Arushi Gupta is a virtual event enthusiast and a product marketer for Hubilo, a virtual event platform with global clients including the UN, Siemens, GITEX, NYU, AWS and Tech In Asia.
5 Blunders To Avoid When Hosting a Hybrid Event
Pressure building up, short turnaround times, last-minute decisions, a million balls to juggle—this is how an event organizer’s life looks like before his or her mega event. And what can make things worse are the small mistakes and mishaps that may occur because of the tension in the air.
While errors are part of the process, not acting on or learning from them is what makes the difference between a spectacular and an average event professional. If you want your event to be bulletproof, take a look at this list of the most common mistakes to avoid before going live with your next hybrid event.
Keeping the Virtual Participation Fee Same As the In-Person One
It goes without saying that virtual and live experiences are very different. Though the goal of your hybrid event is to do justice to both, one can’t ignore the fact that live events will cost more because of the venue, stage setup, furniture and most importantly, the health and safety measures you’ll be putting in place to deal with the post-COVID-19 situation.
So while it’s justifiable to charge your live attendees a certain fee, burdening your virtual attendees with the same costs could put them off. Make sure you find an apt price that doesn’t make your virtual audience feel like they’re paying for in-person perks they’re not receiving.
Not Preparing Speakers For a Live + Virtual Setup
Speaking is interpreted very differently in a virtual versus a live setup, so conduct a quick run-through session with your speakers so that they get a better understanding of dealing with a live and virtual audience. Unlike a live event, where there is a personal connection between the speaker and audience, a virtual setup will require the speaker to put in extra effort to keep attendees involved.
As an alternative, you could deploy a moderator who can manage the event and put forward questions directed at the speakers from both mediums.
Not Doing A Test Run Before The Big Day
To limit surprises, it’s essential to anticipate things that could go wrong on the event day. Do a test run of the whole event well in advance so that any loophole or glitch becomes noticeable during the test run itself and you have enough time to rectify it.
One priority is to do a thorough check of your internet connection! Since the event would be live-streamed on a virtual event platform, it is important that you have a stable internet connection so that your online audience has a seamless experience.
Don’t forget to check the lighting, the position of your AV device, the quality of your background and most importantly, ensure that there is no sound interference to hinder the audio quality for your participants.
Ignoring The Online Audience
Focusing more on your live participants and forgetting to engage with your online counterparts is a temptation that will be at an all-time high. It is essential that both your online and offline participants feel equally involved.
Try to engage your virtual audience by asking questions, conducting quirky contests, running polls and more. Don’t — and I cannot stress this enough — forget that every single attendee who is present at your event is your responsibility. Bad experiences stay in people’s minds, and the last thing you want is to spoil the goodwill of your organization.
Not Following Up Post-Event
Engaging audiences is not a one-time process; it's a dynamic line-up of creative actions that begin when the attendee registers and continues beyond the end of the event. So, don’t sit back when the lights are out.
If you’re looking to give your attendees an experience that has an edge over other events, pour some effort into your post-event marketing.
Conduct surveys, ask for opinions, make them feel a part of the event. Use social media and promote the best components of your event after it is over to keep the memories fresh in everyone’s mind.