7 top tips to humanize your hybrid event

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Like the rest of the economy, the events industry too had to fundamentally transform its operations and delivery channels over the past year and a half. Technologies that were only in the periphery have now become regularized. Hybrid events have now been accepted as a part of the new normal. But it’s important to realize that there’s a demonstrable need to humanize hybrid meetings.

A technological solution’s success shouldn’t be measured by its metrics of adoption alone. Its success should be analyzed by the ease with which people can use it and unlock its potential. The events industry needs to understand that hybrid communication is not about connecting devices but rather connecting humans. For that, the focus should be on delivering humanized hybrid experiences. 

That’s the only way to build profound human connections and go beyond creating productive events. If you are planning to host a hybrid event as an event organizer or meetings coordinator, these seven tips should help you deliver a humanized event.

1. Think from the point of view of both online and offline audiences

You need both sets of audiences to be engaged, and that won’t be the function of your content alone. The virtual platforms make it difficult to focus for long hours, even if the topic delivers value. To avoid audience exhaustion, you have to see your event from the perspective of both groups of attendees.

One of the best ways to increase engagement for both audiences is by offering the same content. You can save the presentations on the cloud and give access to the attendees. You can also involve the virtual audience through Q&A sessions or polls before and during the event. 

2. Involve the audience before the event

A hybrid event doesn’t start on day one. It starts as your audience begins to register for it. From that moment on, the objective should be to deliver personalized experiences for the attendees. You should offer the participants a sneak peek of what they can expect. You should also foster connections between the participants. 

Give attendees a chance to vote on potential topics. Create social media groups where they can interact with each other. Introduce the panelists and their work. Let your outreach also involve hybrid communication. These are some of the ways to involve participants in the event before it begins. 

3. Create networking opportunities

Hybrid meetings, like any other event, are occasions for participants to network. But far too often, the event organizers don’t proactively encourage it or create the right modalities. Some of your attendees might be socially isolated, but this is an occasion for you to bring them together as a community.  

Hybrid teams should foster opportunities for participants to network in real-time. Interactive and live chat rooms can provide a platform for attendees to get to know each other. You can also segment them based on their specializations. For all of this to happen, hybrid events should also have content-free sessions that encourage attendees to network. 

4. Involve the off-site audience in real-time

Your virtual event may feel distanced from the event once it starts. Even with the best of preparation, it’s easy for the presenters to overlook their presence. The key to avoiding that is by having the right technology integration that will involve them throughout discussions and presentations. 

To begin with, you should inform and prepare the speakers to take questions and feedback from the virtual attendees. Your hybrid team should have a member who can be the conduit for the off-site participants. The panelists should also actively seek their inputs during interactive sessions. Ensure that the virtual attendees are properly introduced in case their question gets answered. 

5. Mix it up

There’s a tendency to stuff hybrid events with as much content as possible. Hybrid communication should be about the overall experience. Having too many professional or official discussions and interactions can make the event monotonous. Remember that it will be exceedingly easy for the virtual audience to lose interest and exit the event at any time. 

To avoid that, hybrid teams should strive to make the events relaxed and fun-filled. The goal should be to make it lively and, importantly, memorable. Give adequate breaks between sessions. Involve a musical group, a standup comedian, or an entertainer to liven up the breaks. You could even have a mystery event or speaker, which would be something for the audience to look forward to. 

6. Get continuous feedback

Event organizers know how to get feedback from a live audience. Scheduled Q&A sessions or informal interactions with the attendees are some of the ways to learn how the event is progressing. But hybrid meetings need a different kind of feedback mechanism. You should enable both sets of audiences to give feedback in real-time with a dedicated room where they can talk to the hybrid team.

Is the speaker audible? Can the virtual attendees see the whole stage and the content on the screen? Is the resolution right enough? Can they easily access the recorded videos? When they can ask questions and get answers from the organizers, they will feel involved in the event. 

7. Create post-event communities

An event becomes meaningful when it can find or create commonalities among its attendees. The common experience of the event should give impetus for the participants to be a community even after the hybrid event. Organizers have a key role in facilitating such groups. 

Plan it thoroughly and create social media groups before the last session of the event. Send links to all attendees with a virtual code that will give them access. Encourage them to share their experiences. Importantly, give a timeframe for activities in those online groups.

In short

Hybrid meetings are here to stay. The need of the hour is for the organizers to make hybrid communication participatory, engaging, and profoundly humanizing.


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Published on

Nov 8, 2021

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