Let’s face it. Zoom fatigue is real. We are all eager to get back out into the real work and reconnect with our peers, but we are not in the clear yet. While the pandemic continues, many are thinking creatively about how we can connect from afar, distanced in-person, or both!
Hybrid events are in-person with options for virtual attendance as well. These events will serve as a great way to ease back into in-person life once it is safe enough to do so, but they are also becoming the best option for many organizations because they are able to make attendance much more accessible. It’s the best of both worlds; those who want to be in person can do so, and those who cannot travel are still able to take part in the events.
Logistically, hybrid events are tricky. It may feel like you are planning two simultaneous events. Still, these events have the ability to be fun and creative.
Here are some ways you can make your hybrid event awesome:
- Get some great entertainment. The Bizzabo blog recommends booking a comedian, magician or band because all these acts could work over livestream as well as in person. Providing a break in the content with some fun entertainment will shake up your event and keep everyone engaged—whether they are in-person or remote.
- Gamification. Creative Tix explains that gamification is a great way to drive up engagement for your event. For example, you can assign points to sessions, asking questions, and more. A staff member can keep track of attendees’ points and give out prizes to the top participants at the end of the conference. Some apps automatically track certain actions and tally points.
- Outdoor events. Being in person will be tricky for a while yet. The Grub Street Author suggests planning outdoor sessions when possible and livestreaming them to your online attendees. For those in person, you’ll need more space to spread out and distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Organize session tracks. The Bizzabo blog says that content organization is especially important with hybrid events. Consider organizing your conference content into several tracks. This way, attendees can tailor their interest to get the most out of their time at your event.
- Branding. Encompass Event Group suggests sending out branded Zoom backgrounds to your virtual attendees as well as stepping up your swag game by offering branded clothing to attendees.
Hybrid events may not be the easiest to plan, but when executed well, they extend your reach and will likely provide better ROI than just in-person or just virtual events during COVID-19.