What you can learn about Hybrid events from our most recent focus group

Hybrid events are the present and the future. A hybrid event/meeting/conference combines the very best of live and virtual events to create an engaging and entertaining experience for all attendees regardless of their location.

Recently, The Inception Company hosted a focus group on Hybrid using Pando, our virtual meeting platform. Pando integrates a full studio production with 60-100 remote participants, depending on location, displayed on a 40-foot Pandorama video wall and up to 5000 off-wall participants and observers. Attendees included meeting and event planners from a variety of industries.

Six Things To Know About Planning Your Hybrid Event

  1. 80% of participants said that Engagement and Technology were the most critical components of a hybrid meeting. Many of us have experienced technical glitches during our events in this new virtual world. Unlike the glitches at in-person events where you have a captive audience in a controlled environment, the risk of losing your virtual attendees for good increases with every minute that they cannot engage. Make sure that your hybrid meeting partner has pre-event testing for all aspects of their technology as well as at-the-ready customer support for any issues during your event.
  2. 70% stated that the attendees’ inability to travel was a core contributing factor for the need for hybrid meetings. As the world continues to open up after an unprecedented year in our modern history, not everyone is going to be ready to travel quite yet. Additionally, many corporate travel budgets will be in catch-up mode through 2021 and into 2022 so businesses will likely scale back the number of attendees they are sending to conferences/events. You should also consider that some people with disabilities may not be able to travel. Creating an inclusive environment for all should be a priority, so make sure to partner with best-in-class virtual engagement platforms and technologies.
  3. Gamification with a visual leaderboard is a great way to keep remote attendees engaged. As mentioned above, engagement for every remote participant is top-of-mind for the vast majority of event planners and attendees. Finding ways to create competition throughout the course of your event for virtual attendees is a great way to maximize engagement and ensure that participants stay online for the duration of your event.
  4. Create enough excitement that attendees would experience the fear of missing out (FOMO) if they didn’t attend. This basically comes down to dynamic pre-event marketing. Work with your event partners to implement a co-marketing strategy and make sure to highlight the differentiators within your program that would increase the likelihood that those considering attendance would have FOMO if they didn’t register.
  5. To satisfy your peace of mind, it’s a best practice to find a one-stop shop for the production and management of both the virtual and in-person meetings. This will create consistency across your event and provide a seamless experience for all of your attendees. It also provides one point of contact for any issue that may arise both in-person and virtual.
  6. Think of your hybrid event/conference/meeting like a sporting event. Several of the participants in the focus group mentioned the similarities between the two. People attend a game live to experience the sounds, smells, energy, and camaraderie. When someone chooses to watch a game at home or in another location other than the stadium or arena, they have an entirely different experience. They trade the sounds, smells, and energy for convenience, the ability to manage their viewing experience, cost-effectiveness, and comfort. Although different, each experience has its benefits and satisfies the needs of each audience. Your hybrid event should do the same.

And depending on the type of Hybrid event you are planning, make sure to ask yourself one or all these questions:

  1. Is it a seamless experience for both live and virtual attendees?
  2. Is it entertaining?
  3. Is it engaging?
  4. Is it an exciting experience for everyone regardless of their location?

Interested in learning more about how The Inception Company can help you with your hybrid meeting, event or conference?

Just fill out the form below and someone from our team will reach out to set up a time for us to chat and schedule a demo of Pando.

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