vFairs recently hosted a webinar for its audience on The Future of Events: A New Normal. This is exactly what we discussed. The future of events. And what does that constitute?
You guessed it. Hybrid.
Let’s dissect everything the webinar talked about step by step.
What is a Hybrid Event?
A hybrid event has both physical and virtual components. Audiences can connect with one another and experience the event irrespective of geographical location. It empowers organizations to run a live in-person event with a limited audience while hosting a virtual event to engage online attendees.
But it’s much more than that. In fact, hybrid events are so flexible, no two events may ever look the same. Let’s dive into some of the key aspects you can choose from for your very own hybrid events.
Essential Elements of Hybrid Events
- Sharing knowledge: showcase content, topics and purpose of the event with the attendees both online and in-person
- Facilitate networking: use designed tools to connect online attendees with in-person attendees
- Doing business: create valuable connections with prospects in your industry
Benefits of Hosting Hybrid Events
Before you host hybrid events, you must know the benefits of hybrid events.
- They allow you to engage a higher number of attendees, by engaging in-person and virtual audiences both.
- There is increased engagement which facilitates networking between your attendees.
- You can deliver live streams of physical sessions and consolidate discussions with interactive Q&A sessions.
- Your event can each global audiences with no need for commute or travel
- You can create digital sponsorship opportunities in addition to physical event placements.
- Lastly, you can measure engagement turnout and ROI with detailed reports.
Types of Hybrid Events
Hybrid events have 3 types:
Broadcast just the live stream into the virtual platform.
This allows online audiences to enjoy a fully branded immersive virtual experience. It also facilitates engagement for online and physical attendees via Q&A sessions, video chats and private chat rooms. Integrations such as Restream or YouTube can help you case your live presentations out to a larger crowd.
For these events, you need solid A/V capabilities onsite and a strong internet connection.
Host a virtual event on one day and a physical event on another.
This helps the organization focus on one event at a time. They can take sponsors and exhibitors online and can keep all statistics in one place. Usually, organizers will host the live event first, and the virtual event after. This is because the virtual event can be kept open for much longer than the live event without procuring any extra costs. For example, a 3-day live summit will upload all the recorded presentations, documents, etc. onto their virtual event platform and leave it online for 30 days afterward.
For this type of event, you may need to put extra effort into repurposing content for use at your second iteration.
Complex Hybrid (The Future)
The physical event and hybrid events happen at the same time.
The complex hybrid model facilitates cross networking between the audience via our mobile chat, polls, Q&A sessions and discussion boards. Organizers can choose what they show to their live and virtual audiences. Exhibitors may be able to host both an in-person and virtual booth. Presentations may be accessible to both audiences, or exclusive to one audience. For example, the online audience may have exclusive access to pre-recorded sessions, or the live audience could have exclusive access to live presentations.
For this event, you will require a large number of resources leading up to the event and on a live day, to coordinate all of the simultaneous activities.
Components And Stages Of Hybrid Events
There are two components of hybrid events: the in-person experience and the online experience.
The in-person audience needs a mobile-friendly site or app used by onsite attendees for registrations, networking, participating in polls and downloading content.
The online audiences participate in the web-based virtual event. The virtual event only needs to be desktop/tablet compatible.
The in-person attendees register beforehand on the landing page or a kiosk.
Audiences attend physically, participate in webinars, and network via mobile sites to discover fellow attendees and chat. They can access digital content, schedules etc on the mobile app. They get separate reports for in-person registration.
The virtual attendees register via the landing page, they access live streams online and network through text, audio and video. They view videos in the video vaults and get rich content in exhibit halls in addition to detailed reports for all activities.
Promotion And Registration Phase
Before The Event
You can promote your event in the registration phase in a number of ways:
- Advertise your event with a branded microsite: virtual attendees register via landing page and in-person attendees can sign up using a tablet/kiosk.
- Capture registrations for both audiences and send relevant confirmation emails for example, Google maps for in-person attendees.
- Leverage integrations to offer ticket tiers and purchase flows (early bird/special discounts).
- Display event information, agendas, sponsorships, speakers etc. on the landing page – give the audience a glimpse of what is to come, who is speaking, event schedule, agendas etc.
During The Event
Engage your exhibitors, speakers and attendees with a ton of activities to provide all of them a fulfilling experience:
- Browse exhibitor list and agenda: distinguish between in-person and virtual booth representatives
- Attend speaker sessions: live stream by opting for a/v partners across the world
- Speakers can be onsite or remote, they can have live or pre-recorded sessions
- Conduct hybrid polls, surveys and Q&A
- Network with attendees: use attendee search to search for relevant people + book appointment and meetings comprehensive chat tools
- Access on-demand digital content
After The Event
Post-event, measure the impact of your event and get an understanding of how well your event performed:
- Measure in-person registration trends and detailed virtual event metrics in one dashboard
- Get access to two diff dashboards to see how successful the virtual event was wrt the physical event
- Understand and visualize the attendee journey and export raw data
The future of events is hybrid. And vFairs is not just a solution that offers it, it is the solution. We have great visuals and excellent networking solutions. Which makes it the perfect solution.