Hybrid events have been a regular fixture in the events space for many years, but still, companies large and small find they are having wildly mixed outcomes. Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean that your event will be a huge success, that all lies in the organisation, prepping and making sure the technology works for your need, as well as having the right people, just where you need them.
1. Plan Content Early
It’s simple, content is king (or queen). Without well-thought-out content is an event even worth all the effort? Well in a word, no.
You know your business and audience best so deciding on what to include, what to leave out and how to talk about it, is a really simple way to get going. Asking your customers, staff or delegates what they would like to hear or see too is a really good way of helping to keep your content on point as well as starting conversations which can help you with your business in many ways.
Of course, your plans may evolve throughout the process but having the core bones of the running order and messages you want to get across in the early stages, will really get the ball rolling, as well as then help to shape the creative way it will come together.
Also, really think about the fact that you need to break up the ‘talking heads’ side of the event and include video as well. Event opening and closing videos, highlights of previous events or work, new product launch video and company overviews are a really great way to grab attention whilst still passing on vital information and inspiration.
2. Choose The Right Technology For Your Business
Just because Zoom was the place to be in 2020 doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the best option for every event. In order to determine this, you need to know your audience and what they are likely to be comfortable with as well as capable of using. Getting advice from companies who are working with live streaming capabilities will help you to decide on what platforms suit your needs best.
3. Choose Your Presenter Wisely
Your CEO or Founder may well be the most charismatic and inspiring person you’ve ever met, but talking to a camera may feel like a whole new beast where they struggle to look and sound natural. This can have a huge impact on your virtual audience’s desire to stay tuned instead of popping on Netflix or cleaning the kitchen. There is no rule book that dictates you have to use someone from the company to be your spokesperson. You could instead, invite a special guest who fits your business model or use several appropriate and confident staff members throughout the event, with plenty of rehearsals, whoever you choose.
When people are viewing through a screen, psychologically, they are watching is like they would the TV; they expect it to be slick, professional and engaging. The presentation is a key element of this and shouldn’t be underestimated.
4. Get Your Timings Right
We do know that running a virtual event for a whole day like you may for an on-location one is not the way to go. This audience is at home, they will get distracted or take tea and toilet breaks more than they would if there were there in person. So use that to your advantage. Online webinars should only last 45 minutes for maximum impact, however, if you are producing an online event, and marketing it as such, you can afford to run it for between 2-4 hours. However, this should include breaks either interaction or comfort.
You can then implement extra team building, information sharing or breakout sessions for those delegates at the physical events. So use that to your advantage, invite managers, customers or clients to the physical event using the extra time to provide exclusive content that isn’t available to those online, which will give those people extra incentive to attend.
5. Know Your Strengths
The need to change and adapt is our way of life now, but it doesn’t mean that every business is set up to instantly make a hybrid event happen. Delegating the production side of your event can mean that you and your team are freed up to concentrate on the content plan, marketing and logistics of the on-location part.
A company such as ours can help to provide your video, slide content, graphics and look and feel of the event as well as help you to decide on the most appropriate technology to use and of course, ensure it works seamlessly. Don’t feel like you have to have all the ideas; production companies can often show you examples of tried and tested styles as well as coming up with bespoke, fresh and creative ways for you to maximise the impact of your message.