With social distancing in effect for the foreseeable future, buyers and sellers in every industry are looking for ways to connect in new ways. Hybrid events can bring people together, even when they’re apart.
Whether you event is in-person or online, bringing attendees together via a hybrid event can virtually double your attendance as 83% of people who attend an event online would not have attended the event in person.
If you’re looking to reach all audiences, we’ve got some ideas to help you get started.
It’s important to know ahead of time what you want your event to accomplish, both from an in-person and online perspective. Adding a virtual component to your hybrid event provides:
- More exposure for participants
- Connections for future in-person events
- Longer shelf-life for educational presentations
- Networking experiences for a worldwide audience
Setting goals for your hybrid event will help you determine whether you accomplished what you hoped to achieve.
Attract an audience
If you’ve been involved with trade shows before, it’s likely you know what in-person event attendees like. However, adding a virtual component opens up an entirely new audience. Determine what would appeal most to people who aren’t willing or able to travel, whether it’s due to current circumstances, costs or time away from the office.
Survey potential guests on your event website or via social media to discover what virtual attendees are hoping to get out of the show, whether it’s speaker presentations, virtual product demonstrations or networking opportunities.
Thank them for their input with a mailable marketing giveaway like a luggage tag or a bookmark reminding them to bookmark the site for virtual events. Or have a draw for a larger prize like a set of wireless headphones.
Prepare to engage
Once you know what type of content you want to provide, ensure that your event goes off without a hitch: Be sure to:
- Have presenters practice with the available technology to ensure smooth performances.
- Assign a moderator or virtual emcee to interact with your remote audience.
- Set up software or message boards that allow people to ask questions and participate. Encourage audience interaction by entering participants into drawings for marketing giveaways like a high-end tote bag.
- Use social media to get virtual and in-person attendees talking about the event online. Give them an event hashtag and enter everyone who uses it to discuss the show into a drawing for a fleece jacket.
- Keep to your schedule, as virtual attendees may have blocked out certain times of the day to attend.
Bring it all together
Hybrid events let you bring your trade show to people who might otherwise not be able to attend. By thinking about your virtual audience and keeping them engaged, you can host an event people can enjoy from anywhere in the world.