19 March 2021 Guest Contributor

Hybrid events are events held simultaneously online and in-person. These events could be conferences, seminars, workshops, or even get-togethers. You'll have a few people in the event hall and other attendees on the screen participating remotely in these events. Thanks to the current advances in technology, it's now possible to enjoy a traditional "live" in-person event and a "virtual" online component taking place at the same time.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everything in all life facets, and the event planning industry was not spared. Both local and international travel restrictions and public health concerns brought about widespread cancellation of many schedules and events and forced event organisers and planners to re-evaluate their strategies. This ultimately led to a shift towards digital alternatives. 

"Both local and international travel restrictions and public health concerns brought about widespread cancellation of many schedules and events and forced event organisers and planners to re-evaluate their strategies."

Since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the event planning industry has witnessed a record number of hybrid events, and this trend has continued this year even with the ease of travel restrictions and the availability of vaccines. This has cemented hybrid events position in the global virtual event market.   

While hybrid (and virtual) events may not be difficult to pull off, like in-person events, it does not necessarily mean that they are easier to organise. One will need to consider a few things if you want to host a successful hybrid event.

If you're planning to host your next hybrid event, here are a few tips to help you ensure the best hybrid event experience for your attendees:

Sourcing Your Venue

Unlike a completely virtual event that takes place completely on an online platform, you still need to find a suitable location for the in-person part of the event for a hybrid event. 

While the venue's size or capacity should not be your primary concern when choosing a venue for your hybrid event, a venue that can handle the technical requirements of the event should be your focal point. You should bear in mind that the chosen venue should be coverable by your hybrid event platform easily.

Technology Requirements

This is the most important thing you must work on while preparing for your hybrid (and your online) events. You should primarily ensure you get all the gadgets, tools, and all other technical equipment you need in place.

The ability to stream top-notch video and audio is one of the major technical requirements you should ensure. Remember that your hybrid event setup's quality will determine your virtual attendees' experience, so you must ensure you get all your technical requirements in good shape.

- Focus on the Audio and Video Quality

As said earlier, your hybrid event's success will be determined by the quality of the audio and video that the audience can stream through the virtual event platform you're using. So, you should ensure you use a virtual platform that will produce high-quality audio and video for your virtual participants. 

Similarly, you must use the proper equipment for the event. Equipment like high-quality cameras and microphones and hardware and tools like lighting and mixers play a crucial role.

- Choosing a suitable Virtual Events Platform

This is very germane when hosting your hybrid event. It is important to find a suitable virtual event technology platform. Choosing the right technology platform for your hybrid event will enhance your virtual audience's experience and contribute significantly to the success of your event.

Managing your Audiences

In a hybrid event, you have two classes of audience. One is physical; the other is virtual. For the success of your event, you must manage the two sets effectively. For instance, you can use features provided by your hybrid event platform to sync your physical participants with your virtual ones. This will make things easy for you. Additionally, you should have staff that will dedicatedly attend to the physical attendees and engage them. This will contribute to the success of your hybrid event.

Your audience engagement

The engagement and participation level of your attendees is important for your hybrid event. You must ensure their participation and engagement. Based on the program's essence, you must put a system in place that will ensure your attendees maintain a high degree of participation and engagement at all points during the event. This may be a kind of tough job for you because you have both online and offline participants, but with proper planning and foresight, it can be achieved.

Leave No Stone Unturned

When planning your hybrid event setup, you must consider every possible factor. You should plan for everything down to the last details. This also means having a plan B or a backup plan for the unexpected.

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