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Five must haves for your hybrid conference
Hybrid conferences have increased in popularity as organisers strive to make events as accessible as possible for those who are unable to travel. Run well, they enable those who can’t be there in person to collaborate and feel part of the conference. If you’re thinking about making your next event a hybrid one, here’s our five must haves based on our experience of hosting successful ones:
A Digital Lounge
It’s important to ensure that both of your audiences are well connected either with people they already know or to make new connections. We found that even with nearly everyone at a conference has their phone or internet capable device, it’s good to provide several preconfigured devices for anyone attending in person to use. This way it’s easy for guests to connect into the online system and chat with the virtual attendees, collectively or 1-2-1.
Planned content for your virtual guests
The breaktimes can sometimes be lengthy between planned content, so ensure that you have content available and ready for those virtual users. Of course, they too will need to go for comfort breaks and to put the kettle on but once done, they may wish to sit and continue to be part of the event. Providing a variety of options for your virtual guests can range from a roaming camera of the rest of the venue, from the hotel lobby to the vendors, to adverts from vendors or sponsors and the ability for them to join virtual rooms and chat to other guests.
Dedicated livestream support team
Sometimes technology just doesn’t want to work for some people. Ensuring you have a support team (even if it’s just one person) ready to help anyone via email, phone or otherwise to get online to the virtual conference and help them with any range of things like getting their sound or video to work. This 1-2-1 support makes people feel as valuable and connected with the conference as all other virtual and in-person guests.
Dynamic feed for your virtual team
The content that is available on screen to both the people in the room and the virtual guests is ever changing. We ensure that at live, hybrid and virtual events that the content on the screens is the important for that time. It is this dynamic view that we find so helpful to keep people’s attention. There is little point keeping a single slide from a PowerPoint on the screen for 10 mins whilst the host is speaking, show the camera feed of that host whilst they talk. This content can be different for the room than it is for the livestream to ensure that everyone gets the best value for the content they are seeing. You can also record it and make it available either in full or as clips to showcase the event.
Incentives for being there in person.
Hybrid events work best when both the in-person and online spaces are evenly attended. The audience in the room have a key role to play to help provide hosts and speakers with feedback in real-time and the opportunity to connect with their audience in person at breaks. Make your in-person guests feel extra person or offer in person only deals to make it thoroughly worthwhile being there, even it’s just getting a selfie with one of the main speakers.
If you want an experienced technical team to work with to ensure your next hybrid is a success for those in-person as well as online, get in touch with us.
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