Hybrid Events

Live & Online with Impact

It’s almost hard to imagine, but not too long ago, live events were restricted or required a 1.5-meter distance between attendees. We witnessed a significant increase in online events and the advancements in this field. And, as far as we’re concerned, those trends should stay! The unique opportunities that online adds to your event offer new perspectives and opportunities. Think about engaging a much larger audience, reducing the environmental footprint, saving on travel and accommodation costs, and minimizing health risks.

Tanya Hampsink
Tanya Hampsink | Communications Advisor | E-mail Tanya

How to organize a hybrid event?

The beauty lies in the seamless fusion of these two worlds to create a truly unique experience for your attendees, whether they join online or in person. This calls for extra attention to the attendee journey, nuances, and clear focal points. The devil is in the details, especially when it comes to hybrid events. Curious about our approach to achieving the best results? We’ve outlined our must-dos for you.

The desired outcome

But when is the (online) event truly a success? How do we measure it? Until recently, event success was often measured simply by the number of attendees or how smoothly the production ran. Nowadays, the focus has shifted to the measurable impact of events, in other words, the effect. Through a series of steps, we define the objectives and tailor them to determine the ROI of the event, be it online, offline, or hybrid.

Start with your message, then the format

Before delving into the tools, we recommend considering a fitting overarching concept. This concept serves as the central framework for messages targeting specific audience segments, delivered through their preferred mediums/platforms. When developing a creative concept with corresponding content, we always ask ourselves, “What’s in it for them (the attendees)?” This question is the guiding principle. Additionally, we explore how to put the attendees in the spotlight. The goal is to create a sense of urgency from a point of relevance and necessity, leading to an effect. In other words, what are you inviting attendees to, how do you excite and engage them, and how does this moment tie into other touchpoints with your audience?

Must-Dos

How do we then structure the program? We’ll explain it all below based on several fundamental principles we follow with our effect model to achieve the desired outcome.

  1. Goal vs. Technology

    Many desires, many (online) possibilities! Information exchange, team building, product presentations, networking, knowledge sharing? Depending on the objectives, we select the right technical setup. From one-on-one speed-dating sessions to round-table meetings for eight participants, and from online trade show visits to plenary presentations. There are many (online) technical options available, with customization for any audience size and specific functionalities.

  2. Core message and communication

    Stand out from the crowd! Standing out amidst the online invitation flood is even more challenging today. Many invitees tend to register last minute for events and receive numerous invites to events they absolutely must attend. In our communication trajectory development, we think in terms of the See-Think-Do-Care model: awareness, consideration, action, and loyalty. With one click, you have access to the online event, but you can also leave with one click. We develop an engaging communication path with more touchpoints compared to a live event, featuring a clear key message (“You can’t miss this!”), and a shorter lead time. After all, no one signs up in June for an online event in October. But once the invitation lands, attendees should immediately feel the urgency to register and participate. The communication path for live attendees runs simultaneously. And if you need to make a last-minute switch because travel time doesn’t quite fit your schedule? That’s also possible!

  3. Experience

    Much more interaction, varied formats, speed, and culinary additions. Develop the online event with the idea that it is a live event, but with much more interaction, varied formats, and speed. Think along the lines of television programs; quick changes in settings (you are not limited to one stage), with short segments: information, interaction, fun. Don’t forget the right music, duo presentations for dynamism, voice-overs, video interruptions, and more. Where you normally have a 360-degree experience, now you offer a 16:9 version. Ensure that it remains constantly varied, keeping the viewer curious about what’s coming next. The best part is when you connect both the on-site and online attendees. Think, for example, about a cocktail package delivered to homes and on-site for a virtual toast. Or breakout sessions where both online and in-person participants engage, or even one-on-one speed dating between the two. Depending on the target audience and objectives, we’ll tailor the preferred format for an optimal experience.

  4. Engagement

    Create a temporary tribe. Make the in-person and digital experiences more human; attendees should feel like they are part of one group, as if they are all in the same room. They should almost forget they are looking at a screen. How? With a warm welcome; an introduction to make attendees feel part of the story and truly tuned in. Grab their attention in the first few minutes by clearly explaining what kind of event it is and what is expected of them as attendees. Why are they here? What do they want to get out of it? Then, move straight to action and interaction: contributing as an online attendee is key. Chatting, quick polls, word clouds. In other words, they should feel heard and seen. Throughout the entire program, from start to finish. Therefore, consider what you can do during every step in the online attendee’s journey to make it as exclusive and engaging for them as it is for in-person attendees. And vice versa. Ensure that the live audience also feels special; after all, they are “truly” present

Last but not least, content is key

Besides the four steps for structuring the program, content is the event’s backbone. It’s not just essential before and during the event but also after it. Create personalized messages for attendees, feature compelling speakers, engaging video content, informative infographics, and background music. Don’t forget to leverage the available cameras for long-term content creation. Extend the sharing moment. Sharing is caring!

Convinced?

Are you planning to organize an online or hybrid event soon? Great choice! We excel at designing and organizing live, online, and hybrid events that truly benefit your company or brand. Our team of impact creators is ready to collaborate with you and provide solutions.

Kirsten - head of creative - effectgroep

Ready to elevate your event experience?

Contact us to start planning your next hybrid event. Reach out to Kirsten at kirsten@effectgroep.nl to get started. Your success is our priority.

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