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  • Event Promotion Tips

Hybrid events and how to plan one

  • By Ryan Moss

  • 27 Feb 2023
  • 8 min read

What is a hybrid event?

It’s an event that combines the digital with the physical. So, the live panel discussion you watched online last week? That’s a hybrid event. 

They’re not just panel events. Any time you watch a Boiler Room set on YouTube, you’re watching a hybrid event. 

Why organise one?

In the most simple terms? More attendees and a broader reach. Anyone with an internet connection and a device can access a live stream. They could be in a different part of the world. All they need is a link. 

You’ll get a lot of data from it, too. If you use a bespoke platform, you’ll be able to see who left the event at certain times, how many people attended virtually and where they attended from. You can then go away and analyse the numbers, giving you a clearer picture of how to improve the event based on your findings. 

It’s a chance to try something different, too. You might want to showcase a performer with an audio-visual style. There’ll be lots of moving parts when working in this discipline, and it might cost a lot to organise the event in front of a capacity crowd. So, you could invite a selection of fans and industry people to come down in person and live stream the rest so others can watch along. 

Want to know the practicalities behind hosting a hybrid event? Scroll down and learn more. 

Set your goals for the event

What are your hybrid event goals? Just like any event, it’s helpful to consider them before you begin to organise things. 

Your hybrid event could be a chance to tell the stories of the performers you book. You could organise a panel, inviting the performer and some industry experts to discuss their life and experiences. 

Photo: Luis Quintero / Pexels.com

Sharing information could be a goal. For example, back in 2020, Skiddle organised a webinar to discuss the event industry at the height of the pandemic. You could do something similar. Ours was all digital, but you could sell a set amount of live tickets and invite people virtually too. 

Once you have a goal in mind, everything becomes a little bit easier. You can get granular on the subject matter of your discussions, and you’ll be able to understand exactly who to target when it comes to marketing the hybrid event. 

Give your virtual attendees the best experience

Don’t skimp on the equipment. Your hybrid event could have the most immersive features or the broadest reach, but the success hinges on the audio and visual quality. 

If the live stream is marred with buffering or poor sound, virtual attendees will leave straight away. They might be turned away and spread the word to others, leaving you with a damaged reputation when it comes to hybrid events. 

Treat your virtual attendees with the care you would your physical attendees. Look into streaming equipment. What’s the best on the market? Are there any dos and donts? What can you afford? Can you hire equipment?

It might be worth bringing an expert on board if you haven’t got one on your team. They can advise you on best practices, ensuring your virtual attendees get the best experience and the event as a whole is a success. 

Be intentional when carrying out tests. Run several test streams before the event begins and ask for feedback throughout the event on the quality of the stream. 

Ensure that you have a support team on hand if anything does go wrong. No event is perfect, which means some hiccups may happen, but it’s about how you deal with them. 

You’re more likely to get through any mishaps if you give yourself the tools to act fast. It’ll reflect well on your brand, and virtual attendees will be happy to see any technical issues being solved as quickly as possible. 

Choose a reliable hybrid event platform

When picking a venue for an in-person event, you try to find the most suitable one. It’s the same with hybrid events. Bespoke software can ensure that your virtual attendees get the benefits of such an event. 

But what are those benefits? Well, you can encourage networking between your virtual guests. Software like this can feature reception rooms with Q&As, interactive polls and more. Your event can then become a hub for professional connection. 

Photo: Anna Shvets / Pexels.com

We understand you want to get the benefits of a hybrid event. Some software allows you to create microsites with registration pages. It’s an easy way to collect sign ups and takes the stress away from website building. 

Data is king. The more information you have on sign-ups, the more you can track the performance of your hybrid event. The analysis extends to app use and app user engagement. Finally, your event will be secure while using bespoke software. You can host, your attendees can join, both parties safe in the knowledge data will be protected. 

Market your hybrid event

So, you’ve set a goal, assembled your team, and picked software. What’s next? Marketing. You can get creative here, using a hybrid approach to match your hybrid event. 

What do we mean by a hybrid approach? Well, as we mentioned earlier, some of the bespoke software out there allows you to create microsites. 

Here, you can create sign-up forms and track registrations, but you could produce content in the lead-up to the event. Content marketing is a powerful way to promote your event. Using relevant keywords can help your work rank on search engines, meaning more eyes on your event as a whole. 

Consider publishing articles to generate interest in your event. They could be guides on what to expect on the day or previews of what your panels will include. 

Want to harness the benefits of content marketing? Click here to read our article on all things content. 

Got a question you need an answer to? Give us a call on 03333010301 or ask us a question over on the Skiddle Promoter Twitter account by clicking or tapping on the button below. Alternatively, you can also find a list of our most frequently asked questions over at https://help.promotioncentre.co.uk/

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