are taking. This can include discussions about wearing of face mask, sanitization, social distancing, contactless temperature check, contact tracing, and the expertise of the staff that continuously enforces these protocols.
Rethink The Event’s Schedule
Hybrid events are advantageous because they are flexible and have a wider audience reach. However, with a wider audience reach, you can also end up attracting global audiences. Schedule the event in a way that accommodates time zone differences between the in-person attendees and virtual attendees. Make it easier for participants to find, access, and attend your hybrid event.
Given the unprecedented shift in the MICE industry, holding a hybrid event proves to be an ideal choice for many organizations today. As it combines both virtual and face-to-face components, it would be best to be knowledgeable about helpful tips for a successful hybrid event in 2021.
Looking to find a venue that is conducive for holding a successful hybrid event? There’s no better choice than World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM). With state-of-the-art exhibitions and event facility such as the contiguous halls equipped with professional audio-visual systems, fully redundant power, spacious floor spaces, wide entrance doors, and gated outdoor spaces, we can make any hybrid event plan come to life. With DOT’s Safety Seal Certification, guests and clients are assured of safety. For more information about our exhibition halls, click here.