When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, no one could predict how long it would last or how big of an impact it would have. For the events sector, an industry that traditionally relies on the ability to meet and entertain in person, adaptation to digital became non-negotiable.
As we emerge into the post-pandemic landscape, hybrid events are quickly becoming the number one choice for marketing potential and maximum engagement. But how can you execute these events successfully to please crowds and reach KPIs in the process?
If you’re looking for the best hybrid event ideas, we’ve got you covered.
Read on to discover 6 different ways to blend in-person and digital events and wow audiences like never before.
What Is a Hybrid Event?
Before we move on to our top tips for hosting a successful blend of in-person and online experiences, it’s important to define exactly what we mean by a hybrid event.
By definition, a hybrid event is a tradeshow, conference, seminar, or any type of gathering that combines live, in-person activities with a virtual, online component. This could be as simple as streaming a physical event to an online audience, or as advanced as incorporating digital technology into your face-to-face experience.
There are a huge number of benefits to be enjoyed as a result of hybrid events, including:
- Increased reach and audience engagement
- Superior accessibility and inclusion
- More sponsorship opportunities
- Improved access to data and insights
- Enhanced flexibility and sustainability
Hybrid Event Ideas: 6 Different Ways to Blend In-Person and Digital Events
1. Incorporate Virtual Entertainment
We can all admit it – sometimes, the highlights of in-person events are the cocktail sessions, coffee mornings, or exclusive DJ sets included as a bonus. These memorable features not only give people a fresh opportunity to network, but they also make your event a stand-out moment in the calendar.
If you’re hosting a hybrid event with both a virtual and face-to-face audience, it’s crucial to make sure your online attendees don’t get left out of the fun. By using hybrid event technology, you can create shared experiences for everyone to enjoy. This could be as simple as hosting a virtual-only drinks hour with some fun and games thrown in for good measure. Encourage guests to share their experiences on their Instagram stories or with a unique hashtag on Twitter to keep the conversation going and build a sense of community.
2. Get Creative With Networking
One of the best hybrid event ideas we can suggest is to get creative with your networking. In a day and age where networking saturates both in-person and online spaces, it’s vital to offer something new to your audiences.
When it comes to hybrid event best practices, one smart idea to prepare AND launch successfully is to begin the networking cycle BEFORE the event even begins. Through your event management platform, you could section attendees into virtual groups, form online committees, or provide initial talking points to get the conversation started. This means connections will have been established before your hybrid event even kicks off, connecting both your virtual and in-person attendees.
3. Vary Content for Maximum Engagement
When it comes to hosting a hybrid event successfully, providing valuable content should be a top priority. Mixing the two mediums can often distract event organizers from putting this first, but it’s the content of your sessions and speakers that will sell the experience.
Viewers watching at home will have a much shorter attention span than those in the in-person arena, so make sure to offer plenty of comfort breaks and interactive experiences. If you’re looking for examples of hybrid events, The Growth Marketing Conference provided genuine value to their virtual guests by providing a Virtual Access Pass. With access to over 200 insightful webinars for future enjoyment, they were able to offer something unique to digital viewers while immersing them in the subjects at hand.
It’s important to make sure all of your guests have an equally good experience, but special content like this can make or break your event’s success for online visitors!
4. Create a Structured and Well-Balanced Schedule
There’s no denying that coming up with hybrid event ideas or planning one to perfection can be challenging. Organization and structure should remain a priority throughout the planning process, so make sure you’ve got your checklist in place before the process kicks off.
Investing in an innovative event management platform could be the ideal solution. You’ll be able to plan, promote and analyze your hybrid event all in one place, preventing any amateur organizational or tech disasters.
5. Leverage Recorded Content
You’ve hosted an incredible event with a plethora of keynote speakers and engaging workshops, so why let the fun stop there? One of the best ways to maximize results after a successful hybrid event is to leverage that recorded content, both for future events and immediately after.
MozCon has demonstrated how this can be done exceptionally well. While they don’t live-stream their events to a virtual audience with hybrid event technology, recorded versions can be viewed after the event concludes at a discounted rate. They also weaponize that content as part of their marketing strategy, enticing future attendees to buy conference tickets based on value rather than time pressures.
6. Level Up With Hybrid Event Technology
When it comes to piecing together a successful hybrid event strategy for 2022, incorporating hybrid event technology into both the planning process and the event itself is a must. As well as streamlining your arrangements and allowing your teams to work seamlessly together, platforms like Aventri + MeetingPlay can take your hybrid event to the next level.
- Increase Efficiency – by automating and integrating time-consuming tasks and leveraging a whole host of event management tools, all in one place.
- Boost Brand Awareness – design an engaging and completely branded event experience for each key attendee touchpoint.
- Gain Better Insights – collect real-time data on events and meeting performance through apps and badging or checking solutions.
- Make Strategic Decisions – connect your CRM and marketing applications with Aventri + MeetingPlay and gain critical insights that fuel smarter decisions.
The events industry is constantly evolving and to stay ahead, businesses and brands must embrace hybrid and all of its many advantages. Learn more about Aventri + MeetingPlay's hybrid event technology. Request your live demo here.