Step by step guide: How to host a hybrid event?

Hazel Siu Jan 24, 2022

What is a hybrid event?

hybrid-1

Marching into 2022, hybrids are now the new normal. Be it a hybrid vehicle combining electric motors and gasoline/combustion engines, a hybrid menu offering different types of cuisines/fusion dishes, or even a hybrid work model providing remote and in-person options for offices and campuses. 

To put it simply, a hybrid event is just like any other hybrids aforementioned, which is a mix of physical and digital events, containing both the elements of live and virtual events. At a hybrid event, there is an audience attending in-person at the primary location, meanwhile, another audience is watching it online via live streaming, anywhere in the world. 

A successful hybrid event weaves in both audiences seamlessly with the aid of the latest technologies, fostering interactions between the two and placing equal importance online and offline. 

As the pandemic lingers on, the hybrid event model seems to bring a silver lining to break the flight bans in lockdown cities, enhances engagement for both the physical and virtual audiences via interactive polls/live chat sessions/Q&As, gauges instant feedback for detailed data analysis to optimize lead-to-customer conversion rates. Read on to discover more and get started now with EventX.

Benefits of a hybrid event

benefits

To name but a few…

  1. Increased reach
  2. Enlarged attendance capability
  3. Enhanced audience engagement
  4. Reduction in costs
  5. Data collection
  6. Eco-friendly
  7. Greater flexibility
  8. More sponsor opportunities

Of course, shifting an event from offline to online may be daunting. At the one-stop event management platform EventX, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to host a successful hybrid event.

How to host a hybrid event

Pre-event

questions

1. Envision the 6W’s + 1H of your hybrid event

  1. Who will host the hybrid event together? (identifying sponsors/patrons)
    For Whom will the hybrid event be hosted? (target audience/participants)
  2. What will the target audience/participants learn from the hybrid event?
    What are the goals, KPIs/metrics of the hybrid event?
  3. Why will the target audience/participants find the hybrid event appealing?
    Why will the partners/sponsors be interested in supporting the hybrid event?
  4. Where will the hybrid event be held? (on/offline platforms, streaming providers)
    Where will the hybrid event be promoted on social media?
  5. When will it be held?
    When will the hybrid event open for registration?
  6. How will the hybrid event be conceived, planned, and executed?

Feel free to add other questions, the more detailed the better. As the organizer, this is a key first step for you to plan and market your hybrid event. Likewise, your physical and virtual participants can know clearly what to expect from it as well.

2. Prepare a detailed event brief with roles and responsibilities

To ensure smooth hosting of the hybrid event, plan to the minutest detail the immersive experiences you wish to bring to both of your audiences, including speakers of each session, technical arrangements, marketing visuals, and much more. For proper event management, make sure to have a clear division of labor for your team to ensure flawless execution.

3. Content creation

content

It takes thorough planning for the content creation of hybrid events as the two audiences have different preferences. While your face-to-face audience may favor more in-depth content, your virtual audience may expect shorter chunks of content which is easier to digest. The point is to strike a balance between the two groups and make sure you have their needs in view. The end goal is to make your hybrid event an equally memorable and knowledgeable experience for your groups of audience. Incorporate the latest digital trends into your content mix as well as event sessions/agendas to keep them relevant to the ever-changing times.

4. Seek sponsorship

To optimize the benefits of hybrid events, remember to explore the powerful sponsorship and collaboration opportunities after you have laid the groundwork of basic planning in the first 3 steps. You can approach different sponsors to suit your needs. For example, large corporations can reach a larger audience base with their established brand image and loyal customers. Some SMEs may be happy to sponsor you with their products/services as gifts/giveaways for a win-win situation. Don’t forget the IT companies, which may offer a helping hand for any technical issues that may arise. Guarantee your sponsors enjoy good visibility throughout the hybrid event, and also make sure all sponsor agreements and deliverables are adhered to.

In-event

5. Execute the event-day logistics

logistics

Prepare and execute the minute-by-minute schedule of everything from vendor arrival time to reset breakdown. The tricky bit of a hybrid event is to ensure smooth operation both offline and online. Try to do several testings for event backend and virtual production settings, double-check if the sessions are properly recorded for future on-demand playback, arrange backup links in case of unforeseen/unexpected circumstances if possible. 

6. Create a safe experience for both your physical and virtual attendees

This is especially important in this post-pandemic era. For in-person attendees, make sure to comply with the prevailing local guidelines or even government infection control regulations on social distancing, group gatherings, number of participants, seating arrangements, as well as restrictions on catering services. For online attendees, IT security is equally vital. Source your virtual platform safely with trusted network providers, and don’t forget to configure a protected digital environment for your virtual audience. 

Post-event

7. Enable on-demand playback & create a continuous attendee experience

Promote and enable on-demand playback of the recorded sessions via social media channels, email messages or other marketing means to further extend your hybrid event and expand your reach to a broader audience. Let attendees engage easily via mobile devices through a web-based experience and/or a customized event app after the event, centralizing interactions for all physical and virtual attendees to create a community for instant feedback.

8. Gather feedback for data analysis

analysis

Send out post-event surveys to keep the conversation going long after your hybrid event ends. Create debrief documents to refer to for the upcoming hybrid events for continuous improvement. Collect testimonials and social media shoutouts to make your hybrid event experiences memorable and measurable through digital analytics to gain more insights and ROI.

A successful hybrid event is not to be conceived, planned, and executed as separate entities, but rather as a coherent combination of the two for broader event reach, wider content distribution as well as deeper insight into audience behavior, physical and digital. Learn more about how to coordinate and synchronize in-person and online event approaches to unify and amplify brand building and content messaging with EventX today. 

Interested in our solution?

Are you looking for a great one stop hybrid event solution for your virtual, physical or hybrid career fairs?
You may want to have a chat with our event consultant.

 

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