Hybrid events have been happening since 2012 but have come to the limelight in recent years, especially after the pandemic. According to Twilio 2020, 30% of organizations across the globe began using video conferencing solutions for the first time since the Covid 19 impact. The main objective of these events is to connect people in such a way as to educate, inform, promote, or celebrate. Hybrid and virtual events are both popular options when it comes to attending conferences, seminars, workshops, training sessions, product launches or portfolios, promoting products or services, and more. The hybrid events, also called the blended events are valuable in their own way.
Hybrid events are becoming increasingly popular among event organizers as they are considered beneficial to the attendees and organizers alike. They combine the in-person component with an online experience in an event, and the face-to-face and online interactions maximize the effectiveness of the hybrid events.
In this piece, let us discuss the essentials of hybrid events and simple ways to make them successful. We help you transform from virtual to hybrid.
Despite the live audiences, the best feature of hybrid events is attendees participating virtually. Many participants who had been attending your events in person may not be able to participate in the event. They may feel insecure about traveling due to health or safety concerns. The event can also have capacity limitations to accommodate all. Thus, effective programs generally target global audiences, and they are free to join from anywhere. Hybrid events have become an essential part of the new normal in the event industry. The virtual participants need access to a video conferencing platform, a device, and a stable internet connection.
Hybrid events are the new buzzword in the events industry. More event planners and attendees alike are looking to live and virtual elements as part of their experiential marketing campaigns. However, many planners believe that hybrid events split your total attendees as live and virtual, creating separate groups that can’t be segmented effectively as they would have different needs and expectations. While this logic seems sound, hybrid events indeed increase the reach and gain more audiences through live and virtual channels in just a day or evening, creating a cohesive marketing strategy that furthers your goals for any campaign. A strategy!!!
When planning a hybrid event, the greatest challenge here is to retain the ‘two’ audience engaged- attendees online and the ones who have set out to your venue to be a part of your hybrid event. When online participants feel excluded, they tend to drop out of the session, while those at the venue may lose interest quickly if they think they are not involved in the interaction. This compromises the engagement rates. Also, it is essential for speakers to engage online participants rather than just showing up and speaking. Other best ways to engage and entertain them all is to include Q&A sessions, live polling, chat, and making them work together on workshops.
According to Brella, 72% of corporate sponsors are keen on participating in hybrid events as they can effectively reach both audiences. The main reason is that hybrid events are incredibly valuable for sponsors as more attendees (both virtual and in-person) at your event offer a pool of leads for them. Also, there can be face-to-face and one-to-one interaction with interested people, leading to increased participation. Finally, a surge in substantial metrics kindle sponsors who are looking for new opportunities. Thus, a detailed report on relevant metrics at hybrid events can ensure your sponsors, that their money is well spent.
ROI is tricky to calculate here, but hybrid events guarantee an increased return on investment that is typically greater than the traditional live or virtual events. This is mainly due to the increased reach and global scalability. Generally, hybrid events allow for more brand exposure than any other event format, as attendees can attend your events virtually through live streaming or can attend them in person that combines a tradeshow and a conference, or an exhibition and an education program, or any combination thereof. Thus, a wider range of attendees capture the attention of the sponsors, and more sign ups can happen at the end of the event. Access to a lot of data and metrics associated with your event is the best ROI. Also, reduced on-site costs boost your margins.
Your events are definitely exclusive, but resharing your digital content keeps a steady stream flowing to your audience. By the end of your event, you will get a full video recording that encompasses your entire sessions. Post edit them into smaller segments or snippets to repurpose the content on your social media platforms and websites or promote your future events. You can also post-edit the videos to publish them on various OTT platforms or create podcasts or slide presentations. Determine your future marketing campaigns from your previous content and drive more audience by extending the life and reach of your event.
The common goal of a hybrid event is to bring people together for a shared purpose. The most important factor is to understand your audience’s needs. You need to meet the expectations of both your virtual and live participants. Also, understand the reality that remote attendees will not have the same level of attention as the live audiences. Try new ways and think out of the box to include the remote participants.
Ensure the sessions are shorter, crisp, and more focused to capture the audience’s attention. It is also crucial to establish a strong association with the venue hosting partners for the in-person meeting. This is not only access to a high internet connection but also to include ample technology tools for remote attendees.
The event’s success lies in engaging the audiences thoroughly, and enhanced accessibility features can increase the number of attendees and ensure they entirely participate and enjoy.
A survey indicated that 63% of organizations with 2000- 5000 employees have consented to include hybrid events in their future ventures.
Live captions and Subtitles are an essential accessibility feature for non-native speakers and hard-of-hearing participants. Every participant is an asset, and try to include everyone despite disabilities, and this would definitely double the success of your event. Also, with captions, remote attendees get a chance to comprehend better and align with the sessions.
CaptioningStar seamlessly integrates with 50+ virtual platforms like Zoom, Webex, Adobe Connect, etc., to live caption your virtual and hybrid events. The in-house team is fully equipped with over 100 captioners and native translators who can provide remote or on-site captioning and translations in your preferred target language. We offer you the highest quality captions that perfectly synchronize the audio and video.
In fact, the ADA (The Americans with Disability Act) is a civil rights law that has set regulations to make all the video content accessible to disabled people without any discrimination, thus making captions an inseparable part of your videos. The best practices for ADA-compliant captions are one to three lines on the screen that stay from five to seven seconds at the bottom of the screen and are replaced by another set of captions.