Hybrid events are here to stay. It’s no secret that planning a hybrid event involves a considerable amount of planning and patience. Once you’ve put in the work to plan a hybrid event, it’s time to kick things into gear and run a hybrid event that delights, inspires, and provides value for your attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.
As event planners navigate hybrid events, they’re presented with an unique opportunity: create two dynamic experiences–– one virtual, one in-person–– and bring them into one immersive event.
Running a hybrid event requires thoughtful planning, a well equipped team, and a bit of creativity. If you’re gearing up to run a hybrid event, you’ve come to the right place. Think of this as your go-to resource for how to run a successful hybrid event that engages attendees and goes off without a hitch!
Step 1: Walkthrough Your Venue and Virtual Platform
Running a hybrid event involves a lot of moving parts. When you arrive on-site at the in-person component of your event, make sure to set aside time to walk through the venue and your virtual event platform.
While you might have visited the event space previously, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the space day-of, so you and your team know where everything is located. Just as you should walk through the physical space of your hybrid event, the same goes for the virtual event platform you’ll use to host your online attendees. Put yourself in the shoes of both attendee groups!
Make sure to walk through the main conference space and session rooms in your venue. When it comes to your virtual event platform, check out the different areas your virtual attendees can engage in such as Video Rooms, the Social Wall, or the Sponsor Showcase.
Conducting a walk through of your in-person and virtual event spaces is a great way to kick off running your hybrid event. Plus, this will help eliminate any surprises before the start of the event!
Looking for hybrid event inspiration? Check out our top five favorite hybrid events of 2021 so far!
Step 2: Run Through the Event with Your AV Team
Testing, testing, is this thing on?
Part of running a hybrid event involves practicing with your AV team to work out any last minute tech issues. Not only is this a great way to review the run of the show, this will give you peace of mind going into the rest of the event.
Your AV team and equipment play a major role in your hybrid event success! Without your event’s AV and tech, you wouldn’t be able to bridge the gap between your virtual and in-person audiences. Make sure to give yourself enough time before your event starts to regroup with your AV team and ask any questions you have before the event starts.
Keep in mind that while your event’s AV and production elements will add additional costs to your hybrid event budget, they’re essential to creating an immersive event experience for your virtual and in-person audiences.
Step 3: Engage, Connect, and Delight Hybrid Attendees
The magic of a hybrid event is that your virtual and in-person audiences can seamlessly interact through your virtual event platform.
Running a successful hybrid event means leveraging an end-to-end event management platform that makes it easy for your in-person and virtual audiences, speakers, and sponsors to connect, network, and engage with each other and the event’s content.
Check out some virtual event platform features you can use to run your hybrid event:
- Direct and group attendee messaging. Socio enables your attendees to chat directly through the platform through 1:1 chat or group messaging to streamline communication. Plus, within chat they can exchange photos/videos, share their location, or even schedule meetings.
- Gamification. Friendly competition helps boost engagement and connect virtual and in-person attendees. Reward attendees for visiting exhibitor and sponsor booths, participating in scavenger hunts, and contributing to social media challenges.
- Sponsor Showcase. Drive value for your event’s sponsors by putting their brand on full display using Socio’s Sponsor Showcase. Once attendees click into a sponsor profile, sponsors can wow with a profile built with engaging resources and ways to get in touch.
- Video Rooms. Host Clubhouse-like topical discussion rooms, intimate roundtable discussions, sponsor-led small group presentations, or other thematic breakout rooms. If you can dream it, you can host it!
- Live Data Dashboard. Socio’s Data Dashboard provides a 360-degree view of event data and metrics. It takes the guesswork out of event success, so organizers can see what’s working (and what’s not) in real time.
Looking for creative ways to boost engagement at your virtual, in-person, or hybrid event? Register for the on-demand version of our webinar, The Fun Starts Here: How to engage, amaze, and delight your event attendees!
Step 4: Provide Value for Hybrid Event Sponsors
Sponsors play a major role in running and launching successful hybrid events. Not only do they add to your event’s credibility, sponsorships typically contribute to the majority of an event’s revenue. Ensuring your event sponsors have ample opportunities to connect with attendees should be top of mind during your event.
Here are some creative ways to provide value for your event’s sponsors:
- Banner ads in your event’s mobile app and virtual event platform
- Push notifications with sponsor updates
- Sponsored sessions
- In-person and virtual sponsor booths
- Sponsored commercials between presentations
Looking to give your sponsorships even more value and opportunity to connect with attendees? Socio’s Video Rooms offer sponsors one (or more) designated Video Rooms that sponsors can staff during the entirety of your event or designated times.
If attendees are interested in hearing more from your sponsors, they can easily join a Video Room to network with sponsors, engage in small group discussions, or request a demo!
Step 5: Promote Your Hybrid Event via Social Media
Running a hybrid event also means showing off all your hard work to the world! Don’t let your followers on social media miss out on the fun. Promoting your event across your social channels can even help boost FOMO for your next event!
Here are some ideas to promote your event on social:
- Create an event hashtag and encourage your attendees to use it in their posts when they share photos from the event on social media.
- Bring social to your virtual event platform! Socio’s Social Wall feature can be used as a social media platform right inside your event. This is another great way to get your virtual and in-person audiences interacting.
- If you’re sending swag to your virtual attendees ahead of time, encourage them to share photos of their event swag from home!
Social media is a powerful way to connect in-person and virtual attendees. Even though they’re not in the same physical location, they can still use social media as a way to network and post about their shared experiences at the event.
Step 6: Launch Your Post-Event On-Demand Experience
Running a hybrid event means that the show continues even after the lights go off and your in-person and virtual speakers “return home.” Once your event has completed, aim to get your on-demand experience up and running as soon as possible.
Your virtual event management platform is the ideal place to host your post-event content, so it’s easily accessible to your attendees. After the event, upload session recordings, keynote presentations, and any content that your presenters can share, such as PDFs or slide decks.
Plus, keep the conversations going in the platform! Encourage attendees to stay connected by continuing to use networking capabilities to chat and share insights from the event.
Socio powers highly engaging post-event on-demand experiences with features to keep attendees engaged and interacting even after your event has ended.
We recently launched our first-ever hybrid event, and we have to admit, it was a hit! The best part? You can still be a part of it, too! Just register here, and you’ll be on your way to accessing the hybrid event experience, plus all of our exclusive content!
Running a Hybrid Event with Powerful Event Management Software
A hybrid event requires quite a bit of planning and coordination. When it comes to running your hybrid event, your virtual event platform should be the least of your worries!
Socio is your end-to-end event management software built to power virtual, in-person, and hybrid events. Think of it like this: bringing your virtual and in-person audiences together requires a lot of moving parts. You need an event platform that can keep up.
Socio makes the hybrid event experience seamless–– it’s one hub with live streaming, attendee engagement, sponsorship, 1:1 networking, and advanced analytics right at your fingertips.
If you’re running a hybrid event, we’re ready to help with a virtual event platform to power your most successful event yet. Schedule a personalized demo with Socio Experts today!