An Article by Luke Bodin, Director at BA Events
As I am writing this the UK is in full swing with its Covid vaccination programme. Currently, the thought of people getting together for events seems very distant however hopefully at some point in 2021 live events will be making a return.
I think that when restrictions start to relax and people are able to get back together organisations, teams and people will be keen to get back to in-person events. They will be keen to see their colleagues, have a social life and build relationships face to face.
However, over time people are going to be looking for that efficiency that online events have bought into their lives. No matter what your view is of online events, you can’t deny they have helped us:
- Save time
- Save money
- Engage with larger audiences
So – hybrid events will be something that features much more. We have put a few tips below for organisations to consider as they are planning their future events to maximise the opportunity of hybrid.
1. Is the venue set-up for hybrid events?
It is important to make sure when you are booking your event venue it is suitable for your hybrid event. Although most venues will allow you access to a guest WiFi you want to ensure you have access to a high speed wired connection via ethernet. It is important to add this into your specification for the venue as certain venues will charge you extra to connect to their high-speed network.
2. Think about how you make the experience online similar to the live experience
Just because people are joining your event from home or in a different city – doesn’t mean they do not want to interact in the event in the same way as people who are in the room live. We have found the engagement from online audiences has been much greater than the engagement from live audiences. It is worth thinking about how the interaction between your online audiences and live audiences integrates for things like polls, Q&A and the general event chat.
3. Take advantage of attendees joining as the event is happening
The downside to live events is that catering, delegate packs and seating arrangements often must be arranged weeks in advance. The pro to online events is that attendees can join the online event as it is happening. We have found that when running events that are promoted on social media, we have additional attendees join via our event page mid-way through the event. As much as this is great it is always worth remembering to ensure there is enough context for attendees joining mid-way through, so they know what is happening when they join and do not get confused and leave the event.
How are you feeling about hybrid events, excited, nervous, confused? Get in touch, we would love to know.