While 2020 became the year of the virtual event, 2021 has fast become the year of hybrid events. And these are here to stay! Not only do they allow for a much wider audience but they are also key in the development of a more sustainable delivery.
Joining a panel of experts during the Ultimate Guide to Hybrid Events webinar organised by C&IT last week, our ezy Virtual Solutions wizard, Ezra, took some notes and here is what he took away with him.
It is key for hybrid event's organisers to appoint one overall producer for both physical and virtual events. This is the only way to ensure consistency and continuity across the events.
Consider the virtual platform as a venue in itself and make sure that it complements the physical venue.
Invest in a TV studio setting. Two-dimensional video streaming may have been acceptable at the beginning of 2020 but event organisers have since upped their game and the ones who don't follow will be left behind.
The virtual audience is likely to be much larger than the physical one. Make sure that they get the attention they deserve. They are not only willing to engage but they will be expecting it. Since virtual delivery differs from physical delivery, it is necessary to build two distinct programs (that can be executed jointly on occasion). Keep these programmes simple and minimise the amount of movement around both the physical venue and the virtual platform.
Capture the virtual audiences' attention with a good moderator (else it won't take long for your attendees to switch screen and start working on e-mails!).
Be bold with your choice of speakers. Enticing "celebrities" to attend your event is never going to be easy but you will be in with far better chances to convince them if they can do it from the comfort of their own home.
Make sure to record the digital content of your event as this can be repurposed for days if not weeks after the event and increase your reach drastically.
Virtual event platforms can provide you with sets of analytics once your event is over. Make sure to go through this data to find out what parts of your virtual delivery worked and what needs reviewing in the future.
Hybrid formats make events more inclusive and accessible but they are also a key contributor to sustainability. A very easy way to demonstrate this during your event is to use one of the many online carbon footprint calculators. This will allow you to share live data with your digital audience and demonstrate how they contributed to reduce and offset emissions.
To keep your physical audience manageable and minimise their carbon footprint, create several smaller events.
If you are planning to distribute giveaways to your guests, please remember that there are only so many business card holders, power-banks and travel mugs that a person requires in a lifetime. On the flip side of the coin, everybody needs clean air, so why not gift to plant a tree for each person signed up for your event?
When checking suitable dates and location(s) for your live production, why not check the status of other events likely to attract your physical delegates and coordinate your own event around it. This will not only reduce the amount of travel quite significantly for your guests but it will also save them some precious time (and make them realise that you care about them as well as the planet's wellbeing!).
Born out of COVID, the ezy Virtual Solutions platforms were built with SMEs and Associations in mind. The intuitive platform and its founders' 30+ years of event industry experience produce environmentally friendly virtual and hybrid events that reach the widest global audiences and create meaningful connections.
Ideal if you are looking to launch or exhibit your new product or service, network with industry peers, host a panel discussion, operate a virtual office or organise a virtual conference, workshop or fun event. White-label solutions available for agencies, venues and corporates.
Ezra and his team can deliver it for you. To get in touch simply e-mail email@example.com or call 0208 877 4500.