Today, hybrid and virtual events are trending universally and have become the new normal. During the course of the pandemic, the event industry took a step and transited live physical events to virtual venues. Technological innovations by tech freaks enabled us to sail through the challenging times of the global pandemic. Nowadays, event planners are exploring new and creative virtual hybrid event ideas to bring people together and foster meaningful connections.
If stats are to be believed, virtual hybrid events aren’t uncharted territory for any sector. Whether we talk about the education domain, corporate sectors, medicare, fashion, or automobile every industry has embraced virtual or hybrid events. It has become a resort for brands and organisations to carry out their conferences, product launches, or any other event. In the fast-paced technological age, virtual hybrid events are here to stay in 2021 and beyond.
In this post, we have scrutinized some of the innovative virtual hybrid event ideas & virtual event best practices. Read on, to carry out the most engaging hybrid or virtual event that delivers value to your attendees.
What are Virtual Events?
An event organised in a virtual venue over the internet instead of a physical on-site venue is known as a virtual event. It involves people interacting in a visually rich virtual environment from the comfort of their own homes. Online events bring people together under one roof virtually from where they consume information and network seamlessly in real-time.
Any type of live physical event can be transmitted to a virtual environment. Whether you are planning to host a meeting, conference, trade show, expo, or any other event a comprehensive hybrid virtual events platform serves all. The audio/video functionality offered by the platform enables attendees to have life-like interactions in real-time. Whereas interactive features such as Q&A, live polls, surveys, gamification, etc. helps in keeping attendees interested throughout the event.
Unlike physical events, virtual events are highly measurable. Each and every digital attendee move is tracked right from the start till the event ends. It helps in gathering accurate data and creating a report to measure the performance metrics of the event.
What are hybrid events?
A hybrid event is a perfect amalgamation of live physical and virtual events. It involves a small group of people attending an event by visiting an on-site location. Whereas a large segment of virtual attendees is accessing the event remotely via the virtual event platform at their convenience. In simple terms, a hybrid event is defined as a physical event paired with virtual counterparts to engage attendees located at various locations.
Virtual Hybrid Event Ideas and Best Practices
Running a virtual hybrid event is an effective way to attract a global clientele. To ensure a successful event, we have curated a list of virtual event best practices to upscale your event experiences.
Determine the Event Type to Create a Game Plan
Determining the event type is the first step towards hosting a virtual hybrid event. Next, comes identifying the goals you want to achieve out of it. Some of the most common types of virtual hybrid events are:
- Virtual Hybrid Conference and Meeting
- Trade Shows and Fairs
- Product Launches
- Award Shows
- Talk Shows
- Career and Job Fairs
- Networking Fair
Create a game plan as per your event type. Hosting hybrid virtual events is a cost-effective alternative thus making it a preferred choice for large and small-scale organisations. Determine the following factors before making any virtual hybrid event strategy:
- How attendees will register for your virtual hybrid event?
- Will your event access be gated or free?
- Who are your event speakers?
- What KPIs and data you are planning to track?
- What engaging features would you like to integrate into your event?
- Will your event be live, on-demand, or both?
Leveraging the Right Event Technology
Choosing the right virtual event tech is counted as one of the most important factors to ensure a successful event. It eases your burden as an organiser. With the surge in demand for virtual event platforms available nowadays, the market is flooded with various virtual counterparts. Select a platform that offers a list of extensive features to comprehend your virtual hybrid event. AI-matchmaking, DIY booth builder, business meeting scheduler, virtual networking tables are some of the top-notch features that are currently high in demand. Look for a platform that helps you translate your live physical event experiences into a virtual world.
Collaborate with Sponsors
Collaborate with the right set of sponsors to generate more revenues. Reach out to the sponsors who are interested in your event. It helps in attracting more attendees to your virtual hybrid event. Same as physical events offer a dedicated space to sponsors in virtual events setting to showcase their product offerings. Virtual exhibitor booth enables attendees to have 1:1 conversations with the booth representatives. Virtual hybrid events enable the organiser to track every interaction and lead.
Gamify Your Event to Boost Excitement
Gamifying your event is counted as virtual event best practices. Integrating games in your virtual hybrid events boost the enthusiasm of attendees thus keeping them interested in the event. Organise quizzes, contests, crosswords and so on that make attendees desirable to win rewards. Curate a game that matches your event theme. It is a sure-shot way to boost engagement with your virtual hybrid event.
Utilise Engagement Features Offered by the Platform
Engagement is the key to ensure a successful event. Engaging with attendees holds utmost importance. Utilise the brilliant features offered by the virtual event platform to scale up the engagement levels of an event. Leaderboard challenge is one such way to boost engagement at the event. Additionally, the music in the lobby areas delivers immersive experiences to attendees.
Hosting a virtual hybrid event is an overwhelming thought for businesses as it offers a list of advantages. Following the virtual event best practices is sure to deliver a successful event. If you have not yet planned to take your event virtual or hybrid, start planning to reap the benefits and maximise your business capital.