There’s a lot of value in hybrid events. Pandemic aside, hybrid events provide flexibility, boost attendance, and let people have fun with different formats. However, hybrid events still feel pretty new, so if you’re hosting a hybrid event, chances are this is still a pretty fresh experience for you. The good news is that hybrid events don’t have to be difficult. As long as you have the right event planning software, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a memorable experience for everyone. In the meantime, here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your event.
1. Use Your Event Software to Plan a Smooth Digital Experience
When it comes to hybrid events, a lot of planners push their digital guests to the sidelines. They give the bulk of their attention to their in-person guests, prioritizing physical event elements and turning digital elements into an afterthought. During your hybrid event, try to avoid this mistake. Otherwise, your digital guests will feel less important than their in-person counterparts.
Instead, consider your digital guests first. In a hybrid event, it’s generally a good idea to figure out any digital features before focusing on the physical. Don’t worry about leaving out your in-person guests’ needs. Because you can see your in-person guests face to face, taking care of their needs will be fairly easy and natural. It takes more effort to consider your virtual guests, so you’ll have to stay intentional.
Use your event software to smooth out all of the digital aspects of your event first. If you’re using the right event software, you should have lots of digital planning tools at your fingertips.
2. Plan for a Digital Attention Span
In-person guests have fewer distractions than online guests. That’s because in-person guests can fully immerse themselves in the event, both mentally and physically. It’s not the same for your digital guests. They’re attending your event from home, which means that they have to deal with all of the distractions of home. For example, if a child or pet needs attention, an online guest can get pulled away from your event.
Use your event software to plan for potential distractions. As much as possible, keep speeches short and to the point. For longer portions of the event, schedule time for questions and answers, and acknowledge your online guests during these portions. This time can be used to repeat information that might have been missed.
3. Test Digital Features in Events
Now, if you have the right event software, all of the digital aspects of your event should run smoothly. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t test your digital features in advance of the event. You may do a dry run of the entire event, or you may just test your digital features to make sure that everything works correctly. In any case, technical difficulties happen, so you’ll want to do your best to prevent them. Likewise, try to come up with a backup plan just in case you do experience difficulties during your event.
4. If Possible, Have Two Hosts
Have you considered adding a second host to your event? Do you already have more than one host? If you’re hosting an event by yourself, you might think about adding a co-host to help you with the event. You can give your co-host access to your event software and planning documents.
Why have two hosts for a single event? Because you can put one host in charge of the physical event aspects and put the other host in charge of the digital aspects. This way, you can make sure that both sets of guests have what they need and that everyone feels seen.
Plus, dividing responsibilities can take some of the pressure off of event planners. If you only have to manage activities for one group of people, then you can make good use of your time without feeling like you’re being pulled in a thousand separate directions.
5. Consider Breakout Rooms
Some events have small breakout sessions, and you might consider using this option for your hybrid event. You can plan small group sessions with your event organizing software. Set up physical rooms for your in-person guests and digital rooms for your online guests. The smaller sessions can provide a more intimate feel to your event and can help guests get to know each other, even over a digital space.
6. Put Yourself in Your Attendees’ Shoes
Obviously, you’re going to approach your event from a planner’s perspective. However, you should also take some time to put yourself in your attendees’ shoes. Do a mental walk-through of your event from the attendee’s perspective. For a hybrid event, you’ll want to do this at least twice: once from an in-person attendee’s perspective, and once from an online attendee’s perspective. If you do a thorough walk-through, you may notice some small snags and challenges that you could smooth over in advance. This way, you can make sure that your event runs as seamlessly as possible and that everyone has a good experience.
7. Use the Right Event Software
Before you start planning your event, you’ll need the right event software. So, how will you know when you’ve found the right fit?
First, make sure that your event planning software is designed for hybrid events. Some event software is only meant for in-person events, and other event software is only geared toward virtual events. You’ll want a software that can take both pieces into account and help you create something great for all of your attendees.
Next, look for an all-in-one software. Your software should help you every step of the way, from planning your event to sending out invitations to providing the best experience for your guests in the moment. It’s better to have a single platform than to deal with several platforms at once.
Parcy Event Software
Hybrid events can be fun, memorable, and overall great experiences. You just need the right event software to create the perfect event for each guest. That’s where Parcy comes in. Parcy is an event planning software that lets you create a personalized experience for every attendee. It provides the tools that you need to create and manage your event from start to finish. Ready to learn more? Contact us to schedule your demo today.