Consider the pending shift from virtual events to a hybrid format. While not all hybrid and virtual events are created equal, the common pitfalls experienced in their creation and execution are equal. From sales kick-offs to full-scale user conferences and cutting-edge awards ceremonies, understanding the gaps ahead will prepare you to execute a seamless event, the first time.
So here we go, the five biggest hybrid and virtual event pitfalls and how to leap over them.
Choosing the Wrong Tech Platform
It all starts here. With the wide range of event technology available and the feature set expanse laid before you, the right commitment can be daunting. Make sure you are crystal clear on your program goals and outcomes and then ask yourself these questions:
- Will the content be live, on-demand, or a mix?
- How does your audience need and want to engage?
- What’s the tech-savvy rating of attendees and presenters?
- What is the networking scope need to look like?
- Are specific analytics and footprint data important?
Now, check your answers against your overall strategy to identify specific capabilities you must have to meet your goals. Next, send them to a platform provider and have them tell you what they can and can’t do.
Underestimating Production Support Needs
Producing a virtual event can be somewhat lighter than a full-blown live experience, yet there are still complicated logistics, integrations, technical expertise, and delivery channels that only an experienced hybrid and virtual event company can offer. So, here are the challenges you have to consider:
- Access to stable internet connections and hard-core bandwidth
- Multiple presenters in different and often remote locations
- Symbiotic organization and collection of content for the platform and live stage
- Quality of production value to deliver branded content that reflects your tone of voice
- Driving interactivity beyond just networking
Each moment, presentation, and intent need to be considered, planned for, and expertly produced, or audiences become easily disconnected and distracted.
Unprepared Remote Presenters
Oh so critical! Don’t take for granted that just because they hold the title of “speaker” or “host” that they are A-OK with presenting to a webcam or a mostly empty room. They are likely experts in presenting to a live audience that amps them up and urges them on to be engaging, but any other assumption can be dangerous.
Presenters are developing a whole new skill set for connecting audiences to their content. Rethinking the length of presentations, minimizing slides, and nailing key messages with crisp graphics are the starter package for today’s presentation.
Then there are the essential tools and prep:
- An optimized capture device fully loaded with enhanced lighting & audio to deliver killer production quality
- Speaker “tech-ins” to ensure they record a solid presentation or are prepped with the right camera angle, lighting, sound quality, and teleprompter tools
- If a host or moderator, seamlessly transferring between the virtual and live audience in a hybrid setting so it has an all-inclusive feel
- Recording practice sessions for timing and confidence for the day of the show so they don’t fall into the next pitfall of whatever you might face.
Not Engaging Your Audience
For hybrid or virtual events, dynamic content delivery should include numerous channels for the maximum attendee engagement experience. In other words, identify the best tools to match audience engagement goals for:
- Live chat for Q&A
- One-to-one or one-to-many networking
- Social media feeds
Don’t let the tail wag the dog. If you do, you cast that Zoom fatigue spell over your audience quickly. Engagement tools like those listed above are part of both your tech platform and the production expertise. Used in tandem, audiences get the full engagement of networking and overall event interaction.
Analytics and measurement should NOT be an afterthought, therefore, pre-determine the types of data you need to measure the impact on event goals and the post-event follow-up are key metrics to consider. For example, you’re able to track your attendee’s actions before, during, and after the event with just a little forethought:
- Identify which sessions drive interest, which have the most attendance, and how long members attended those sessions
- Look at what questions were asked and in which format
- Find out which devices they’re using
- Recognize where attendees lost interest or changed their engagement behavior
- Post-event feedback on inclusion, especially when hybrid
All indicators of intent, preferences, and triggers that can enable your team to discover best practices and outline future changes for better results can be established with the right analytics strategy.
What did we miss? Have you tripped and dropped into any hybrid and virtual event pitfalls you can share?
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OVATION is a live, hybrid, and virtual event production company that elevates event experiences to fuel meaningful connections between people and brands.
From wow-worthy event design and production to anywhere, any time, any device content design, we integrate your event content and strategy with your company’s overall strategic initiatives. Let us help you identify opportunities for strategically integrating all things virtual into your next event. Contact us today.