A How-To Guide on Hosting A Hybrid Event
Whether you have broken in that perfect seat on your couch, or you are ready to get out of the house, running a hybrid event could be the solution for your next meeting or event.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is the blend of both live and virtual events in one, combining in-person elements (such as product reveals or presentations like you’d see at a trade show) with the convenient virtual user interaction of a live stream or Zoom meeting.
Nowadays, we never know what the world will bring. When planning events, there is already enough stress involved. Hybrid events allow for great flexibility, especially when dealing with the unexpected. Whether hosting a press conference or launching a new product, a hybrid event or hybrid meeting might be your solution. Follow this guide for more information on how to host a successful hybrid event.
What kind of events can become hybrid events?
- Product Launches
- Client/Employee Meetings
- Virtual Trade Shows
- Press Releases
Running & Organizing Your Hybrid Event
Create a Custom Event Registration Plan
Keep your event organized and stress-free from the start, and create a custom registration plan. Your plan should include an RSVP system, where attendees can choose whether they will attend virtually or live. Will the majority of your audience be attending from the comfort of their home? Or will your audience be in-person?
Market Your Event
Having an audience is the fundamental aspect of hosting a successful event, be it a hybrid event or a more traditional one. Marketing plays a significant role in your turnout. The perk of hosting a hybrid event creates the availability for people to attend from anywhere. Tackle marketing by creating a website for your event, which can include RVSP and an itinerary for your event. In the event industry, the itinerary is considered the “run of show” in which every segment of the event is spelled out to the attendees. The run of show can include anything from the start and end time of the show to speakers at the events. Additionally, create a presence on social media and make your event known among your followers. This can be anything from a post on an Instagram story or an invitation through Facebook.
Think Outside of the Box
I think it is safe to say that most people are “zoomed-out” and tired of sitting on boring virtual calls. That’s why your next hybrid event should have virtual engaging content. Think outside of the box, consider using live polls, Q&As, games, and possibly breakout rooms to change the pace of the traditional virtual atmosphere. Overall, your events should be relevant and engaging to your audience, whether in person or virtual.
You might think incorporating engaging content through a screen would be challenging, but it isn’t. Having access to top-of-the-line AV and broadcast systems can make your next event engaging and worth your time. Consider a video wall, which is a multi-monitor setup that forms one large screen. The large screen has the capabilities to allow virtual attendees to interact with in-person attendees. Furthermore, the video wall can be used to display important information or fetch custom graphics.
Located inside the headquarters of Display Group & AVL Creative in Detroit is Bldg 22. Bldg 22 is a full-service broadcasting studio where your next virtual/hybrid event can take place. Not only is the studio equipped with top-of-the-line audiovisual event production capabilities and broadcasting systems but it features multiple stages. The stages have the ability to transform into kitchens, offices, or really anything with the green room and onsite scenic rentals and custom fabrications.
In between interactive activities, try a simulive format. Simulive is having a prerecorded session for both virtual attendees and live attendees. Remember, a hybrid event is one event and two experiences. The last thing you want to happen is for your virtual attendee to feel left out from the live-action and vice versa. Simulive is ideal for hybrid events, and it’s even better when you have a virtual MC (master of ceremonies) guiding the virtual audience through the event. Having an MC keeps the event organized and clear and keeps the audience engaged. Truthfully, what would an awards ceremony be without an MC and a meeting without a host, even if it’s a hybrid meeting?
Have a Back-Up Plan
Unfortunately, life is not perfect, and everything does not always go as planned. An important tip when planning a hybrid event is to have a backup plan if something goes awry. Some may inevitably struggle to log in to the platform, get logged out, or possibly lose internet connection. Create instructions and link them in a marketing email. The instructions should include common troubleshooting problems. Another tip is to have a designated person be in charge of technical difficulties and provide their contact for assistance.
In this day and age, we all live busy lives. Giving people more than one way to attend an event can increase attendance and make people feel more comfortable overall. Consider a hybrid, the up-and-coming format, for your next event.