Hybrid Event Software: 9 Questions To Ask Vendors

Believe it or not, virtual and hybrid events are on the verge of transforming into the new norm. That being said, they are not only easily manageable but convenient for both hosts and attendees. The sooner we embrace this fact, the better. The recent COVID pandemic did nothing but cement the above statement.

The market is inundated with the flow of software, which resulted in the quality dripping down the drain. A year ago, companies had a couple of options to select from. Now they’re exposed to a whole list of companies offering hybrid event software.

The only salvation now, lies in interrogation. Ask the following questions when looking for a hybrid event software for your event.

1. How Can Your Solution Help Me Accomplish My Goals?

Events, virtual or otherwise, should be used as a part of a larger strategy. The first step, then, is to understand how a hybrid event will help you achieve your marketing/HR/recruiting goals.

Various types of events (conference, trade show, career fair, etc.) can be hosted in a hybrid setting. Having an idea of all these will allow you to understand which format aligns best with your business goals. For example, you’ll want to host a hybrid career fair if you’re on a talent hunt. Or a hybrid product trade show will suit you best when launching your new product in the market.

Having an agenda, an idea of why you want to conduct the event in the first place, will allow you to decide on the hybrid event software. When looking for hybrid event software, you’ll first look at it’s features. And if you’re not really sure about your event goals, how, then, will you decide on what features you want to meet those goals?

2. To What Degree Can We Expect Customer Support?

You don’t want to find yourself struggling to diagnose and/or troubleshoot a problem during the event. Software is prone to technical issues and glitches, but shouldn’t disrupt your event or cause your remote attendees any inconvenience.

That is why you should always ask if your company will be entertained with technical and event setup support.

Technical support does not only mean offering solutions in times of crises. It should also include support to connect the virtual and physical event and offer all necessary technical requirements. So, you should look for a company that is proactive and can take care of all those needs directly with the venue or AV provider.

Event setup support is crucial, especially if you’re just getting into virtual events. Your hybrid event software provider should offer a dedicated team of experienced professionals to help with setup and hand hold as much as needed throughout the whole process-on both the physical and virtual fronts.

Stepping into novel grounds can be intimidating, but having a team of helpful professionals by your side can help minimize errors and offer effective solutions to any problem that might arise.

vFairs help desk sample

3. How Much Control Do We Have Over The Interface?

Customization is paramount to hosting virtual and hybrid events as it allows companies to represent their brand instead of going with a generic interface. You want your remote attendees to have a sense of your company through your interface.

Find a company that allows you to design lobbies, conference rooms, etc. for your event so that even your remote attendees get to experience the event rather than feeling as if they’re taking an online lecture or navigating through a flat webpage. These designs can be customized according to your brand needs, the venue layout, and nice-to-haves like integrations and fun features. You can even design virtual booth representative and receptionist personas based on what your company represents.

4. How User-Friendly Is The Platform?

Complex UI is such a fiasco. You should look for a hybrid event software that realizes that and offers a user-friendly interface. The design should be such that people feel comfortable ‘entering’ the virtual space and navigating around. It should be built to feel as intuitive as walking through the in-person event.

Try not to over do when it comes to designing the layout. Obviously, aesthetics have an important role, but remember: the simpler, the better.

5. What Metrics Can I Track?

Briefly discussed above, you must not take the analytics data for granted because these are the parameters you’re going to utilize to make shrewd calculated decisions.

Way back, it never dawned upon the organizers to consider this feature. But today, it’s a must because the more you analyze the behavior of your attendees, the better you’d be in a position to understand the psychology behind doing what they do. Thus, allowing you to create personalized and segregated follow-up strategies to increase your lead conversions.

A good hybrid event software will offer a variety of metrics to help determine ROI, these include:

  • Attendance Data: To be gathered from logins to the event. Since a portion of your audience is in-person, having people sign-in through QR codes and reconciling the two will offer you the required attendance data.
  • Traffic: This includes webinar attendance, booth attendance, most/least popular spaces within the virtual venue etc. If you host all event collateral virtually, you’ll get traffic data from in-person attendees, as well. Offering a much accurate estimate. 
  • User Engagement: Includes chat metrics, participation in games such as scavenger hunts, participation in polling, trivia and Q&As, document downloads, etc.
  • Individual User Activity: Tracking how individuals navigated through the virtual venue. Also offers insights into trends of in-person attendees. 

6. What Is The Allowed Number Of Attendees?

Will you be able to host a certain number of attendees through the hybrid event software?

You want to know if there’s any limit to avoid any issues during the event. You need to ensure that both the software and physical venue you’re going with support your anticipated number of remote and in-person attendees, respectively.

In short, your virtual and in-person ticket caps should reflect the hybrid software and physical venue capacities, respectively.

7. Can I Localize My Meeting Language?

That’s a genuine concern for the companies hosting hybrid events. It’s entirely possible for the attendees not to be English speakers, how are you supposed to cope with that?

Apart from the issues faced by networking via the internet, language is another barrier to cross to conduct a well-managed event where everyone has the opportunity to convey his stance on a subject; that’s most probably a focal point of such a composite event. While on-site events can post signage in multiple languages, you need to make sure your virtual portion could offer multilingual signage options throughout the venue.

Additionally, your hybrid event software can add a layer of accessibility to it by integrating with tools like  KUDO, Interprefy, Wordly, and SyncWords. Each of these offer your attendees the option to experience live webinars in their language of choice. 

8. Can I Join The Meeting From A Mobile Phone?

How often do you use your phone? A recent survey examined that there are 3.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide. An average American spends almost 3 hours of his day on the phone, which confers a substantial weightage.

While some hybrid event softwares offer a mobile application, it’s easier for attendees to simply access a mobile-friendly event from their mobile browsers. No need to download anything to participate, just click the URL and you’re in the event.

9. Do You Offer A Free Demo?

The industry is already dealing with cutthroat competition as the new suppliers are diving in to maximize their returns. You, as a buyer, stand a chance to relish this opportunity and select from a long list of options lying before you.

To know if the software is compatible with all the needs, you must not risk it and ask for a free-demo before anything. Not only you’d be in a position to get hands-on experience on the end-product, but you’d be in a better position to decide.

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Hybrid Event Software: 9 Questions To Ask Vendors

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