November 15, 2022
By Elizabeth Powell

1. Build One Event for Two Attendee Experiences

While a hybrid event strategy can vary widely between associations, the consistent factor is two distinct attendee types: the virtual and the in-person audience. Both groups should feel like they are part of one cohesive event, but the experience for each attendee type needs to be designed with their distinct needs and goals in mind. You’ll want to consider:

  • Session duration
  • Number of sessions per day
  • Differing registration paths for attendees
  • Differing sessions for member interests
  • Facilitating networking and a sense of community
  • Sponsorship opportunities

2. Update your Venue Criteria

Selecting your hybrid event venue should incorporate both on-site and virtual production requirements. Venues offering enhanced audio-visual equipment, reliable Wi-Fi, and streaming capabilities are critical components for accommodating virtual attendees. On-site layouts must also consider what’s in the virtual audience’s line of sight and in-person attendee preferences for social distancing and/or networking.

3. Deliver Value with Content and Connections

Virtual and in-person audiences are evaluating your event based on the quality of session content and connections made. All members, regardless of how they are attending your event, need to feel engaged and inspired by how they are learning and interacting. Accomplish this by incorporating:

  • Event engagement tools such as live polling, Q&A, chat, activity feeds, emoji reactions
  • Discussion rooms for smaller group collaboration
  • Appointment scheduling tools
  • Dedicated virtual representatives
  • Virtual only sessions
  • On-demand content offerings

4. Level Up your Marketing

Your event marketing communications need to reflect the value and distinctive offerings of both registrations. For virtual registrants, don’t forget to send out additional touchpoints leading up to the meeting to reduce potential attrition. Thoughtfully consider how your association will follow up with membership leads post-event to each type of attendee.

5. Leverage Broader Reach with Sponsorships

Hybrid events have greater registration numbers and have a much broader reach than in-person events. Use the increased number of attendees to maximize sponsorship opportunities. Consider approaching key partners to collaborate on a sponsorship package that creatively markets to both audiences and accomplishes mutually beneficial goals, such as speaker sessions or exclusive networking functions.

Find out how the right hybrid event solution can help you achieve all this and more!

Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell is a Solutions Marketer at Cvent, where she champions the perspectives of associations and non-profits within the company’s initiatives, resources, services, and product development. Outside of brand marketing and content strategy, you can find her twirling on a dance floor to bachata and salsa, or traveling the globe, one open water dive at a time.

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