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How to Harness the Power of Hybrid Events

March 3, 2021

What is a Hybrid Event?

 

A hybrid event is a conference, meeting, trade show, or event that combines online or digital experiences with in-person components. Hybrid events have enormous scope regarding digital components. They can incorporate live streaming sessions, facial recognition technology, AI, AR, and VR to create innovative experiences for all attendees.

There is no set formula for hybrid events; they offer event planners a wealth of avenues to harness their creativity.

Hybrid events provide the perfect alternative to event cancellations in a world disrupted by COVID-19. The last twelve months have had an enormous impact on the global events industry, with the pandemic changing the way we work, travel, and communicate.

Hybrid meetings help streamline events by harnessing digital technology to enable and enhance communications. A hybrid event could help your business to engage with global audiences from the comfort of your office, launch a new product, or conduct critical market research.

Hybrid Event Examples

 

TwitchCon

Twitch is the world’s largest gaming streaming platform, where millions of users share their gaming experiences every day. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they utilize live streaming power for their annual TwitchCon event. 

TwitchCon brings together gaming fans and live streamers from all over the world in both a virtual and in-person capacity.

 

Apple Special Events

Apple Special Events are some of the world’s most famous tech events, with delegates attending from all over the world. For this reason, Apple chose a hybrid event format for their special announcements and product launches.

Hybrid event technology helps Apple ensure that announcements, new releases, and demonstrations are accessible to a captive global audience.

 

MozCon

Another excellent example of an annual hybrid event is MozCon, a B2B digital marketing conference that streams and records all of the sessions taking place at a physical venue.

Due to the enormous variety of disciplines and topics covered at MozCon, it’s vital that the audience access information during and after the event; this allows delegates to absorb essential information at their own pace.

 

Benefits of Hybrid Events

 

Hybrid events provide a range of benefits to both event planners and attendees. These include:

Increased Attendance and Reach

Hybrid events help you to capture more attendees and increase your reach. This is typically for two reasons; first, attendees are unsure what benefits there are to attending the event physically, and second, because geographic restrictions make traveling impossible or expensive.

 

Increased Engagement

Adding virtual elements to your live events can create multiple opportunities for increasing engagement during the event and once it’s finished. Your audience can simply participate from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

Technology enables participants to like, share, and comment at the click of a button. For example, you may host a guest speaker and harness technology to allow a live Q&A session at your event. This event could be combined with an intimate Twitter Q&A later in the day, doubling the opportunities to engage with your audience.

 

Greater Flexibility

Consider the negative implications if a physical event you had spent months planning was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Hybrid events give you the flexibility to refund physical tickets and host the entire event as an online streaming experience.

With the inclusion of hybrid elements as a backup plan, there is no need to cancel your events, which means you wouldn’t have wasted valuable time and resources, and your attendees will not be disappointed.

 

Hybrid Event Production: Successful Planning Tips

 

When planning a hybrid event, the following tips should bolster your success:

  • Start with an event mission

A clear event mission helps to ensure your attendees remember and talk about the event. Whether you’re creating a virtual trade show or presenting a B2B talk, smart event branding can help you achieve your marketing goals. Consider creating a tagline or motto that your audience can share and search for after your event.

  • Invest in content creation

Whether you hire 3D projection mapping experts to turn your event into a visual sensation or work with social media strategists to ensure you reach your audience where they source information, content is crucial.

  • Consider audience engagement and interaction.

Hybrid events combine in-person audiences with virtual attendees. Therefore, audience engagement can be pivotal to the event’s success. How will you engage online viewers? What technology can you use to make them feel a part of the event? How will you make your hybrid event memorable for all?

 

Work with SmartWorks

SmartWorks can help you harness the latest hybrid event trends to create world-class experiences. We’ll work side-by-side with your corporate event planning team, creating seamless events from start to finish. We can also help you with AV production and answer any questions you may have regarding how to plan a conference.  

 

Start planning your hybrid event today.