Hybrid events are similar to TV broadcasts where you have both live and remote audiences. Unlike live streams, hybrid events are made of similar but not identical experiences. In a hybrid event, your live and virtual audiences will perceive slightly different content.
Your virtual audience will not have firsthand experience of the on-site performances, freebies, activities and even scents. To compensate, you can give them benefits and adventures that can only be accessed remotely during hybrid events.
The key is to make it worthwhile, not only for the people who are physically present, but also for remote viewers.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to plan a hybrid event for maximum impact.
7 Tips for Planning Your Next Hybrid Event
1. Identify Your Why
Why are you planning this hybrid event? Is it a promotional campaign? Do you intend to make money during the event? These are just some of the important considerations you should keep in mind.
Your why, or purpose, will determine the kind of audience you need to attract as well as the event program itself. Other details like the event schedule, location, type of media, and duration will also be dictated by your purpose.
The “why” serves as the foundation for your event plan. After you’ve identified the reasons for the event, the next step is to decide on what to showcase.
2. Engage the Senses
When creating your event program, remember this formula: see + hear + feel = total experience.
- See: What do you intend to show your audience? Is there going to be a performance? Is it a demonstration? Will they learn something? Is it a surprise?
- Hear: What do you want them to hear? How do you want them to hear it? Are they supposed to hear the same thing at the same time?
- Feel: What are they supposed to encounter? How can they interact with you and the rest of the audience? What are they supposed to feel during and after the event? Is the event supposed to change their perception about something?
It’s important to stimulate as many senses as possible when conducting hybrid events. The more immersed the audience is, the more likely they are to have a positive experience of your brand.
Your virtual audience will be experiencing the event differently, so you need to make every second count. Create special activities for the virtual attendees and keep them engaged while your live event participants enjoy on-site perks.
Let’s say your event includes product testing for a new makeup brand. In this case, you can create a virtual product testing room for your remote audience.
3. Let the Games Begin!
People love games, so why not apply this principle to your next hybrid event? Create ice-breakers for your virtual audience during transitions to keep them involved. While your live audience explores the venue for activations, you can run interactive mini games and hand out virtual gifts to winners. This will make them feel that they are truly a part of the occasion.
Not sure what to do? Here are some interactive games that you can do during hybrid events. The best part? they also help enhance brand recall:
- Unscramble letters with the product name.
- Guess who/what is on the screen.
- Scavenger hunt for discount codes that randomly appear throughout the event.
Many people have short attention spans, which become even shorter during hybrid events. To keep them hooked, limit each segment of your event to 10 or 15 minutes long. This helps prevent bored viewers from disconnecting or leaving. It also gives everyone a chance to take breaks without missing too much.
4. Select the Right Platform
Hybrid events require both physical and virtual venues, so be prepared to scout for both.
With physical venues, you need to consider accessibility, capacity, built-in equipment, and cost. With hybrid events, you’ll rarely need a big space for your live audience. On average, one-third to half of your target audience is expected to attend virtually.
When it comes to virtual event platforms, it’s a bit more complicated. To maximize attendance and engagement, you’ll want to use a universal platform, one that does not require additional steps such as downloading software.
You’ll also want to work with knowledgeable staff for your hybrid event, especially people who know how to use different digital platforms. They should also know how to transition from one scene to another, broadcast different scenes, add subtitles or pop-ups, and more.
5. Choose the Best Tools
One of the most difficult parts of running hybrid events is equipment selection and preparation. Here, you’ll need someone who has expertise in operating high-tech equipment. How they handle your equipment will affect how good your hybrid event will turn out.
Here are some of the equipment you’ll need for a hybrid event:
- HD cameras
- Wireless and wired microphones
- High-quality sound system
- Recording system (for airing an edited version of your event)
- Ticketing system
- Security system
- Several monitors (e.g., for teleprompting, for production staff, for showing marketing materials)
- Internet connection
- Switches, splitters, and cords
If your budget is limited, your best option is to find a production company that can offer technical support to your team. Many production companies offer different options, from renting their equipment to providing full production support.
6. Review, Rehearse and Prepare!
Just like you do with traditional events, you’ll need to review your event plan, rehearse beforehand, and prepare a contingency plan.
Before hosting your hybrid event, it is important to keep your team informed and updated at all times. Not only will this help make your event preparation easier, but it will also prevent accidents and mistakes that can cost a lot of money.
Make sure to do a run-through with the event hosts, production crew, and a sample audience. This will help you spot flaws and correct them before broadcast. It will also give you a good idea about what to change in case you found the event lacking.
7. Set an Emergency Plan
Most importantly, create a plan to counter accidents and other unforeseen incidents.
For hybrid events, you can produce pre-recorded segments and backup presentations to show to your virtual audience when you encounter a technical problem. You can also assign remote staff to back up footage in case the system at your physical location fails.
Seamless Execution by The Concierge Club
Overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into hybrid events? Set those fears aside and let The Concierge Club manage your hybrid events.
Our crew has thousands of hours of experience in setting up and conducting different kinds of experiences, both in-person and virtual. We have already figured out the pain points involved so you don’t have to.
If you want to keep your audiences engaged wherever they are, give us a call. We’ll help plan and execute the perfect hybrid event for you.