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A Complete Guide to Hybrid Events

Chati Team
July 5, 2022

Hybrid events offer the best of both worlds. They give event organizers the chance to reach a wider audience and attendees the option of attending however they’re more comfortable, in person or virtually. But what’s an event organizer to do to pull off the best hybrid event and make all attendees feel engaged and included? Read on for tips on what you can do and how hybrid events can be used to your advantage.

First Steps First, Planning a Hybrid Event

Make sure your event doesn’t fall short on technology. Event platforms like Chati can offer vital features for event planners to simulate that in-person experience in the virtual world:

  • An easy registration process that’s separate for virtual and in-person attendees
  • Efficient streaming that allows multiple simultaneous streams from the in-person event to stream to any number of virtual attendees
  • Event apps that keep virtual attendees engaged, including networking opportunities
  • Options for chatrooms, private video calls, and Q&A sessions

If your budget allows, having two separate teams plan for the in-person and virtual aspects of the event can help streamline the event-planning process.

An event checklist can also help make sure you’ve dotted your “i’s” and crossed your “t’s”. Some things to include on the checklist:

  • Sending out invites to in-person and virtual attendees
  • Keeping track of attendee registration and resending invites if needed
  • Creating a theme for the event
  • Designing virtual and physical venues for the event
  • Having a marketing campaign to promote the event
  • Branding for the virtual and physical venues
  • Having event guidelines and ensuring people are able to follow them on the day of the event
  • Planning for health and safety accommodations as needed
  • Having both physical and virtual booths for event sponsors
  • Rehearsing with keynote speakers
  • Connecting streaming at the physical venue with the virtual platform so virtual attendees can watch
  • Moderating the live chat
  • Managing Q&A
  • Making sure technical equipment is running smoothly
  • Troubleshooting technical issues

Creating Suspense

Don’t save virtual footage for only virtual attendees the day of the event. Use technology to your advantage to get people interested and boost event ticket sales. Play on the fear of missing out with sneak peeks of the event in the form of warm-up sessions in the weeks leading up to the event.

The Day of the Event

You’ve planned your event, now you’re ready to see it through. First up, registration. For virtual goers, have a registration suite. For in-person attendees, have a check-in area with printed badges and Although a well-planned event is sure to captivate its audience, attendees may need a break to step away for a bit. Keep them tuned in wherever they go with mobile apps that allow them to access footage on other devices.

In terms of content, don’t just stream presentations from the in-person event to the virtual audience and call it a hybrid event. Re-create an in-person experience in a virtual world while making virtual attendees feel like they’re there in person. Do provide streams of the in-person event, but also offer virtual attendees their own exclusive content. This can include having them join in on the in-person Q&A sessions or having their own Q&A sessions, roundtables, live polls, and VIP networking. If both groups join in on the same Q&A session, you may choose to have a camera that pans in on the person asking the question at the physical venue and/or give virtual attendees the chance to ask questions live on camera, too.

For in-person attendees, when keynote speakers swap out, they normally can network with each other or sponsors. What’s a virtual attendee to do during these breaks? Give them similar opportunities. Encourage them to network with other virtual but also onsite attendees using mobile event apps. Show content from sponsors or offer them entertainment or games to keep them reeled in. Entertainment ideas can get creative—think DJs, comedians, and trivia questions.

Last but not least, don’t forget the swag. What’s an event without free stuff? And what better way to get your brand out there than to stamp it on this free stuff? Virtual attendees can also partake in the swag excitement. Mail them their swag before the event starts so they’ll have it by the event. Use a virtual photo booth where virtual attendees can show off their swag.

A Hybrid Event’s Lasting Impression

Not only do they let your attendees experience the event their way, but hybrid events give your brand greater outreach and scope with the larger audience. It’s a win-win. Plus, with virtual data collection easily incorporated through your event platform, you get concrete results on your ROI you can use when promoting your brand to sponsors for future events.

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