Hybrid events are the new normal, bringing together the best of both real and virtual worlds. But hosting a hybrid event the same way you host a live or virtual event can result in low attendee satisfaction and even negatively impact your brand.
Here, in this article, we’ve listed out the 9 most important hybrid event mistakes successful event organizers avoid so that you can have a successful event.
Before The Event
- Not Giving Your Potential Virtual Attendees A Reason To Attend
Hybrid events are the latest addition to the world of business events. It is new to both event organizers and attendees. Hence, it is natural for potential virtual attendees to be skeptical about it.
To convince them, talk about the benefits of attending the event virtually, give clear instructions on how to attend, and convey how they’ll get the same value as live attendees.
Charging virtual and live attendees the same registration fee is another mistake that can affect your event. The venue, furniture, food, and first aid are necessary only for live attendees. Charging virtual attendees for these supplies is unreasonable. Hence, always charge less for virtual attendees.
- Not Using A Hybrid Event Mobile App
Hosting a hybrid event is not easy. Catering to your virtual and live attendees is possible only with the coupling of technology and human effort. And the best way to ensure it is to use an event mobile app tailored for hybrid events.
When choosing an event app, ensure that the app meets all your requirements and aligns with your event goals. Go for a no-code app builder that lets you build a custom featured app. Set up a virtual and on-site help desk to help both types of attendees resolve their app queries promptly.
- Not Giving Enough Rehearsals To Your Speakers
Most speakers are trained to engage with a live audience. Unfortunately, very few are skilled enough to handle both virtual and live audiences. Hence, it is highly probable that your speakers might forget your virtual audience completely. To avoid this negligence, train your speakers beforehand on how to speak impactfully during a hybrid event session.
Also, brief them about the nature of the event and familiarise them with the technologies they’ll be using during the event well in advance. Finally, arrange an emcee or a moderator to ensure that virtual event attendees can engage with the speaker effectively.
During The Event
- Longer Sessions
If you are neglecting your virtual attendees, the chances of your event becoming unsuccessful skyrocket by 150%. The most common reason this happens is because of longer sessions that run past the prescribed time limit. Since a virtual attendee’s attention span is much shorter than that of a live attendee, it is crucial to integrate gamification into your events.
Include polls, games, pre and post-session discussions, and other networking opportunities over the app so everyone can engage alike. Also, focus on shorter, impactful sessions that never turn into long-winded ones to ensure that your audience is free from screen fatigue.
- Not Giving Networking Opportunities To Virtual Attendees
Networking is the primary reason why most business professionals attend an event. But when it comes to hybrid events, as event planners, it is your responsibility to ensure that your virtual attendees get the same opportunities as your on-site attendees to network. To make this possible, find ways to make both online and live attendees interact with each other.
While your virtual attendees may be excited to meet your live attendees, this isn’t the case with live attendees. Hence, nudge your live attendees by giving incentives or rewards for engaging with remote audiences. Set up virtual chat rooms and conduct breakout sessions where both audiences can participate, engage, network, and build relationships.
- Streaming The Event Live Without Testing
An event app is a perfect platform to host hybrid events for your virtual attendees. But streaming it live without testing it in advance is a grave mistake you should never commit. Test the app and ensure the functioning of audio and video before launching. Invest in good quality audio/video equipment if you are unsatisfied with the experience offered by the ones you currently have.
Technical glitches during the event can displease your virtual audience. Hence, as organizers, it is your responsibility to make sure that the app can function well without any glitches or crashes, even when all virtual attendees attend the event live.
After The Event
- Not Giving Access to On-Demand Content
Every single registrant might not be able to turn up for your event, be it an in-person or virtual event. As event organizers, it is essential to consider this fact and provide a recording of all event sessions along with necessary resources to all attendees. The event recording allows attendees to watch it at their convenience and helps build a loyal community in the future.
These recordings also help promote the event in the future and even entice the current virtual attendees to attend the event live next time.
- Not Giving Event Swags To Virtual Attendees
Event swags are great for promoting your event. But if you distribute it only to live attendees, you are making a terrible mistake. Furthermore, when you supply it only among a section of your audience, you unintentionally establish a hierarchy between live and virtual attendees. So, if you give out swags, make sure you supply them to everyone.
Digital options like coupons, giveaways, and free course access are some of the digital swags you can use instead of traditional options like T-shirts, mugs, and pens.
- Ghosting Virtual Attendees Post-Event
It is always easy to get feedback from live attendees compared to virtual ones. But if you collect it only from in-person attendees, you are doing it wrong. Instead, gather testimonials and conduct surveys through various social media channels to know what different sets of audiences think about your event. Then, make use of the feedback to rectify your mistakes next time.
These are the top 9 mistakes you should avoid as a hybrid event organizer to host a successful event. If you are finding the responsibility of hosting a hybrid event overwhelming, connect with us today, and we’ll ensure you host a successful event, be it virtual, live, or hybrid events!
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