I capisaldi degli eventi ibridi


In 2020, the events industry transformed overnight to virtual, but conversations about the future are already happening now. Event leaders are already considering the long-term impact of COVID-19 and how the future of events must adapt to how their attendees experience the world. Many events will remain successfully virtual.

Others will return to gathering in person at physical venues. But most events will be both. Most events will be hybrid. In fact, in a recent survey by Freeman Data Solutions, 78% of 20,491 brand marketers surveyed agree that Freeman Data Solutions moving forward, in-person events will pivot to hybrid models.

So what do hybrid events look like? Even more, what do world-class hybrid events look like? In this article, we would like not only to outline tips and best practices from hybrid event experts but also provides the strategies and tools for today’s event organizers to get started with everything they need to plan and execute a successful hybrid event.

Hybrid events reshape what it means to be at an event, as attendees can now have the same experience onsite or virtually. They make it so that an audience you normally couldn’t reach becomes easily reachable, and we’re seeing organizations around the world from New Zealand to Germany discover what it means to unlock an entirely new audience for their existing events.
The first generation of online events simply translated the physical stage into a streaming experience for online attendees. While this has served as a valuable stopgap in the move to more accessible digital media, it’s not a true event experience. Hybrid events use community-enabled technology to actually re-create the onsite event virtually, with all of the opportunities, experiences, and benefits of the in-person event.

Event organizers can customize how attendees engage with each other, facilitating open and targeted networking between virtual and onsite attendees. To do this, organizers can set the matchmaking to the different combinations between on-site and online.

While event organizers new to hybrid events might worry that creating a hybrid event will double their workload or dilute the value of a longstanding onsite tradition, in reality, that is not the case. A hybrid event simply takes the onsite event and enhances it with a comprehensive virtual experience that extends your event’s legacy.
For some event organizers, creating a hybrid event feels counter-intuitive – why create a virtual event that competes with your onsite event?

But rather than competing, a hybrid experience supplements an onsite event and widens the potential audience, providing opportunities for meaningful engagement that could not be done with a physical or virtual event alone. Event organizers that might otherwise be limited to 1,000 or 10,000 attendees because of geographic location and venue size find they can easily accommodate and capture the interest of 5-10x that audience size virtually – and event sponsors are able to amplify their visibility to a global digital audience.

What about ticket sales? If you’re concerned your virtual event might cannibalize revenue from your in-person event, here are some strategies that have worked for important organizers:
  • Advertise at the same price. Let attendees choose how they want to attend your event and use the same price to communicate that the value they’ll receive is the same.
  • Campaign for local attendees. Segment your promotions by location, making tickets to the physical event only available to your local city, while offering international attendees virtual event tickets.
  • Set timed sales periods. Sell onsite tickets until they’re sold out, then offer online tickets.
  • Create bonuses for either onsite or online attendees. Offer VIP interaction or upgrades for attendees that travel to the event or that buy a higher value virtual ticket.
In the case of hybrid events, bringing a true live event experience into a virtual format removes the limits and inconveniences that have prevented attendees from fully participating in these events. Here are four of the most important long-term outcomes of a world where hybrid events are the new normal:
    • Hybrid events come with a default to inclusivity, allowing populations that otherwise might face disproportionate barriers to attendance or accepting speaking engagements to participate in the full experience.
    • While venues in the United States are subject to the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) Act, it’s not always possible to make every part of an onsite event accessible to every person who wishes to attend. As a result, individuals with disabilities have often been forced to opt-out of the inconvenience of travelling and the potential discomforts of an onsite event. 15% of the global population Hybrid events open up a world of information and community to individuals with disabilities, introducing as many as to opportunities that before now were quite literally not accessible.
    • Many speakers and conference attendees today have committed to lowering their carbon footprint. But because sustainability efforts often take the form of limiting personal travel and not encouraging mass travel on behalf of others, it can be challenging for brands, speakers, and individuals to participate in a traditional onsite conference.
    • Smart people are also busy people they don t always want to be on a plane travelling to and from an event. While a certain kind of person will always want to attend face to face, there's another kind of person who completely bought into the benefit of having options.
As more event organizers explore the potential of hybrid events, it will be increasingly important to understand how the pieces of the puzzle fit together to form a new, immersive event experience. Here’s a 360 look at the hybrid event experience:

  • Event Organize your team into a project management tool with digital to-do lists
  • Assign separate tasks to prepare for the onsite event and the virtual event
  • Provide “coach kits” for attendees, speakers, and sponsors to guide them through how your unique event experience works
  • Event Assign teams to areas of the event, such as Stages, Sessions, Chat, Registration, Expo, etc.
  • Broadcast onsite and virtual speaker presentation to all attendees
  • Communicate with your team to coordinate the run of the show
  • Identify and segment attendees who will be present physically and who will attend virtually so guests can know what to expect when they network with each other
  • Set up the rules for attendees to network with each other 
  • Identify appropriate breaks in the schedule to encourage participation in networking
  • Send feedback survey to attendees, segmenting onsite and virtual participants
  • Share event recordings as a bonus or package them into an alternative product
  • Purchase a ticket with your preferred level of access (onsite or virtual)
  • Stay tuned for emails updates about sessions and speakers
  • Read or watch walkthrough instructions on how to get the most out of the event, whether you’re online or onsite
  • Look out for your conference agenda and swag onsite via email, or inside your virtual venue
  • Participate in the onsite reception or in a specific online room
  • Experience intimate, virtual fireside chats for close-ups with both onsite or virtual speakers and panels
  • Attend a session in-person knowing you can access another session at the same time by replay later
  • Dive into several match-making features, which can pair you with event attendees online and off
  • Chat without interrupting speakers onsite
  • Use your personal device to network with event attendees online and off
  • Make your opinion known by providing your feedback in an online survey
  • Anticipate personalized follow up based on how you engaged in the event
  • Check event materials to find out if you’ll have access to event recordings

  • Confirm if you’ll speak virtual or onsite, on the main stage or side stage
  • Take a tour of the venue in person or through a video walkthrough and get familiar with where you’re speaking
  • Decide if you want to be “semi-live” and stream a pre-recorded video into the event, which can allow you to better manage your speaking schedule
  • Present on site as normal and have your content broadcasted to virtual attendees
  • Remember to address both your onsite audience and your virtual audience
  • Interact with your audience and answer questions using the interactive chat feature
  • Poll your virtual listeners during your talk to enhance engagement and learn more about them in real-time
  • Take a break from the in-person networking and jump into the networking room to match with an attendee for a set amount of time
  • Spend time with other speakers backstage or in a speakers-only “green room”
  • Respond to direct messages at the event and, if interested, accept video call invitations from guests
  • Leverage the professional video footage of the presentation for future use
  • Make the most of the event’s global exposure by reaching out to new fans and followers who engaged with your content online while attending the event

  • Explore hundreds of ways to brand and add targeted messaging to the design of the virtual and onsite event
  • Make your logo a GIF on the event landing page to attract more attention
  • Work with the event organizer to do a practise run-through of your virtual booth to understand the full capabilities
  • Add a computer or two to your onsite booth so that your team can check messages and interact with virtual visitors in between onsite visitors
  • Be available to event attendees with a dual exposition experience one booth onsite and one booth accessible online with live or pre-recorded video content
  • Explore the interactive elements of your booth to capture valuable data online and offline, enabling more personalized follow-up campaigns
  • Consider staffing your virtual booth with a diverse array
 of employee representatives
  • Invite attendees to your booth by dropping the URL in chat — a shortened hashtag link will appear and send traffic to your booth in one click
  • Share your team’s schedule of when the booth will be live to receive guests and provide demos and answer questions
  • Brainstorm raffles and virtual swag for attendees who interact, refer to your booth or take you up on your call to action
  • Send personal follow-ups based on detailed lead data
  • Capture insights about your audience from other event data such as poll results, demographics, participation rates, and attendee movement

Here are the top ten most important considerations you’ll want to take into account as you transform your onsite event or virtual event into a hybrid event:
  1. Create a plan to facilitate intentional attendee networking opportunities in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the event.
  2. Identify virtual equivalents of onsite events you’d like to include and assign responsibilities to your team.
  3. Work with a graphic designer to organize visual co-branding onsite and on the online platform, and to highlight the best spots for video or picture selfies of onsite attendees.
  4. Connect with a video production team to gather the right technical equipment and create a plan to record and stream content from onsite to virtual and virtual to onsite (i.e., on TVs).
  5. Identify which speakers will appear on site and which will present virtually, factoring in that virtual speaking engagements may have an impact on speaker fees and unlock very high profile speakers.
  6. Select opportunities to highlight online attendees throughout the onsite event, such as real-time analytics updates or merging onsite and virtual participation with software tools.
  7. Create video walkthroughs of how your hybrid event will work
  8. Schedule 30- 60 minutes of open networking and exploration before kickoff to give your audience an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the event, introduce themselves, and build excitement before your welcome keynote on Stage.
  9. Create a helpful display when nothing is streaming on the stage, which might include holding screen instructions, reminders, sponsored shout-outs, and more.

If you remember one idea from this whitepaper, let it be this: New technology powers new forms of events. This means there is an enormous opportunity for the pioneers of hybrid events. As the current environment continues to have its effect on the events industry, there is a world of innovation ready and waiting. It’s already happening.

At 3e60events, we see it every day. New styles, strategies, and techniques across all types of events. The way people interact—in-person, virtually, and everything in between — is changing. At 3e60events, we’re building for the hybrid. We’re excited to introduce products and features specifically for hybrid events. We can’t give away specifics yet but get ready to see events that are more accessible, more engaging, and more sustainable for everyone — both online and offline.

With a hybrid approach, more people are able to attend and interact in the way that’s best for them. This flexibility is key. We’re focused on crafting a seamless experience where the value is equal for all attendees — virtual or in-person. “The future of events” gets mentioned a lot, but to truly understand the future of events you need to first understand the future of attendees.

This is where 3e60events is pouring engineering resources into. Hybrid creates a world without limits. It’s an event format that invites attendees, speakers, and sponsors to freely engage with concepts, communities and conferences on a global scale. As we move forward and innovate in this space together with our organizers, there is a lot to uncover and learn. But our mission remains the same.

Better connections for a better planet. Only as the world becomes safer will in-person events return. It will be slow. It will take time. Potentially years. Until then, events are getting scheduled and organizers are offering both online and offline versions for all attendees to feel comfortable.

This is the new reality of events. And it’s already happening now. Hybrid is here. Are you ready for it?
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