7 Tips for Turning an In Person Event Into a Hybrid Experience
Hosting an event that results in success can be tricky in a post-COVID era where some attendees prefer to wear masks or in regions where various restrictions are no longer in place. Whether you intend to implement your own event rules and requirements or if you simply want to maximize the number of attendees your event receives, you can choose to host a hybrid event.
A hybrid event encourages the merging of both virtual and in-person events to appeal to as many people as possible, even those who wish to attend from the comfort of their own homes.
Here are some tips for taking an in-person event and turning it into a hybrid experience.
Tip #1: Start With The Event Management Software
Before you host hybrid experiences or events of any kind, it is important to find the right event management software.
Choosing the right event management software, such as Purplepass, can make all the difference for planning and managing an event. Look for a management software that supports flexible ticket types and creation, as well as virtual experiences and streaming support.
Tips for choosing an event management software:
Before choosing the event management software that is right for you and the type of events you intend to plan, keep the following tips in mind:
Consider the events you plan and what venue(s) you intend to use
Determine if you will host events in-person, virtual, or with hybrid events
Choose the type of tickets you will sell and whether you prefer to sell your tickets online, in-person, or with a hybrid solution offering both methods. One event management platform that is ideal for ticketing solutions is Purplepass.
Keep the seating you plan to offer in mind, and consider how you intend to manage the seating at your next event. Whether you are limiting webinar attendees or if you are using a venue with a few seats, seek an event management platform that allows complete and total control over your event’s seating.
Consider if you will sell and managing merchandise and whether you prefer to do so via an event management platform such as Purplepass.
Create ticket types based on discounted rates for groups or even for specific guest types (senior citizens, students, veterans, etc.).
Tip #2: Develop Separate Marketing Strategies
If you are planning to host both in-person and virtual events for your business, organization, or brand, it is important to distinguish between both in-person and online audiences, as these are not typically the same.
When you are targeting individuals to attend your in-person event, you may need to target groups of individuals who may have a vested interest in the type of event you are hosting, as well as the sponsors and vendors who are planning to attend.
You should also consider the demographics of the online audience you intend to reach before you launch and your marketing strategy.
Both the online and the in-person audience you attempt to reach will be vastly different, even if they have a few similarities in terms of what they are looking for from your own organization or business.
Tip #3: Plan Interactions and Engagements for Events
Planning an event requires the ability to manage the logistics for the event from start to finish. This can include everything from handling the ticketing of your event along with marketing, to understanding how to best engage and interact with those who attend your event, both online and in person.
If you are planning hybrid events, it is important to consider how you plan to interact and engage with those who attend either of the events you host (in person or virtual), as these events will not feel the same to your guests.
Planning interactions and engagements for an online audience may include hosting virtual competitions and giveaways, and putting social media hashtags and other relevant trends at the time to use. When communicating with an in-person audience, it may be important to learn more about attendees while also providing icebreakers that help your guests feel comfortable chatting and getting to know one another throughout your event.
Tip #4: Diversify Your Ticketing Solutions
The type of ticketing solutions you provide to prospective guests, speakers, and sponsors of any event can ultimately mean the difference between selling out or struggling to generate leads. Diversifying your ticketing solutions is highly advisable, regardless of the type of hybrid event you are planning and the size of your event.
When you are choosing a ticketing solution that is right for your event, ask yourself the following questions:
What type of event am I hosting? Will I be hosting this event in person, online, online, or as a hybrid event?
Will the event include many ticketing tiers?
Will those who choose to attend the hybrid event receive discounts or special offers?
A suitable ticketing solution will provide you with the ability to sell any type of tickets you have in mind for an event you are managing, whether the event is being hosted in-person, online, or even a combination of the two.
Tip #5: Merge Your Audiences
If possible, attempt to merge both your online and in-person audiences together for the best outcome at your next event. Having both audiences connected and/or engaged with one another is also a way to make your event memorable.
Merging your audiences may occur while hosting a speech, or while sponsors and invited guests are speaking or sharing more information about their own reasons for being there. Merging audiences as much as possible can also help to make your event feel more cohesive and put together.
Tip #6: Use Separate Hosts
One way to ensure that any hybrid event you plan goes off with a hitch is to use separate hosts. Using separate hosts for both your in-person events and your virtual events is a way to provide both sets of attendees with a positive and attentive experience. Providing a host for only one portion of your event can feel like a letdown to your guests if they are unable or unwilling to attend the other portion of your event.
By including separate hosts, you can also offer an individualized experience to both those who are attending a virtual webinar or virtual event you are hosting, and the guests who have attended your event in person. You can also work with your event’s hosts to ensure they stick to an event-specific itinerary in place for the individual guests who are planning to attend.
Tip #7: Bridge Experiences
When hosting a hybrid event, bridging the experiences of your guests is one way to create an event that will not easily be forgotten. If you can bridge the experiences of both your virtual and in-person events, your guests will help to spread the word about your event while also meeting and/or mingle with even more people.
Using hybrid experiences for your business, brand, or organization is a great way to not only incentivize more attendees at your events, but it is also a great way to gain valuable insight into the data and analytics collected from the events you host. Hosting hybrid events that include virtual and in-person options can help you broaden your appeal while also helping you to spread the word about your business, brand, school, organization, or cause in less time.