Hybrid events offer great opportunities

Hybrid events offer great opportunities and are the future of many events and conferences.

A hybrid event takes place live with a (smaller) audience, but can also be attended digitally. This is not just a matter of livestreaming the events on stage. If you want to organise an effective hybrid event, you have to continue to excite and connect both the physical audience and the online audience, and the entire experience has to be seamlessly connected. Different, yet equal.

Hybrid events are the future for many congresses and events. Going back to the way things were is neither possible nor desirable. The advantages of online should be cherished and taken into the future of events. A few ideas.

Manage expectations for both the live and online portion

Of course, you make sure participants know what to expect from your event, but when you combine live and digital it is even more important. Your virtual guests need to know how to log in and your live guests need to know that the audience is watching online. Also clearly indicate in advance that there is a choice: be physically present or from behind the computer or in a combination.

Think ‘digital-first

When making choices about the speakers, the floor plan of the setting and the programme, keep the digital participants in mind. Someone who is present live has a different attention span than someone who is watching online. In addition, you want the digital audience to be able to participate by asking questions to the speakers or networking with the other participants. So make sure you have shorter sessions with a good focus and enable networking between both.

On-demand is key

The great advantage of a hybrid event or conference is that the content can be reused when the meeting is over. This is also the way to increase the ROI and impact of your event. So think carefully about that impact and how you can best use and integrate it into your overall campaign.

Content is leading

Content and knowledge events need a stable and experienced partner who takes their objectives seriously and doesn’t come up with all kinds of bells and whistles where the message gets lost. Even though there are more and more interesting online tools to be found, content still comes before (online) form.

What if high-quality knowledge is central?

What do you do when an event is all about knowledge and content? Think, for instance, of the science, education, government, healthcare and IT sectors? In meetings for these sectors, high-quality knowledge and networking are central and it is less about the ‘pretty picture’ or the show around it. Of course there is plenty of fun and interaction to be had at these events, but the message and connecting people remains the most important.

This post is also available in: Dutch

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