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Posted on 07/01/2022

Hybrid Event Checklist – What you need to run a successful hybrid event in 2022

Hybrid events bring together the best of physical and digital media to create experiences that are uniquely connected and participatory in both directions for all attendees. All stakeholders, including hosting companies, sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees, gain a lot from these events.

They provide a broad audience and high engagement while assisting in removing financial, physical, and geographic barriers. They also capture the energy of physically being together.

A hybrid event’s settings and equipment needs have to be considered carefully. You would need the appropriate technology and tools of the trade to create a complete event experience and to reach participants wherever they are.

In this article, you’ll find a checklist of the vital tasks you must finish to design and carry out a successful hybrid event.

What is a Hybrid Event?

An immersive environment and interactive conversation are created for guests at a hybrid event by combining real-world and online activities. This applies whether they sign up and engage online or in person.

The following three components make up a hybrid event:

  • Both virtual and online encounters
  • Interaction between presenters, sponsors, and other members of the event community for participants both on-site and online
  • The substance of the occasion is at least partially live.

How to Plan a Hybrid Event

The preparation for an event is crucial. Even the smallest on-site function requires attention to last-minute details. Therefore, organizing a virtual conference with two audiences requires more careful and intricate planning.

Have a Clear Vision

You must have a clear vision for the hybrid event. You have to find answers to the 6W’s to do this. They include:

  • Who are you organizing the event for? 
  • What will they learn? 
  • Why will the event be appealing to them?
  • Where will it happen?
  • When will it happen?
  • Who will host the event?

It will help you plan and promote your online event and provide you as the organizer with great clarity. Additionally, it will give your online participants a clear idea of what to anticipate from the event.

Prepare a detailed event plan.

Make your event your own. Create some original, poignant, and exciting hybrid event concepts. You must think through every last aspect and design an event that will appeal to your target demographic. Your approach needs to take into account the immersive experiences, speaker bios, session schedules, technical details, and much more.

Don’t forget to develop separate marketing plans for the two target markets. Exclusive sessions for specific target audiences and a range of marketing images might be included. Such a thorough preparation will ensure flawless execution and problem-free hosting of your hybrid event.

Set Roles and Responsibilities

You must practice the necessary event management techniques for your online event to flow smoothly and be perfect. Given that you are organizing a hybrid event, you will require a larger crew, including event managers and organizers. These individuals will clearly define your team’s tasks and obligations and ensure there are no overlaps.

So keep in mind that for an event to be successful, assemble a crew with the same enthusiasm as you.

Create Content

Hybrid event content creation takes effort and preparation. The two groups have various needs. In contrast to your virtual audience, your live audience will not mind attending more sessions with fewer breaks.

While your physical audience may anticipate rich and elaborate information, your virtual audience will prefer brief, readily digestible virtual sessions. It will be difficult to discover the ideal hybrid event concept to satisfy the demands of your online audience.

Finding a medium ground is advised because it is difficult to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Therefore, you must provide a few appropriate sessions for both groups. The remaining content might be offered to your distant viewers as a video-on-demand. You can use a chat show or a Q&A structure for the common sessions to keep your audience interested.

The most important thing to remember when creating digital content is to make sure that, regardless of format, both of your online audience members will benefit from the same knowledge/information.

Secure Sponsorship

When the backend work is complete, start looking for sponsors for the occasion. Collaborations and sponsorship possibilities are important since they provide support in many ways. You can contact one of three sponsors.

The big businesses come first since they can serve a bigger clientele and extend your internet reach. A company that can assist you with speaker and attendance gifts and giveaways would be the second.

Last but not least, a tech business that can handle your technological requirements and event plan. Look for sponsors whose projects are somewhat compatible with your event.

Whoever the sponsor is, make sure to give them prominent placement in all correspondence regarding the event.

an infographic on hybrid event checklist

Hybrid Event Equipment Checklist

You would need the appropriate technology and tools of the trade to create a thorough event experience and to reach participants wherever they are. They include:

1. WiFi

Stable WiFi is a must for hybrid events in order to broadcast the event live to a remote audience and allow both participant groups to communicate with each other and the event organizers.

2. Camera

The right digital video camera is necessary for the high-quality video streaming required for live and recorded sessions. A little drop in video quality will dissatisfy and alienate the audience.

A hybrid event could either be entirely live-streamed or include both recorded and live video. The audience, the stage, and the event’s focal point should all be captured by digital video equipment. In order to prevent individuals on the floor from wandering into the image, raise your camera high enough.

You would need to move the camera more during a panel discussion and take some close-up and medium pictures (up to the waistline or knees). Multiple cameras will be required if the panel is larger and you need to cover it from two or more angles.

Depending on the devices and display screens, the live stream participants’ displays may occasionally be 4:3 or 16:9. You can choose one of the two ratios alone or in combination. Choose a camera that can accommodate various screen sizes. Ensure that all streaming devices are HD-capable for high-quality video. Utilize a tripod to support and stabilize the camera, then move it as needed to frame the photo you want to take.

3. Webcam

Most laptops and desktops come with built-in webcams that can be used for all virtual events. However, having a standalone webcam can significantly enhance the video quality for remote participants. These webcams are linked to the computer via either USB or Firewire.

4. Lighting

Similar to physical events, lighting plays a significant role in hybrid events. In a virtual setup, all you need to do is illuminate the area. However, illumination is necessary for both the stage and the participants in hybrid events.

Put the light source in front of the speaker rather than behind them, as you would at a real event. The atmosphere can be brightened by good lighting. You would need a new stage lighting set, spotlights, color effects, etc., for a hybrid event.

5. Microphone

A presenter has more distractions during a hybrid event than just virtual events. Therefore, the sound quality may be affected when the speaker rotates to the left or right. The audience may become disinterested if the audio is distorted or of poor quality.

You will need a top-notch microphone to record the greatest sound, ensuring that both in-person and online participants can clearly hear the speaker.

Given that different presenters have varying vocal tones using an audio mixer with microphones is a terrific idea.

If the microphone is wired, carefully hide the wires. You might need a “repeater” cable to extend the length past the typical 10 feet that a USB cable can go. The range of a phone plug-style microphone is up to 50 feet.

If you’re organizing a Q&A session, you’ll need mic runners with wireless hand mics to record the questions from participants who will be in attendance in person and a host to handle questions from online attendees. This makes sure that the session runs without a hitch.

6. Support system

If you don’t have capable support staff on hand, planning a hybrid event can be challenging. Even with the best speakers and equipment, a successful event depends on the correct support.

7. Video support

The support staff makes sure that for remote guests, switching from video to slide to the presenter or vice versa is done quickly and flawlessly. Keep the presenter unmuted, share your screen, and run the slides in Slide Show mode on a full screen when delivering your slides to a virtual audience.

The presenter should be visible in a thumbnail if necessary, and the virtual audience should be able to view the slide on full screen. When done, screen sharing must be terminated, and the presentation should return to the presenter on camera.

You can run some pre-recorded videos for the virtual audience while presenting for the live audience by sharing your screen, muting the presenter, and running the video. Stop sharing the screen after the video is finished and unmute the presenter to continue.

8. Audio support

Create sound broadcasting and equipment check audio support system for both categories of attendance. Maintain a backup microphone and allow the support staff to mute and unmute individuals to prevent out-of-turn conversations.

9. Platform Support

Choose a hybrid event platform that offers interesting and user-friendly features. It should be simple for attendees to use and include interactive features like polls, raise your hand, emoticons, and Q&A.

A hybrid event is not only a live-streamed version of an in-person event. Giving remote guests an experience that resembles being present at an event in person is crucial.

Ensure your platform can accommodate a high number of visitors.

10. Mobile Apps

When choosing a hybrid event platform, it is important to consider the accessibility of your hybrid events via mobile phones. With the mobile app you can stream and manage your attendees participation as well as track activities of the event. 

To the attendees experiencing your hybrid event remotely, they can not only stream the event but they can also share their experiences via the app by sharing images, comments, polls etc.

How to Host a Hybrid Event

Only when certain things are taken care of before the event can you host a faultless event. Before hosting hybrid events, some things to keep in mind are:

Choose a Virtual Platform

You should be careful when selecting your virtual event management platform because your event will have a virtual audience. Use a platform and a virtual format that allow you to record sessions, and have networking and interaction capabilities, high-quality audio, and video. These functions should be non-negotiable requirements in a good virtual event platform because they are crucial.

Ask for a demo before you decide on your virtual platform. Examine the demo for the features you want to use and determine how much technical assistance the platform provides.

Communicate with Participants

It is crucial to stay in touch with your online attendees and is considered a substantial marketing effort. Additionally, it guarantees that your audience is informed accurately and up to date about the event. A few days before the event, think about modifying your communication approach.

You might already have a trailer for your event at this point. Try to produce the same effect with your welcome video, similar to how movie trailers heighten our anticipation.

If it’s their first hybrid or virtual event, your virtual attendees could require a bit of extra assistance. Create event FAQs to enhance attendees’ experiences.

The FAQs ought to answer common and important inquiries concerning the occasion. By making simple changes like these, you can make sure that your guests are at ease and feel welcome.

Be Flexible

Being adaptable is essential in light of the uncertain times we live in today. Your hybrid conference could have unforeseen hiccups and errors. However, keep calm. Rearrange the sessions and make sure the show goes on. To boost attendee involvement, be sure to let them know about the changes as well.

Do Your Rehearsal

Rehearsals are crucial for your hybrid event, just as for virtual events. Keep in mind that your speakers will engage with two different audiences, so it’s critical that they practice getting the hang of it. You may check to make sure that all of your tech aids are functioning properly and are placed correctly by doing tests using online meetings or even Airmeet’s backstage feature.

Whenever modifications are required, you can make them ensure that your attendees have a flawless event overall. To arrange a hybrid event, keep in mind that the proper plan and approach are two crucial prerequisites.

How much does a hybrid event cost?

There are several considerations when implementing a hybrid event budget, and every hybrid event will be different from the other. Event planners typically generate their event budgets in spreadsheets with two important columns: projected costs and actual costs. 

These are the main hybrid event items you should cost for in your event budget.

Venue

Venues can vary in size and location, and you should rather book a non-traditional venue for your hybrid event. Also, make sure you understand internet costs, venue policies, internal AV restrictions, and any health compliance measures before you commit to a venue. You can also get help with venue selection and their costs when setting up your hybrid event

Event Technology platforms

In some ways, hybrid event budgets are largely allocated to event platforms, which can be thought of as virtual venues. Several hybrid event platforms are available on the market, ranging in cost from $2,000 to several hundred thousand dollars. Consider a platform that can handle both in-person and virtual events and covers functionalities that include registration, gamification, streaming player, CE tracking, etc.

Event volunteers or staff

The staffing requirements for hybrid events are greater than those for in-person events. It is essential to have a virtual event team as well as a physical event team. However, the two teams must never lose sight of the fact that they are putting on a single, unified show and not get caught up in silos. You will need an extra budget for overtime when producing a global hybrid event. 

Keynote speakers and hosts

Depending on the type of events, speakers and hosts could cost as low as $500 or as much as $500,000 if you book a celebrity. Remember that hybrid events often require a host for virtual content and another for in-person.

Final Thoughts

The equipment mentioned above will assist you in organizing and hosting a fun and exciting hybrid event. If you approach the virtual component and hybrid event strategy as integral parts of the event rather than as separate, your event will eventually be successful. By developing interesting and thoughtful virtual events, the event sector may improve its digital experience.

Utilize the sessions, pick the appropriate format and speakers, locate a middle ground that will appeal to your audience, and you’ll have the ingredients for the ideal hybrid event!

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