How to Plan a Successful Hybrid Event

May 27, 2022

The business world has changed. More people are working remotely than ever before, prompting companies to adopt online meeting technology that enables employees to remain connected, updated, and productive.

Now that we’re moving into a post-pandemic world, many companies have a growing desire for a “back-to-normal” approach to holding corporate events. However, with public health concerns still top of mind, they want to take a cautious approach before gathering large groups of people together in the same space.

There is also the question of remote workers who need to be included in company events but are located too far away to make attending in person feasible. Also, some employees may be hesitant to be around others due to health and safety concerns or many have gotten used to working from home and are reluctant to go back to the office at all.

Fortunately, hybrid events offer a perfect solution that provides an excellent experience for both in-person participants and virtual attendees, who log in from anywhere on any device through livestreaming technology. The hybrid model keeps your entire organization updated and connected in real time while ensuring that your virtual attendees can still be engaged and participate as if they were actually in the room. You can also adjust the security level to suit your privacy needs.

If you’re considering a hybrid model for your next town hall, AGM, or other types of corporate events, here’s a list of tips to help make it a success.

Business women hosting hybrid event from the office.

Use the proper setting

In-person events have a different look than virtual events, which resemble a television studio more than a traditional live event stage. Tasking this approach will help you have a smoother livestream in terms of design, space, different camera angles, video displays, audio quality, lighting rigs, and more. Also, it will give virtual attendees a better viewing and participatory experience. Hiring a professional livestream production team will help you optimize the live setting, including set design and seating arrangements that leave plenty of space for delegates, production crew, and broadcast equipment.

Plan your content strategically

Your live and online attendees will be absorbing the same content in two very different ways. You should take steps to keep both audiences engaged. For example, mix broadcast video content with live action in the studio to keep things moving at a comfortable pace, preventing either group from becoming bored.

Keep attention spans in mind for both audiences

Your virtual audience watching on a screen at home won’t have the same attention span as people at the venue. You may have to keep keynotes shorter than you traditionally would and extend the time spent on content that will hold the attention of your virtual audiences, such as Q&A sessions, breakout sessions, and other interactive sessions.

Business women speaking to breakout room members during virtual event meeting.

 Give attendees and speakers a choice on how they attend

Even if many of your attendees live within commuting distance of the live event, some people might be hesitant to participate in face-to-face activities and prefer to attend virtually. Allow your audience to choose how they’d like to participate and map out attendee engagement journeys so they have a great experience, no matter how they’re accessing your content.

Plan breakout sessions that mix both audiences

Breakout sessions are often the most popular parts of corporate events as they get people together in small groups to solve problems aligned with the main event’s theme. You can mix live and virtual attendees in the same group for real-time interactions and collaborations. A breakout facilitator can keep things on track, ensure that everyone has a chance to participate, and close out the sessions on a positive note.

 Host fun activities that everyone can enjoy

Re-energize your live and virtual audiences with fun activities such as yoga, trivia games, cooking classes, concerts, entertainment, and more. Your attendees will be able to participate in the fun and enjoy bonding, laughing, and engaging with their colleagues, which is especially important to those who consistently work remotely.

Young business person in office attending a virtual event via laptop.

Consider timing due to other time zones

Today, many companies have employees spread across the country or even halfway around the globe. You’ll need to maximize audience participation by tailoring your event schedule to accommodate people in other time zones. You can also customize your agenda so it’s relevant to the local time zones (e.g., content pertinent to Asia during the morning hours there) and have kickoff speeches, keynotes, and networking sessions in the middle of the event when most people will be tuned in.

Hire a professional livestream production team

Hosting any type of online event can be complicated, especially when you’re broadcasting live. It’ll be much easier to hire a production company that specializes in livestreaming to manage the entire event for you. They’ll have all the technical equipment and production experience to help your company host the best hybrid event possible.

Host a professional livestream with a fully managed solution

Hybrid events are more flexible and dynamic than ever, offering unprecedented real-time engagement for both your live and virtual attendees. Even the best do-it-yourself platforms can prove complicated and frustrating to operate when all you want to do is enjoy your event with your attendees.