Hybrid conferences are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They provide participants with a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between in-person and remote participants. But as most event managers know, you can't have one without the other! We've put together a few tips to help you engage attendees at a live event while building a strong online presence that will benefit both virtual and physical attendees.
Undoubtedly, people participate in hybrid conferences to listen to other people and gain new knowledge. So if you want attendees to enjoy the conference and learn from it, you might want to switch to something else instead of overloading them with tons of information all at once.
What can you do? First, leave plenty of time for coffee breaks and be sure to allow lunch time for participants to get some rest. You can try to combine performances with other activities to keep the attention of the participants. For example, conduct a virtual survey between presentations. This will help to find out the opinion of the participants on a particular issue and stir them up. Second, to activate your audience, ask open-ended questions that can give you specific information. You can then visualize the responses on the screen in a variety of ways for everyone to see. Choose the type of interaction that suits your hybrid meeting. If you are unsure, an OnlineExpo expert can advise you on what to choose.
Another important and often overlooked part is virtual networking. While some of the conference participants are physically present at the event and can easily communicate with each other, care must also be taken to establish connections for the virtual audience. Make sure everyone knows how to communicate on the chosen platform and can invite another member to the meeting.
For example, OnlineExpo allows attendees to chat or video call during events or schedule them for the future. In addition, if the conference has an exhibition area, they can easily approach company representatives online, ask them about the product or arrange a demo time.
In addition to a one-on-one conversation, you can turn on a group chat so that participants can write messages that are visible to everyone and find new business connections there.
Sometimes the conference organizers may from time to time give priority to real exhibitors to the detriment of virtual ones. This can make online attendees feel like they are just watching a Zoom webinar, which will eventually negatively impact their hybrid meeting experience. Even if the prices for face-to-face and virtual formats sometimes differ, make sure everyone is treated equally. For example, an online audience may find it inappropriate for a moderator or presenter to constantly interact with people sitting in a room.
While it's much easier to talk to the person next to you, plan to ensure that all Q&A, random calls, and other interactions are evenly distributed among all participants. Make sure that all relevant information, such as changes to the agenda, any guidelines for action, or information about next steps, is clear to both parties. This also applies to follow-up actions after the event, sending materials, feedback or thank you letters.
In general, organizing a hybrid conference requires a lot of effort to please both online and offline audiences. OnlineExpo specialists will help you organize and successfully host an online, offline or hybrid event with any number of participants. Book a free consultation right now!
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