Event Marketing

7 Tips for Event Marketers Planning Hybrid Events in 2021

Eventually Learning Team

One of the best practices to expand your business is by going digital. In the post-pandemic era, being digital often means organizing webinars and establishing a strong social media presence. At one time, events and conferences were held to widen the scope of procuring leads. Even today, events are a great way to socialise and increase your brand reach. There are different types of events that can help your business grow. Virtual, hybrid and in-person are formats that every event marketer is passionate about. Post COVID-19, virtual and hybrid event experiences play an important role in the marketing strategy of a business.

Though it sounds entertaining, there are certain challenges that every event marketer faces while organizing hybrid events. In a hybrid event, the in-person and virtual events have to be joined together into a single event. The most common challenge is to unify both events according to a single topic of your choice. A few other obstacles while organizing hybrid events are harmonizing online and on-site audiences, catering to different time zones due to a global audience, selecting ticketing strategies for an online and on-site audience, deciding on appropriate and user-friendly technologies to smooth audience experiences, conducting activities for both types of audiences and deciding on the venue for the event. Whatever the problem, we are here to solve your dilemma. Within this article, you’ll receive insights to enhance hybrid event experiences and tips to nail your next hybrid event.

1. What is a Hybrid Event?

Most of us would know what an event is, but when it comes to hybrid events, many of us tend to skip through the basics.

In layman’s terms, a hybrid event basically means a physical gathering of people for an event along with an online audience for the same. A hybrid event can be organized for conferences, meetings, workshops, business gatherings, etc.

2. Elements of a Hybrid Event

As mass-scale inoculation drives are taking place globally, the markets are going to reopen soon to cater to the global economy. With this, organizations can start to plan hybrid events soon.

Depending upon the size of the business, different types of hybrid events can be organized. You must think of multiple things before diving into organizing a hybrid event.

Hybrid events serve the unique purpose of engaging virtual and in-person audiences. What is the right way to plan a hybrid event? Well, there is no single way to organize a perfect event. As the nature of these events require, there are different stages of planning.

Components of a hybrid event are as follow:

2.1 Marketing

Years of streamlining businesses has shaped what we recognize today as marketing. Marketing is one of the most important requirements of a hybrid event.

Only after extensive research of your customer base, can you identify the right target audience for your business. Targeting a wide range of audience members for hybrid events will help you in driving ample registrations.

2.2 Content

By now, we all have realized that content is king. For hybrid events, the content must be built around the idea of in-person and virtual attendees.

Producing and delivering content around the topic that you’ve chosen is extremely important.

2.3 Data and Insights

Tapping into your store of gathered and analyzed data in order to invite registrations for your webinar and to generate leads is a must. In hybrid events, the scope for growth and achieving a global audience is high as it provides the benefit of in-person and virtual gathering.

Sharing well-researched data and insights about your business and services with your audience will help in establishing a sense of goodwill and trust amongst your business, your employees and your audience.

2.4 Sponsors

In a hybrid event, the dual nature of the event gives you a lot of scope for leveraging sponsorship for increasing awareness and for lead-generation opportunities.

2.5 Community

The most powerful aspect of a hybrid event is the impact it has on your in-person and virtual audience. It is extremely important to leverage this opportunity to tip the feelings of your audience in your favor.

You can gather their experiences and share them with the resources available to you for wider community outreach.

2.6 Venue

One of the key elements of a hybrid event is the venue. You have to strategically decide on a venue in order to make the audience feel comfortable so that they have an amazing experience at your event and leave satisfied with your delivery.

You can partner with your venue to deliver a safe experience so that the attendees look forward to your future events.

3. Tips to Executing Hybrid Events

Even in tough times when business has slowed down, virtual events and conferences have paved the way for boosting revenue and for funneling marketing and business growth. According to the “Post-Pandemic Event Outlook Report,” a whopping 93% of investors are looking forward to investing in virtual events in the coming years as digital work and digital market space are becoming the new normal. The market for in-person, virtual and hybrid events have increased exponentially. Now, let’s dive straight into exploring pro-tips to execute a hybrid event.

3.1 You Need a Mission for Your Event

No matter the size of your business, the most important thing while organizing an event is to decide a mission and purpose for your hybrid event.

If you have a solid mission and purpose behind organizing a hybrid event, deciding the further agenda will become easier. It will provide a clear picture to you and your colleagues about how you want the event to be.

A clear purpose will make your audience understand and recall the event successfully, thereby imbibing your brand’s name in the mind of your attendees. These attendees could very well l become future business prospects and may ultimately contribute to the turnover of your business.

3.2 Importance of Pre-event Marketing

In the different stages of planning hybrid events, how will you ensure that a decent number of people show up? --We can answer this for you. You can only expect registrations and an audience at your venue if you create the necessary hype before the actual D-day.

Timely pre-event marketing on multiple forums and creating a lot of buzz on your social media handles will definitely keep the audience engaged and excited for your upcoming events.

Promoting your hybrid event on different marketing channels and sending promotional and customized emails to your existing clientele is a must. This will also help in adding to the word-of-mouth publicity of your event. While promoting your event on social media, don’t forget to use relevant hashtags and tag the speakers.

3.3 Focus on Impactful Content Creation

Even if you have an excellent panel of speakers and a lot of people have registered for your hybrid event virtually and in-person, is it going to be a good show without meaningful content and infographics/p>

The more visual and graphic you are, the more the audience will be able to relate to your topic of the event. You should also ensure that all your employees and panelists are aware of the quality and the kind of content you have curated for the event. In order to engage the virtual and in-person audiences in a unified way, your content has to be engaging so that their attention does not waver during your presentations.

3.4 Blending In-person and Virtual Audience for Increased Interaction

Since a hybrid event is a mix of virtual and in-person attendees, if you are not able to propel the interaction and engagement between the two, this can lead to the downfall of your event.

You can ensure the interaction of both types of audiences by organizing polls, enabling chats and conversations, initiating question and answer rounds, etc. In this way, the audience members can interact with one another and will appreciate your thoughtfulness of enabling communication and interaction.

This will also help the audience to meet different people and make them feel at ease.

In Industry 4.0, the dynamics of marketing, holding and conducting businesses, communicating, connecting and striking deals has changed in a revolutionary way. The way we are now carrying out B2B and B2C business deals and customer engagement is monumentally different from the conventional modes.

3.5 Event Recap

Though this is missed by many, it is an integral part of planning a hybrid event--You should keep a short time reserved to organize a quick recall and recap session of the activities at the end of the event. This will increase the recall of your presentations and activities done during the hybrid event.

You can also end with a short keynote speech and presentation and thank the attendees to make them feel important and valued.

3.6 Post-event Marketing Hype

How will the people know that your hybrid event was a huge success or that you pulled off a good event? This is only possible if you remember to engage in creating post-event marketing hype.

The most efficient way to create a post-event hype is to share a short video and photos of your hybrid event. You can also write post-event articles to highlight all the high points of your hybrid event. This will encourage more of your audience to participate in your upcoming webinars.

3.7 Data Analysis and Feedback

For your own understanding, it is necessary to gather and analyze the data of the event including the number of attendees, the number of downloads and shares of your presentations and posts, consumer behavior, likes and dislikes, etc.

By gathering this data, you will be able to understand what worked for your business and what needs to be improved for all your future events.

FAQs

1.How do you run a hybrid event?

First of all, you’ll have to partner with an event tech platform that provides all the necessary digital assistance and tools to run the online version of your hybrid event. Also, make it a point to always live stream the event at the venue so the in-person audience can see the virtual audience. You can enable both physical and online networking for your attendees to interact with one another.

2.What is the future of hybrid events?

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the event industry took over the reins of marketing. Virtual, hybrid and in-person events have become an integral part of the B2B and B2C industry.

According to statistics by Bizzabo, an astounding 97% of event marketers believe there will be a huge increase in the number of hybrid events in 2021 and around 93% of event marketers also plan to invest in virtual events in the times ahead.
Therefore, the future of hybrid events seems bright.

3.Why hybrid events are important?

The most basic reason why hybrid events are important is that they cater to a diverse group of audiences.

If a person likes the human connection and interaction, they can sign up for the in-person event, and at the same time, if a person in any corner of the world is curious about the event and cannot attend the physical event due to geographical, financial or health constraints, they have the option to attend and engage virtually. This is why hybrid events are important.

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