As we approach the end of 2020, all we really have to say is, “What was that?

While for some organizations and companies, it was a complete disaster, others thought of this as a brand-new opportunity to innovate and explore areas that they were previously either unaware of or had planned to opt for a lot later down the line.

Online conferencing, for one, a concept that was alien to most, turned out to be the most fruitful alternative to physical conferences. We would call it a hidden opportunity that, within a year, caught on with businesses globally due to the restrictions on face-to-face gatherings. While online conferencing is here to stay, thanks to  their many benefits such as global networking, we understand that in-person events also hold great importance to many organizers and audiences like yourself.

For this reason, when organizers who had experienced online conferencing as well as physical conferencing were asked about the type of event they would like to host in 2021, a large majority was bent towards the idea of a combination of both – a physical as well as an online event – namely, a hybrid event.

What is a Hybrid Event?

A hybrid event is a mix of a virtual and physical event. It allows physical as well as online audiences to participate in the same experience at the same time, from different locations.

According to popular belief, nothing beats the power of a physical encounter. However, one thing is for sure – a hybrid event does not reduce physical participation, but simply boosts it by opening an online wing to their physical event for those who cannot attend it in-person.

broadcasting a live conference for an online conference

So, if you’re planning on adding an online conferencing spin to your physical event in 2021 — and we know that a lot of you are — here are five considerations for your upcoming event.

1. Plan down to the very last detail

Physical and online events each have their own requirements, ergo different checklists to follow. Hybrid events, similarly, require their own checklists as well. For example, when you are hosting a hybrid event you need to ensure that your venue can handle the technical requirements of your event. Therefore, it is not so much about its capacity as it is about its capabilities.

plugging in technical equipment for a hybrid event

2. Build clear objectives

It’s difficult to retain audience attention amid online conferencing, so it is important to plan your sessions wisely. Having clear objectives allows you to streamline the messages that are key and shorten the sessions to maintain the engagement of your virtual attendees. 

setting goals in a presentation

3. Moderate conversations

Your goal is most certainly to allow attendees to connect and engage as much as possible. How do you ensure that? Having a dedicated moderator can direct sessions, encourage social media sharing to promote the event, and encourage participation throughout the event.

moderating an online conference

4. Different audiences mean different requirements

As explained above, it is easier to lose the attention of remote audiences at a hybrid event, as compared to a physical audience, even though they should be equally invested in your event. Make sure you offer quality content on-demand, especially to fill up the spaces between actual breaks during your event. The shorter the sessions are, the crispier the content is, and the more engaging your speakers are, greater are your chances for a successful event.

One other opportunity for you to engage with a global audience is with the help of KUDO. vFairs has recently formed an integration with KUDO providing on-site translators for you to conduct your sessions in your local language, and have them presented to remote audiences in theirs, in real time.

targeting different audiences

 

5. List out necessary equipment and conduct a test run

If you say you’re all set, we believe you. But we’d recommend that you always do a test run prior to your event, especially for the online conferencing counterparts of your event. Make sure you have all the equipment that you need for live streaming and webinar broadcasting. Test your mics, lights, speakers, and anything that is absolutely essential to prevent both your audiences from facing any technical issues. Mishaps happen, but precautions and backups save the day.  

production equipment

Bonus point:

6. Find the right virtual events platform for your hybrid event

The success of your hybrid event crucially depends upon your technology partner since the virtual aspect of it is vital and can define the entire experience that you offer to your attendees.

If you’d like to learn how you can host a successful hybrid event, you can request for a detailed demo that vFairs offers. This will help you first take a look at the capabilities of the platform in order to make an informed decision.

excited event organizer online conferencing

Key Takeaways

Just as virtual events such as online conferencing, trade shows, education fairs and many more, encountered an exponential rise starting from the beginning of 2020, a safe forecast is that hybrid events are likely going to break into the mainstream in 2021. According to report by Bizzabo, an astounding 97% of event marketers believe they will see more hybrid events in 2021.

Except this time, you would like to be more prepared to ace the events industry and set up an outstanding show.

Have Questions?

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