As the world begins to open, associations are left in a very odd position. It feels like half the world is ready to experience the freedom to roam as they used to. The other half of the world is much more cautious and would rather stay within the safety of their home. So how do associations proceed with their events, usually a requirement of their overall budget, and include both of these groups of people? The answer is hybrid events.
- Invest in onsite AV support for at least the first hybrid event you complete. This is a new avenue for your organization so you’re really starting from scratch in terms of setting up your company as a leader in hybrid events. The last thing you want to happen is some AV issue that could be prevented by having an AV professional onsite. This is not where you should cut costs.
- Make sure you are both live streaming and recording your sessions. You may not have a plan at this point on what to do with the recorded sessions but it’s nice to have the flexibility in the future to make the decision to provide the recordings to certain registrant types or even sell the recordings as a bonus feature for your members.
- Include options for social interactions for your attendees both in-person and at home. For traditional in-person events, we always include options for social functions. The same should be done for those who are attending the event virtually through the ability to connect and chat with other attendees and participate in group discussions through forums or communities. It’s even possible to give your virtual attendees a social hour by providing them with their own Zoom session during any nighttime social events. Providing this element of socialization for virtual attendees will really set your hybrid event apart.
- Be creative with sponsorship opportunities. Many companies think that without a physical element there is a lack of sponsorship opportunities, but that is just not true. Whether you are using a mobile app, virtual event platform or both, anywhere you can add text or an image can become a sponsorship opportunity. For instance, add a sponsor name, logo and URL to the beginning of an alert and it immediately becomes a sponsored alert. The same goes for the description of a session. Definitely make sure you’re taking advantage of more traditional sponsorship opportunities in these platforms like banner ads and events splash pages, but also create opportunities wherever you can add text and/or images.