Six steps for planning the ultimate hybrid event

July 2020

The current global climate is still unpredictable, so hybrid events are a safe and convenient way to restart your events schedule and reach your audience. We’ve put together the ultimate hybrid event planning checklist to make the process as stress-free as possible, even if you’ve never planned one before.

 

Hybrid events are allowing businesses across the world to connect once again, in spite of the ongoing pandemic. Hosting a combination of in-person conference, seminar or workshop alongside a virtual session will allow you to engage a larger global audience in a safe, accessible way.

Whether you’ve planned many hybrid events before or are organising one for the first time, it can be tricky to know where to start and how to manage all the components. If traditional events weren’t stressful enough, hybrid events come with additional digital worries. But planning a hybrid event doesn’t need to be a hassle. We’ve compiled a hybrid event planning checklist that will make the process as simple as possible…

 

  1. Define your event

Of course, as with any event, you need to set out the purpose and topic. Is it an opportunity for education, networking or marketing? It’s also good to share a schedule or agenda and clear participation guidelines before the event to make sure everything runs smoothly.

In-person events also give you plenty of opportunity to network and socialise, even if that isn’t their sole purpose. Recreating the social aspect online will require some planning. Think of your digital audience from the outset and encourage people to start discussions in the comments or chat section of your livestream.

 

  1. Find a location that reflects your brand and topic

In the current climate, in-person attendance of hybrid events is likely to be lower. However, that doesn’t mean your location isn’t important. A professional setting will make your event look and feel polished and allow you to safely welcome (socially distanced) face-to-face attendees to create more atmosphere.

Choosing somewhere like a Fora events space will take a lot of hassle out of the technical planning. Everything from microphones to lighting to streaming to post-production editing can be managed by our in-house experts, leaving you free to focus on other important matters.

 

Confirm and brief guests

If you’re going to have guest speakers, it’s crucial you confirm the arrangements of the event with them early. Now restrictions have eased, it’s possible to have your guests at the event space so make sure you have a safe set-up, particularly if you’re planning an interview or discussion with a panel. If you book a Fora event space, safety is taken care of thanks to our New Standard commitments to safety.

But if this isn’t practical and one or more guests will be joining you online, check everyone is comfortable with how the virtual session will work. Email across access instructions well in advance and host a technical dry run so you can work out any problems before the event.

 

  1. Pick your technology

One of the most important parts of your hybrid event planning checklist is choosing the right virtual service provider. Consider how tech-savvy your audience is, and which platforms are most convenient for everyone to access. Closed video conferences, social media livestreams and recorded sessions are your three main options.

If you’re struggling to choose, Fora’s team can broadcast your event across multiple platforms to help you reach a wider audience. We can even provide access to a Zoom Webinar account, where you can host up to 1,000 virtual attendees at one time, without the need for a costly subscription.

 

  1. Promote your event

Promoting your event is the key to attracting a wider audience – we’ve got more tips on how to increase your reach in our previous blog on how to make a bigger impact with hybrid events. Talk about your event on social media, your website and blog. You could also advertise on industry-relevant sites to attract an even larger number of attendees.

While you may be keen to encourage people to physically attend, make sure it’s clear that anyone can access your event virtually, given the current circumstances. Also, make sure any international promotions focus on your virtual programme. You’ll need to show people your content is going to be equally worth their time and money, whether they’re in the room or on a screen.

 

  1. Create post-event assets

Post-event assets are a vital part of the process. Professionally edited clips of your event are invaluable social media content and marketing tools for your future events – a study has found that 92% of people engage with videos of live or recorded events after watching them. Your attendees can also engage with your content whenever they like, whether they missed a session or just want to experience it again.

 

Leave it to the experts

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when planning a hybrid event. If you’d like to take a bit of the pressure off, Fora’s comprehensive hybrid event management service is for you. Our teams have years of experience and will take care of the whole process from management, to streaming, to post-production editing. This leaves you free to get on with what you do best, so go ahead and find out more about how we can help you plan your best hybrid event yet.