The Hybrid Event Model’s 4 Key Components
You’re probably familiar with what a hybrid event is, but do you know what it takes to execute hybrid events in a way that creates a meaningful experience for both virtual and live attendees? Creating a noteworthy hybrid event experience requires event planners to be involved in the event’s overall brand messaging, content, technology, and logistics.
Before you commit to a hybrid event, it’s important to understand the key components that make up the hybrid event model as it exists today and how they influence your overall plan.
As you begin the planning process, develop an event business plan to help you focus on the event’s purpose and goals. Once you’ve shared this plan with key internal stakeholders, you can use it as a strategic roadmap. Here are some things you’ll want to include:
- Event Objectives: Whether the goal is to expand reach to a broader audience or generate revenue, a clearly defined event objective will help you keep the focus on prioritizing deliverables that support the end goal.
- Event Budget: As we navigate this new world of hybrid events, you need to be able to identify the expected value of your event, including your revenue stream and losses. How will the event be paid for? Identify income stream opportunities such as ticket and exhibition space sales, funding, grants, and sponsorship.
- Audience Analysis: Before you can dive deep into content development for your event, you’ll need to have a clear idea of exactly what your audience looks like. For hybrid events, you need to consider in-person, virtual and on-demand attendees (if offering access to content after the event – which we highly encourage!)
PRO TIP: Each of these attendee types will have different expectations. For in-person attendees, details like lighting, sound, stage design and onsite visuals will influence the overall experience. Virtual attendees will be more impacted by connectivity quality, on-screen content, animations and seamless transitions. If you map out the needs and experiences of these attendees ahead of time, you’ll save yourself a lot of last-minute fire drills.
Pre-production planning begins once your event strategy and plan are in place. Consider the various digital touchpoints for your attendees before, during, and post-event. This is the time when you’ll want to clearly identify the various virtual event roles needed to support your hybrid event. These key players will have a big impact on event execution and bringing your content vision to life.
Speaking of content, event planners often miss out on opportunities to use content to generate excitement leading up to the event. Pre-event communication is your time to shine and get creative.
Here are some ways to generate excitement leading up to your hybrid event:
- Conduct a quick pre-event poll to find out what attendees are looking forward to and encourage participation. This gives you quick results so you can take appropriate actions on what you may have missed.
- Announce the launch of a new product or that you have an exciting keynote speaker people will be thrilled to hear and watch.
- Create educational and fun videos to define event topics or goals. Share these short videos socially to give prospects and attendees a sneak peek at event topics and speaker lineup.
Other items to focus on during pre-production include speaker selection and briefing. In today’s world, event speakers need to be able to engage both in-person and virtual attendees. Choosing the right speakers will make or break the success of your event. While some may be familiar with presenting on stage, encourage your speakers to rehearse in advance so that they feel comfortable acknowledging your online audience and looking at the camera.
On-site Event Production
Ah, finally…the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Live event day. Whether broadcasting from the main stage in a ballroom or shooting in a studio, this is the moment when you’ll work with your hybrid event team to ensure all the logistics are tested and in place to enable smooth connectivity from the live event presentation to the virtual event platform.
The key to hosting a successful hybrid event is to ensure your virtual attendees are provided an engaging experience that feels like they are viewing a TV-like broadcast.
Here are just a few items that you’ll need to consider in order to pull this off:
- Stage set up
- Presentation rehearsals
- Lighting (appropriate for in-room and camera capture/stream)
- Event décor and fabrics
- On-site AV production and streaming solutions (you’ll need multi-mics and stream support to virtual)
- HD cameras (you’ll need more than one for switching, playback and recordings)
- Custom livestream graphics
- Internet connectivity
- Venue logistics
- Team and content coordination
Do you see why having the right team in place is essential to hybrid event success? This list just scratches the surface! (hint: this is when that technical director becomes your new BFF)
Whew! That’s a wrap. Your first hybrid event was a huge success and attendees are raving about the quality of content and overall experience. In fact, they are already asking when your next hybrid event is taking place. Congratulations! But before you pack your beach bag for a well-deserved vacation, there’s still work to be done. Post-event production is a great time to continue the conversation with attendees and show prospects what they missed. It also provides an opportunity to take a deeper look at event metrics to see how you stacked up against your goals.
Here are some post-production tips to get you closer to that beach vacation:
- Make sure post-event content is available
- Email outreach sharing the content with attendees
- Promote the event on social channels highlighting access to on-demand recordings
- Prepare and review post-event metrics
Now that you’re familiar with the four key components of a hybrid event model and the various items that need to align for it to take place, you should have a better idea of how they can work for your company.
Want further insight into what hybrid events are and how they can be used? Contact us today and speak with one of our event experts!