In my last blog, I explored the question of what is a hybrid event. In this blog I will go over our top tips for planning one…
1. Use your experience
Our first tip when thinking about a hybrid event, is to think about the hybrid experiences you’ve already attended, and how you felt participating in them. As filmmakers, we’re always asking ourselves what we want the audience to experience and feel whilst they’re watching, and the same thing applies with events. You probably want your attendees to feel engaged and informed, hopefully you want them to enjoy your event, and to feel included in your community. Perhaps you want them to feel motivated, rewarded, or simply to feel that they are being heard.
2. Think about what you want to achieve
This leads us onto our second tip, which is to set goals for a successful event. Asking yourself how you want attendees to feel throughout the event is as important as deciding on your key communication messages. These things inform your decision on what kind of event to run and how it should run. Establishing these goals upfront and communicating them with your suppliers will ensure cohesion throughout the process.
3. Decide on the kind of event you should run
Now let’s think about the kind of event to run, and this is where we start to balance lots of different factors and the impact of each option. People attending an event in person may have to travel a long distance and stay overnight. There’s a cost involved in that, both financially and in terms of time out of the office, and time away from their family. Joining from home or work reduces this impact and opens the event up for those who would find it impossible to attend otherwise, but you might miss out on the atmosphere, and the informal networking opportunities. Hybrid events allow us to offer the best of both worlds.
4. Think about how much interaction you want with your attendees
One important consideration is the level of interaction you want to offer your attendees. If you want people to be able to share their thoughts or experiences, or to have discussions or workshops, you’ll want to consider a hybrid format where remote attendees can use their webcam to participate. If you just want people to be able to submit questions or comments, then a Q&A or chat function is great for the online platform, and there are options for using the same system for those attending in person.
5. Make sure you consider both online and physical audiences
Our next tip is to find ways of making the experience brilliant for both audiences. We have lots of ideas here, including sending snacks out in the post to remote audience members, creating digital networking spaces for in-person attendees, even altering camera positions to make the remote guests feel more involved in the action, and less of a fly-on-the-wall. Which brings us on to our final tip…
6. Involve your production partners early
Don’t wait until you’ve booked a venue and sent out invitations before talking to the crew who will put all this together. In our experience, the best events happen when we’ve been involved in those early meetings and decisions, because there may well be options or factors that you’re not yet aware of.
2022 is set to be the year of hybrid events, and we’re offering a free workshop with members of our production and events management teams, where we can help you understand more about what sort of hybrid events you need to be planning. Contact us for more information.