5 WAYS TO ENGAGE YOUR HYBRID AUDIENCES
Hybrid events are the future. Keeping both the in-room and remote audiences engaged is the key to a successful event. Each audience has specific needs that must be addressed in order to create a defining experience for ALL attendees. Here are 5 ways to successfully engage your hybrid audiences:
CREATE A COMMUNITY
One of the best ways to add engagement to your hybrid event is by allowing the in-person and virtual attendees to interact with each other. Many event platforms (such as the MVP Platform) have a community component to allow attendees to connect with one another and to network before, during and after the event.
PLAN TWO SEPARATE EXPERIENCES
Carefully plan out each experience, taking into consideration the differences between the two audiences. Streaming the same content from an in-person event will rarely keep the attention of those attending virtually, nor does it often provide the best environment for them to have an impactful experience. Think about content length and breaks. While long keynote sessions work when your entire audience is together in-person, shorter, more digestible content will keep your virtual audience engaged. Intentionally plan transitions such as changing between presenters or recognizing someone who walks-up to the stage to maximize the experience for each audience. For the virtual attendee experience, we have seen these transition times used successfully for sponsorship opportunities.
USE TECHNOLOGY FOR SHARED EXPERIENCES
Engage both audiences during the event using technology. One great way to do this is to have all questions from both the in-person and virtual attendees submitted in the same way using a Q&A application accessed by a smart device or embedded on the event platform. Audience polling, fundraising and post-event surveys can all be done this way as well. Another great way to create a shared experience is to use breakout sessions to pair both in-person and remote attendees for discussion, collaboration and networking.
Coach presenters on engagement best practices. When audiences are not in the room, it is easy for presenters to overlook their virtual presence. Ensure both audiences remain engaged by reminding speakers to address the live audience in front of them and regularly address the camera broadcasting to remote attendees.
KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING
One benefit of hosting events for a virtual audience is that your content is already optimized for on-demand viewing and can continue to live on after the event ends. Most conferencing and webinar platforms allow hosts to record sessions, which in turn enables organizers to send and share this content after the event. Allow access to all your attendees so that they can revisit, make notes and share with their colleagues as needed.