How to run a Hybrid Event: The 6 Fundamentals
In this article, we’ll look at how to run a Hybrid Event and the key considerations for organising a seamless experience.
When organising your hybrid event, you must put as much thought into both the virtual and in-person experience. To ensure both types of attendees are engaged and have a successful experience, there are 6 fundamentals to consider when you are asking yourself how to run a hybrid event.
- Choosing the right platform
You want your delegates to remember your event for all the right reasons and recommend you to other people.
This is important to think about when choosing an online platform to host your hybrid conference. Do your research and select a reliable, user-friendly platform that offers interactive features such as:
- Live streaming
- Chat functions
- Networking opportunities
- Envelope your attendees in the experience
Make your online attendees feel like they are at the event.
Speakers should directly address the virtual audience and involve them the same way they involve the live audience – you may need to make sure you give them training on this.
Adapt your content if need be and bear in mind that virtual attendees may have different needs and attention spans compared to in-person attendees.
In our experience, it is advisable to consider:
- Shorter presentation formats
- Interactive sessions
- Engaging multimedia elements to get them involved, such as word clouds, polls, and videos.
- Keep engagement high
One of the keys to unlock the answer to ‘how to run a hybrid event’ is to never ‘switch off’ from your virtual audience so they don’t switch off from you!
Provide networking opportunities between both live and online audiences throughout break or lunch times to encourage interaction and foster a sense of community.
Use interactive tools throughout, such as:
- Virtual chat
- Live online networking session
- Live polls
- Twitter Questions
For a recent event, our client wanted to ensure that their audience had a great experience online and left feeling like they were there in person. To make this happen, our expert team ensured that their online attendees were thought about throughout every step of the event planning process.
- Reliability of equipment
Ensure your AV equipment is high-quality, and your internet connection is reliable. Both in-person and virtual experiences should stream clear, professional, and be well-executed.
Your online audience can leave at the click of a button, so it is crucial the event runs seamlessly and to time.
Did you hear the horror story about a performer turning up to an event with their own sound technician? They wanted to use an iPad to run all their sound for the performance and just before the performance was about to start the iPad did a system update and they lost everything from their rehearsals. All the audience could hear was a high-pitched squeal.
Take note of the above situation and remember it when it comes to ensuring that the equipment used to stream anything at your event is tried, tested, and recommended.
- Practice, practice, practice
Ensure you test your chosen platform thoroughly before performing your first hybrid event and have back up plans in place.
Allow enough time to load speaker presentations onto your chosen streaming platform and carryout several rehearsals before the event. Everyone needs to know what they are doing in the case of a back-up plan needing to be used or if there were any technical issues or internet outages.
When we run events, there is always plenty of time built in for rehearsals and testing. Ample amount of time and test sessions should be scheduled before the event, and everyone involved in the event should be aware that practice sessions are happening and when.
- Clarity is crucial
Provide clear instructions and support.
Offer detailed instructions and support for virtual attendees to access the event platform, navigate to the sessions and troubleshoot any difficulties they may encounter.
Experience tells us that you need to answer all these FAQ’s:
- Who should I contact if…
- Am I missing out if I don’t attend the event live?
- Is there a way I can watch the sessions back?
- How do I log into the virtual platform?
- How do I participate in the interactive sessions?
- My sound isn’t working, what should I do?
Covering these points will absolutely give you the answers on how to run a hybrid event.
By considering all the above fundamental factors, you can create a well-organised and engaging hybrid event that effectively caters to both an in-person and virtual audience.
To hear what some of our clients have said about working with Compleat take a look at our Video Testimonials.
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