When planning a hybrid event, you’re essentially planning two events simultaneously. Making sure that you’re accurately managing both the in-person and virtual program while creating a cohesive overall event can be challenging, to say the least. Once you’ve reviewed the things to consider before hosting a hybrid event, it’s time to get into the logistics. Check out these important areas of consideration!
Hybrid events require more staff than in-person events because you need people managing both the virtual and live components. Consider the staff you’ll need to perform onsite duties, monitor the live stream of virtual sessions, manage any virtual networking activities, relay Q&A questions to the live speakers, and more.
One of the most important things is having a team to monitor any technical issues attendees may have or any software glitches or interruptions. Having enough staff to jump in and address any unexpected technical issues is crucial to ensure your event runs seamlessly.
Pricing & Costs
Since virtual and in-person attendees often have greatly different experiences at an event, you’ll need to price registration accordingly. Content plays a big role in how much attendees are willing to pay for virtual programs. How many sessions will you offer compared to those offered to in-person attendees? Consider recording and selling any sessions that were not available to virtual attendees as a separate package or allowing virtual registrants access to recordings after the event to get more value out of their attendance.
Budgets are crucial when managing a hybrid event and often separate budgets need to be run for the in-person vs. virtual component. Even a simple stream requires the proper platform, AV support, and additional staff as mentioned above, which all have costs to consider. Make sure you’re charging enough on registrations to accommodate for the additional costs, while still providing your attendees with value.
Creating an Immersive Experience
How do you offer a valuable experience through virtual, while still creating a sense of FOMO to encourage in-person attendance next year? This is where having a professional event partner can help.
While your virtual attendees won’t experience the food, destination or off-site entertainment, there are still ways to provide an immersive, valuable experience. If you provide in-person attendees with networking breaks, schedule them out for virtual as well! Allow attendees to log in and join break out groups, set up networking lounges within your platform where people can chat or use social media to create engaging dialogue outside of the program.
There are also entertainment and interactive brain breaks you can provide for virtual attendees. How about a virtual-exclusive musical performance or scavenger hunt within the platform? The options are endless, but what’s most important is creating an experience for both attendee types that feels interactive and provides ROI.
Glitch-Free Live Stream
If not planned properly, hybrid events can be highly subject to technical problems. People may encounter bugs and glitches during live streams, which can diminish the attendee experience. Who will run AV? What happens if the Wi-Fi goes out during the stream? What happens if the platform shuts down unexpectedly or the audio drops? Offering a seamless live stream is tricky, which is why you need a professional team to partner with.
Plan and Test
Our motto when it comes to virtual or hybrid programs is test, test, test! Are your speakers comfortable with the hybrid format? Presenting virtually can be a very different experience than speaking to a live audience, so make sure everyone has time to rehearse and get comfortable.
You’ll need unique show flows for each component of the event to ensure they run simultaneously and smoothly. Creating a well-thought-out blueprint in advance can save you time and money in the long run. Most importantly, always have a back up plan (or multiple back up plans)! Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare, things don’t go as expected so having a Plan B ready to execute is essential.
Hybrid Events Call for an Expert Event Team
With so many technicalities and things to consider, hybrid events require extra thorough planning. Don’t go it alone! This is where the team at Paragon Events can help. Let us take on the logistics while you focus on the big picture experience.