Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Running a Hybrid Event Post-COVID

May 27, 2021

John D’Adamo

Based in Florida, John D’Adamo boasts more than 10 years of experience within the events industry and has built long standing relationships with some of the world’s most respected brands. His appointment and goal of establishing VenuIQ’s American entity marks a pivotal moment in the company’s development.

With a return to normalcy in sight, event organizers can finally look forward to reopening venue doors and welcoming delegates in-person, but even as restrictions ease, venues are unlikely to be able to safely cater for an audience at full capacity. This is why when planning upcoming events, it is crucial to include both physical and virtual elements in the form of a hybrid event.

Hybrid events — a mix of live and virtual — not only allow audiences to participate and engage no matter their geographical location, they also enable organizers to increase their reach, gain more attendees and reduce their costs. 

As with any type of event, to make a hybrid event a success, there are some pitfalls to avoid, particularly when planning one for the first time. Here are some of the most common mistakes to be aware of.

Only prioritizing one side of the event.

When planning a hybrid event, many organizers will focus their efforts and resources on optimizing live elements, but it is vital to also ensure that virtual delegates are benefitting from all that the event has to offer.

If virtual attendees sense that the digital aspects of the event they are attending are an afterthought or simply a box to be checked, they will be left feeling underwhelmed or less important than live delegates. 

Investing equally in both the live and virtual elements of a hybrid event is the best way to prove its value to all delegates. This way, if organizers do eventually transition back to live events exclusively or have to rely on virtual events again in the future, all attendees will be encouraged to return regardless of how they previously consumed the organizer’s events.=

Not tailoring the event to accommodate fewer physical attendees and COVID safety measures.

When preparing the live elements of their hybrid events, organizers must ensure they tailor their activations for fewer physical attendees and that COVID guidelines are adhered to fully.

Being overzealous when organizing a live event, especially right after a long hiatus, can have many implications for event organizers. Not only will their budget be unnecessarily spent on more facilities and a larger venue than needed, facilitating for too many attendees can have legal repercussions as venues will not be allowed to operate at full capacity for the foreseeable future. 

Ensuring booking and planning is carried out with a focus on having fewer physical delegates will be key for event organizers to manage their budgets, implement COVID safety measures and provide a quality experience for all attendees.

Not investing in appropriate hybrid events software.

Organizers will need to ensure they have effective hybrid events software in place to create a more immersive experience for virtual delegates. High-quality software can change the experience for guests, allowing them to actively participate in and contribute to interactive sessions with speakers, instead of merely logging into a live stream of the event. 

There are many hybrid event features to take advantage of in order to create an event that truly provides value. Researching and carefully choosing the best software will result in better levels of engagement, interaction and delegate satisfaction. Failing to opt for feature-rich and reliable software could limit the reach of an event and the potential to attract and engage global audiences. 

By investing in appropriate hybrid events technology, organizers may even encourage virtual delegates to attend future physical events, as they will already have experienced the benefits and opportunities their events have to offer.  

Conclusion

We are likely to see a huge rise in hybrid events in the coming months as people continue to favor a mix of in-person and virtual interaction. By carefully planning all aspects of their events, both physical and virtual, taking advantage of hybrid events technology and knowing the mistakes to avoid, organizers can ensure they get events season off to a strong start. 

 

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