• Share on Google+

Hybrid events have a lot of advantages over in-person or virtual events. In many ways, they eliminate a lot of the complex logistics that come with hosting events. But it can be hard to come up with hybrid event ideas on your own. How can you plan hybrid events that will astound people?

This article contains some outstanding hybrid event ideas for the next event in your calendar. They can either help you get started with the planning process, or give you a few fresh ideas to make your event more dynamic.

Pre-Event Chat Groups

Even before the event starts, you can encourage attendees to make connections with others who are attending.

Pre-event chat groups can be a great place for guest speakers to present their topics and start discussions.

These groups don’t have to be complicated. You could set up a live stream session on the platform you will be using for the event. You can even set up a group on LinkedIn or Clubhouse.

Use Moderators to Energize Your Event

While it is important to hire qualified speakers, not everyone feels comfortable speaking in front of an audience.

If a speaker feels awkward presenting in public, the audience will pick up on it. People like to feel drawn in by a speaker. That’s why it’s a good idea to invite dynamic speakers to present at your event.

Hiring moderators can help with this. As they respond to the audience, engagement with the speaker improves and draws people into the program.

Use Technology to Connect the Two Audiences

As in-person events become more common again, it doesn’t mean that virtual events are going away. You could offer in-person attendees access to your hybrid event platform as well.

Usually, when a virtual event ends, the connection ends and people lose out on the association they could normally have at an in-person event. By creating a virtual event platform, on-site attendees and the virtual audience can still interact once the program is over.

Using social networking can also help keep people connected. Using hashtags or hosting a social media wall can expose guests to other attendees and encourage them to connect.

Invite International Speakers

Image source: TechCrunch

A significant advantage of hosting a hybrid event is that you eliminate travel difficulties. Guests can attend no matter where they are, and the risk of missing the event is all but eliminated.

In addition, you can invite speakers from anywhere in the world without having to pay expensive travel costs. Thanks to hybrid events, people can travel internationally without having to leave the house.

Multi-Channel Tracks

You can divide content into tracks depending on the audience’s needs and interests.

Then you can follow up with attendance data to see which events people were most interested in. This will help you develop better hybrid event ideas in the future that cater to those trends.

Incorporate Virtual Entertainment

There are a unique set of challenges to hosting hybrid events. For example, there are things that people enjoy about attending a physical event that virtual guests miss out on, like cocktail parties, dancing, and coffee breaks. So how do you come up with hybrid event ideas that meet that challenge?

Event organizers might choose to host entertainment directed at virtual audiences. For example, they might host a virtual cocktail party with a DJ on live stream. Guests can be afforded the option to communicate through the chat box while enjoying the event.

The event organizers can then encourage all attendees to post about the event on social media. This makes both in-person attendees and virtual attendees feel like they are part of the same community.

Vary Content for Maximum Engagement

To host successful hybrid events, providing top-quality content must be a priority. Trying to mix online and in-person audiences can distract organizers from the quality of their content. However, the content you provide is what will make the event memorable.

A virtual audience has a shorter attention span than physical attendees. There are more distractions for virtual attendees, so include breaks and opportunities to interact with the program.

The key to hosting outstanding hybrid events is to make the experience enjoyable for all attendees. When you show remote audiences that you care about their experience as well, it can make all the difference.

Physical and Virtual Breakout Rooms with Screens and Webcams

It is easy to create networking opportunities for separate gatherings in person and online. But to mix them well is challenging. If done right though, it can be a wonderful equalizer.

Why not try dividing your on-site attendees into small groups? You can do the same for virtual attendees by dividing them into breakout rooms. For each group at the in-person gathering, include a way for them to connect with a group from the online audience.

Consider A Group Chat for All Attendees

During virtual events, most audiences are used to using group chats to communicate with other attendees.

As you are coming up with hybrid event ideas, why not consider creating a group chat for those who will attend?

Blending both online attendees and in-person guests through a group chat is a great way to make sure everyone enjoys the event. If the guests can access the chat on their smartphone, no one will be tied to their laptop and everyone can join in the discussion.

Creating a hybrid event platform is another great option to blend in-person and online attendees. Each user can create a profile that will make it easier for them to connect with others who are in the same field or who have interests in common with them.

Call to Action

Another great way to encourage attendee engagement is to invite each person to participate.

By asking questions or getting input from the audience, they become part of the program and not just passive listeners. Even virtual attendees can participate by using the “raise your hand” feature on certain platforms.

Lean into Gamification

Providing a little friendly competition is a great way to bind a group together. As groups meet goals and face challenges together, it helps break the ice and draw people together. After the event concludes, people are more at ease to network.

A game or activity that ties back into the theme of the event is a great way to help audiences feel engaged. It’s easy to come up with separate ideas for the on-site attendees and virtual audiences. It is important to create activities for both audiences so that neither feels left out. With a little creativity, you might be able to come up with some ideas for games or activities that mix the two audiences. Or, you might pit the two separate gatherings against each other.

 

Get more bookings with the right tool for the job

Staying organized has never been easier.

You can now manage your business and grow your brand with a single, powerful WordPress booking plugin that keeps all of your appointments in line, your clients organized and your business booming.

Amelia is perfect for business owners who need to streamline their booking experience both for their staff and their clients.

Amelia handles everything for you, even sending automated email or SMS reminders to your clients. No-shows? Not anymore!

The Amelia WordPress booking plugin adapts to different industries for a blissful online booking experience and employee management.

Want to know more? Check out Amelia’s awesome features to see what you are missing.

 

Skill-Building Workshop

A workshop is a great way to help attendees build new skills. Taking on a new skill or project in a group is a great way to encourage a sense of community.

It also makes trying new things more fun. Depending on your audience and their interests, you may choose to do a workshop on a practical skill, like computer skills.

Or you may go another route and choose a different skill to develop, like photography.

Create a Structured and Well-Balanced Schedule

One tricky part of the planning process for a successful hybrid event is getting both audiences to mingle. It may be a good idea to make time in the schedule for in-person attendees to connect with the virtual attendees. By incorporating virtual meetings into the schedule, attendees can engage in activities with each other and network freely.

Speaking of networking, why not add some time in the schedule specifically dedicated to virtual networking? If you set an hour or two aside for this purpose, you will see an increase in calls and meetings between guests and exhibitors.

When virtual attendees connect during this time, try including a redirect button to encourage them to go and network. Set up reminders for engagement competitions coming up. You could also include tips on how to meet and engage with people virtually.

Send Goodies to Your Remote Participants

When you are coming up with hybrid event ideas, it’s important to find ways to make virtual guests feel as valued as those who attend the actual event.

If you include goodie bags for the in-person gathering, make sure to get the addresses of your online audience and send them something as well. Make sure to do this well in advance, so that the virtual audiences don’t feel like an afterthought.

Leverage Recorded Content

Once the event concludes, the event doesn’t have to end there. If you have recorded versions of the workshops and the keynote address, why not immediately leverage those recordings?

This is a great way to maximize the results of your successful hybrid event and will serve you well when planning for future events.

Customizable Exhibitor Packages with Levels of Access

Each exhibitor will have different needs. You can address their specific needs by selling different package levels which offer different levels of access. Different packages might include year-round subscriptions or email communications. You can even give them the option of upgrading halfway through an event or during the year to which they are subscribed.

For example, a premium package might include things like Q and A sessions, meeting slots, contact details, live stream demos, and so on.

Hybrid Events Have Reduced Carbon Footprints – Use That to Create Brand Loyalty

Air travel contributes a lot to climate change and pollution. By creating hybrid events, you can cut down on the aspects of an event that harm the planet. Food and beverages, paper and plastic waste, and even booth structures all contribute to polluting the planet. When you host hybrid events, you help save the environment in the process.

Launch A Survey After Each Session

After each event, why not launch a survey to see how well you engaged the attention of your audience? This will give you insight into which activities or speeches were most effective. On-site attendees can also vote on this via the event app. This will help you come up with more effective hybrid event ideas for the next time.

Conclusion on Hybrid Event Ideas

The events industry is not going anywhere. Rather, events are likely going to be more and more valuable in the future. Events help people form connections and give them a sense of belonging.

Virtual and hybrid events have pushed event organizers to explore new worlds. Brainstorming virtual and hybrid event ideas has led them to discover new ways to connect with audiences.

Hopefully, the hybrid event ideas in this article will help you in planning your next event.

If you enjoyed reading this article about hybrid event ideas, you should read these as well: