November 16, 2021
By Anna Linthicum

In a matter of days, live events and conferences that had been planned months in advance were suddenly postponed or canceled.Virtual eventsbecame the new normal, and we had to learn how to create effective programs. We navigated through the storm and learned a lot of lessons along the way. One of the most important lessons the event industry learned was that while virtual events certainly have their benefits, live events will always be an important part of any robust event program.

现在,是时候考虑不同类型的事件 - 混合事件了。会有一些情况,例如这个全球大流行,其中虚拟事件是唯一的选择。在某些情况下,面对面的活动将是收集潜在客户并吸引观众的最有效方法。混合事件或结合面对面和虚拟体验的事件将是事件行业新常态的重要组成部分。

In this guide, we will walk you through the basics of a hybrid event, how to design a successful hybrid event, and how to adapt your event strategy around this new, necessary type of programming.

Contents

Cvent CONNECT 2022 Registration is Open

Hybrid Events and Your Total Event Strategy

Creating a successful hybrid event requires planning and brainstorming. Are you hosting an internal or an external event? Do you have the tools needed to market and promote your hybrid event effectively? What are you hoping your attendees will get out of this event? Answering these questions and more will help you as you begin to build out your hybrid event program.

什么时候举办混合活动

您必须做出的第一个决定是是否将虚拟组件包含在活动中。是否有意义?您什么时候应该举办混合事件与现场活动与虚拟事件?

Hybrid Events

对于那些可以有效地在现场和虚拟地进行的程序而言,混合事件是理想的解决方案。以下是一些完美混合活动计划的示例:

  1. Trade shows
  2. Conferences
  3. 销售开球
  4. 全球市政厅

混合事件are also extremely useful solutions when many of your attendees who would normally attend in person can’t. Below are some examples of when an attendee who normally might be on site for an event may have to attend virtually:

  1. 由于健康或安全问题,与会者不能或不想旅行。
  2. The attendee’s organization has limited travel spend and, therefore, cannot travel to the event.
  3. 您将在活动现场部分活动的场地具有容量限制,因此并非所有与会者都被允许收集现场。

A best practice may be to send out a pre-event survey to garner the current situations and feelings of your invitees. If you get the sense that many would prefer the option of attending virtually, a hybrid event may be the best way to go.

Onsite Events

Entirely onsite events should be planned when it is of the utmost importance that all your attendees be there in person. You know that most of the content will not translate well virtually, and there isn’t a good alternative to communicate it, so an onsite experience is the best way to deliver the information. Here are some examples of events that you might want to host onsite:

  1. 小客户午餐
  2. Team bonding outings
  3. 奖项ceremonies

When you do host an onsite event, safety will be the number one priority. Make your attendees feel comfortable by offering a self-service check-in option and plan yourseating arrangements to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Cvent计划脉冲调查的促销

Virtual Events

Entirely virtual events should be planned if you cannot host an onsite event, have a small budget, or if the information you want to share can be effectively shared via video. If there is no need for people to attend in person, don’t waste the money or time. Reassign those assets for future onsite or hybrid events. Here are some examples of effective virtual events:

  1. Webinars
  2. Frequent team meetings
  3. Customer success groups
  4. Study groups
  5. Executive panels

Read our guide to creating an amazing virtual event.

Types of Hybrid Events

我们将首先深入研究内部和外部混合事件之间的差异,以及每种事件的一些最常见的例子。

Internal Hybrid Events

Internal events are programs that are held to benefit your company’s internal stakeholders, including employees, leadership, staff, etc. For many companies, it is nearly impossible to gather all your internal stakeholders in the same room for a meeting. This is where hybrid events come into play. Pick a venue for your event, like your company's headquarters, and then live stream the meeting to the rest of your company. Below are some examples of common internal hybrid events:

  1. 销售量kickoffs
  2. 全球市政厅
  3. 更大的团队会议
  4. Company spirit weeks

External Hybrid Events

External events are programs that are targeted towards your customers, prospects, clients, etc. Transitioning your live external event to a hybrid setting can help draw in more attendees and lower your carbon footprint. External events that can be made hybrid include the following:

  1. Conferences and trade shows
  2. Customer conferences
  3. Product demonstrations
获得有关混合活动的免费培训 - 现在!

混合事件的核心要素,目标和优势

重要的是要花时间确定混合事件的目标,并收集有效执行这些目标所需的所有工具。在下面,我们概述了参加活动混合动力的共同元素,目标和优势。

混合事件的关键要素

我们在行业中听到的一个普遍的误解是,混合事件所需的只是虚拟流提供商。成功的混合事件需要与现场事件相同的元素和功能。Paired with a great virtual streaming provider, these elements will make your hybrid event a great success.

Engaging Content

Your content is arguably even more important at a hybrid event. Not only do your in-person attendees have to be engaged, but your virtual attendees should also be involved throughout the event. Make sure that all your speakers are prepared and that their presentations are engaging by managing their content and overall agenda.

妈rketing

A hybrid event attracts both in-person attendees and virtual attendees. This gives your organization the chance to attract two (or more!) times the number of attendees to your event, which means that your混合活动营销is as important as ever. Create a beautiful event website that displays all the program information and email prospective attendees to draw in a record number of people.

Registration

Your hybrid event’s registration process should be just as seamless as your onsite event registration. Create a branded event registration webpage with your organization’s colors and your event information, so prospective attendees can easily find all the details about your program. Create custom registration paths for your in-person attendees versus your virtual attendees so they can sign up for appropriate sessions. Finally, keep track of those who abandoned registration and send them a reminder email to register!

Appointment Scheduling

When some of your attendees are participating virtually, and others are in person, it is more difficult to schedule meetings. You can use an约会计划工具to block off times on your attendees’ calendars that are reserved for networking. They can communicate and set up times to meet directly through the tool. That way, virtual and in-person attendees can see availabilities on one another’s calendars and network efficiently.

Hybrid Event Goals

While all of your events have individual goals, an overarching goal for all hybrid events is to engage as many attendees as possible, however they may be participating. A hybrid event allows people to connect in-person if they want that human connection experience. A hybrid event also allows individuals who otherwise would not have been able to attend due to health concerns or travel constraints, the flexibility to engage virtually. The goal is to make the experience equally riveting for both groups. By reducing the barrier to entry, hybrid events provide the opportunity for even more people to interact with your content and your brand.

Advantages

汉娜·蒙塔纳(Hannah Montana)唱歌时一定是在谈论混合活动,“你们两全其美。”通过混合事件,您将获得面对面事件及其虚拟同行的优势。以下是使活动混合动力的一些最大优势。

Increased Attendance

While an in-person event or conference is often the most engaging, some people do not have the time or the ability to travel long distances to attend those events. Not to mention, sometimes, those in-person events can carry a pretty hefty price tag. Both factors can deter individuals from deciding to register for your event. With a hybrid event, however, those individuals may be more compelled to attend if they can do so from the comfort of their couch and for a much lower cost. Pivoting to hybrid can attract many more registrants than a solely in-person event.

Enhanced Content Engagement

当您举办混合活动时,您将实时流式传输扬声器和会议,以供虚拟参与者查看。这使您可以记录这些会话并在活动结束后将其发送出去。无法进行某些会议或只是想重新观看并了解更多信息的与会者可以在活动结束后几天甚至几周内与内容互动。在活动结束后很长一段时间以来,这将使您的活动和您的公司在与会者的心中。

Lower Carbon Footprint

By reducing the number of onsite attendees, your event’s carbon footprint will also decrease. There will be less travel by attendees, fewer meals thrown away, and less transportation of rental chairs and tables. Your company will not only be positioned as an event powerhouse but also as an environmentally conscious organization.

提高赞助价值

Now that your event is hybrid, your sponsors have the opportunity to get in front of your in-person AND your virtual attendees. That is double the exposure they had before. Hosting part of your event in a digital environment creates new opportunities for brand awareness and lead generation. By offering your sponsors more value, your event will attract more sponsorship dollars and even more sponsors. This can help to offset the technical costs of running a hybrid event.

How to Create a Successful Hybrid Event

Now that you’ve laid out your goals and determined the elements you need to include for your hybrid event, it’s time to begin planning your program. In these next few sections, we will walk through some common challenges faced and how to solve them, as well as how to create the perfect agenda and keep your attendees engaged.

Avoiding Common Challenges and Pitfalls

There are a few common dilemmas that planners face when putting these hybrid programs into action. We’ve outlined them below, along with tips and tricks to help you avoid these pitfalls.

妈ke Sure It Is One Event, But Two Experiences

混合的事件是一个平衡。他们的平衡tween in-person and virtual attendees, and therefore, they must balance these two experiences. On the one hand, you will have to deliver your content differently to both groups. You will have to make sure that your video streaming service is working correctly, and that your presenters are prepared to be recorded and to speak in front of a camera. However, you do not want your hybrid event to feel like two entirely different events – it is one event with two experiences. Make sure that your content is relevant to both in-person and virtual attendees, and don’t have joint activities planned that isolate one group from participation.

Keep Content Engaging

Your content is arguably even more important during a hybrid event than during an onsite event. It is much more difficult to keep virtual attendees engaged in front of a computer screen. To keep content engaging, make sure that it will translate well over video. Incorporate live polls or Q&A to keep virtual attendees involved. And make sure that the sessions are a digestible length – no one wants to sit through a five-hour keynote speech.

Navigating Time Zones

举办一个混合事件所带来的好处之一是that participants can attend virtually from all over the world. However, this poses the challenge of accommodating your virtual attendees' varying time zones. It will be difficult for an attendee based in California to attend a keynote speech live at 8:30 a.m. ET. Make sure that the sessions you are offering to your virtual attendees can be accessed on-demand. If possible, offer the same session live multiple times so people can attend at a time that works for them and get the live experience.

4 Elements of a Successful Hybrid Event

任何成功的事件都有四个关键要素:内容,社区,赞助和分析。在本节中,我们将解释如何专门为混合事件执行这些元素。

Content

As mentioned previously, content is king at your hybrid event. You want to make sure that in-person and virtual attendees are equally engaged. This is where the “one event, two experiences” mentality comes into play. You can’t deliver the same content the same way for both groups. Here are some ideas for how to cater your content differently for your virtual and in-person attendees:

Have an onsite representative dedicated exclusively to your virtual attendees

Your onsite attendees will most likely have someone on a stage or podium addressing them directly throughout the day. This can make virtual attendees feel left out, or even further from the action. Solve this problem by having one of your event coordinators address just your virtual attendees. They can talk to the attendees specifically about their virtual experiences and introduce virtual-only sessions or networking opportunities.

Create separate content for your virtual attendees

Some of your larger sessions, like your keynote presentation, will be viewed by both your onsite and virtual attendees. But don’t make your virtual attendees watch your onsite attendees at an interactive networking session. Offer your virtual attendees exclusive virtual-only interviews with industry experts, or panel discussions with thought leaders. Effectively designate onsite vs. virtual sessions through your customized registration paths, so no attendees register for the incorrect sessions.

按需提供您的内容

As addressed earlier, keeping an attendee’s attention in front of a computer screen is much more difficult than keeping the attention of an onsite attendee. Your virtual attendees may have to take more breaks throughout the day, or they may only be able to join the event for an hour or two at a time. Make sure that most of your content is offered on-demand so that virtual attendees can access it at a more convenient time.

Keep everyone aware and excited about your agenda

During an onsite event, it is quite common to announce to your attendees what sessions or topics will be introduced following a break. Make sure to deliver this same experience for your virtual attendees. Have your onsite virtual representative remind your virtual attendees of the agenda schedule, so they are sure to attend the next session. You can even use agamified app experience为了让他们在休息期间娱乐,并为下一次会议感到兴奋。

Shifting to an “event producer” mentality

Creating a successful hybrid event takes a lot of work, and you should think of yourself as the designer of this event program. You are in charge of creating an agenda that caters to both in-person and virtual attendees, and it is up to you to design a program that is engaging and effective. Below are some key questions to ask yourself as you produce your hybrid event agenda:

How long will your sessions run?

您的会议会是一个小时吗?半个小时?15分钟?多个长度?您想在会话长度上达到平衡。它们应该足够长的时间,以便您准备准备的所有信息可以共享,但是他们也应该足够简洁,以使虚拟参与者保持专注和参与。

How many sessions will you host per day?

You don’t want to overwhelm people with information and content. Onsite attendees will be more likely to want to attend more sessions, as they traveled a great distance to attend in-person. However, your virtual attendees will likely have a shorter attention span being in front of a computer screen. One solution is to offer fewer live sessions per day for your virtual attendees, so they are not swamped. Instead, offer more on-demand content that they can access at their leisure.

Will you have different sessions for virtual versus in-person attendees?

当您创建注册道路时,是否会有某些会议仅适用于面对面的与会者和某些仅适用于虚拟参与者的会议?例如,您是否想举办虚拟参与者不会经历的面对面网络会话?您会为这些虚拟参加者提供什么?确定您的不同参与者的注册路径将如何不同。

Community

Onsite attendees have the benefit of experiencing the community firsthand at an event. It is much easier for them to network in-person, have organic conversations, and establish connections. However, there are ways to bring this community to your virtual audience as well.

将现场民意调查和问答纳入您的会议

Connect your virtual and onsite audiences with tools such as live polling and live Q&A. During a session, encourage both audiences to submit questions and answer poll topics so they are engaged and can interact with one another. Your virtual attendee may ask a question that never crossed the mind of your onsite attendee or vice versa. This is a great opportunity to gain double the knowledge and double the feedback.

Create collaborative virtual sessions

If the in-person attendees are in breakout sessions, give your virtual attendees the same opportunity. Many virtual streaming providers can create breakout rooms within the meeting. Gather your virtual attendees and have them connect in smaller groups so they can also build that community.

赞助

赞助美元任何事件程序至关重要。Therefore, your sponsors must receive the same (or more) value from your hybrid event as they would from an onsite event. There are many ways to put your sponsors in front of both your virtual and in-person attendees and create high value. Below are just a few ideas to get you started:

  1. 移动应用广告
  2. Push notifications
  3. 赞助会议
  4. Event website sponsors page
  5. Physical and virtual sponsor booths
  6. 在访问按需内容之前赞助广告

Analytics

Your post-event actions are as important as what you do during an event. Hosting an event means nothing if you don’t gain any insights. Make sure to send out a post-event survey to get a sense of which content resonated with people, and how your attendees felt about their onsite versus virtual experiences. Also, take a look at your attendees’ data during the event. Make sure to follow up with those attendees who attended a lot of sessions, asked a lot of questions, or engaged with your sponsors.

Conclusion

These past few months have been nothing short of unpredictable. But we have all learned a lot from this experience. One of the most important lessons that we learned is to be prepared. Incorporating virtual and hybrid events into your total event program will be a key piece of your event strategy as we navigate these next few months of the unknown. Live, in-person events will never go out of style, but it never hurts to have a backup plan. Make hybrid events yours.

Still have questions about going hybrid? Check out ourHybrid Event Strategies for Dummies eBookfor tips to successfully plan and maximize your hybrid event, including:

  • Developing a cross-functional support team for your event
  • 妈rketing two experiences for one hybrid event
  • What it means to be a "hybrid-capable venue"

… 仅举几个!

缩略图

Anna Linthicum

最近华盛顿和李大学的毕业生, I am currently the Sales Development Representative for the Marketing Partnerships team here at Cvent. My writing journey got its start with stories about my cousins and our incredible adventures together on family vacations. You can find me organizing my closet, doing Kayla Itsines workouts, or watchingThe Officefor the umpteenth time
Subscribe to our newsletter