It is an understatement to say that event planners have been in quite a whirlwind since early 2020. Having mastered face-to-face events, planners had to quickly learn and properly implement 100% virtual conferences. Now as the pandemic is easing, there is now another transition to hybrid events. This change not only results in another steep learning curve, but it also requires a reworking of the particular technologies that should be deployed for a hybrid event.
What is a Hybrid Event?What is a Hybrid event? It is not just streaming live feeds from F2F or posting recordings as was done in the past. A hybrid event brings together two different sets of participants, one face-to-face (F2F) the other virtual, into a single unified experience. While the schedule of each group may differ at times, there are many overlapping experiences that will occur. Planning for both the F2F and virtual participants needs to intentional to bring about a unified event. In particular, there will be a tendency to treat the virtual attendees as an afterthought, being satisfied with just providing a stream of recordings. This will lead to a very dissatisfied virtual attendee. With the right technologies, you can provide both groups of attendees the proper event experience. Here are some questions you should be asking when looking for an event technology provider for your hybrid event.
Questions to ask – The Key Questions
- Does the system have both a mobile event app (for the F2F attendees) and a virtual platform?
- Is the virtual platform mobile responsive in case F2F attendees prefer the virtual platform?
Questions to ask – Education experience
- Can both F2F and virtual attendees have a way to view their schedule and build a list of favorite sessions?
- Can they both post questions to session presenters?
- Can recordings of live sessions be available to both parties after the conference?
- Can on-demand recordings be made available before the conference?
Questions to ask – Virtual Trade Show
- Does the system support both physical as well as virtual floor maps?
- Is there both mobile and virtual lead retrieval?
- Can attendees view all exhibitors on both the mobile app and virtual platforms?
- Can the virtual attendees chat with the exhibitors?
Questions to ask – Attendee Networking
- Will the attendee profile list include both groups of attendees?
- Can the attendee make friends with both the F2F and virtual attendees?
- Can they chat with friends regardless if the person is F2F or virtual?
Questions to ask – Attendee Accreditation
- Does both the F2F and Virtual platforms have a way to track who attended which session?
- Can the system follow up with session attendees with surveys and quizzes?
- Finally, can the system award CEUs to the attendees who meet their attendance requirements?
Many systems can meet the needs of an F2F event or virtual event, but not both. By asking the right questions, you can be sure you get the event management software that is perfect for your hybrid meeting.
Need help with your hybrid or virtual event? Contact us to see how technology can make your life easier!