Ensuring both your in-person and digital audiences find paramount value from your hybrid event content takes skillful planning. Due to the recent evolution of event management and marketing platforms, there are millions of ways to connect your two audiences. But before we offer you ideas for delivering content to both a digital and a physical audience, let’s walk through the essentials of hybrid event content planning.
Put Purpose Before Process
Before you begin brainstorming the most elaborate hybrid experience, consider what you hope to get out of your event. What actions do you want your attendees to take? Is your primary event goal to drive client retention and engagement or build a pipeline? Hybrid event content can bring audiences together to help you meet your business goals, so plan accordingly.
Align With Stakeholders
To get executive buy-in for your hybrid events, you’ll need to align your content goals with stakeholders’ expectations. For example, if your sales team hopes to meet with attendees onsite for a live demonstration, you’ll want to promote in-person sessions and experiences to prospect attendees before offering digital content. Having a clear understanding of organizational goals will aid you in the planning process and will enable you to show post-event ROI.
Fortunately, over the last two years, the roles of CMOs and other key stakeholders have been disrupted as they are now having to adapt to changing buying behaviors. With a renewed focus on the customer experience, these stakeholders are looking to events to provide meaningful experiences that will drive business growth. Now is the optimal time to strengthen your cross-functional relationships and work together to usher in a new hybrid experience.
Forms of Hybrid Event Content
Once you have your goals and stakeholders’ expectations in mind, you are ready to begin calculating how you will deliver your hybrid event. Most if not all of your event content can be shared both online and offline through live streaming and mobile. Your challenge is to figure out which forms of content will enable you to meet your goals and expectations. To inspire you, we’ve collected the 12 following ideas:
1. Keynotes with a Live Audience
While digital attendees don’t have a physical chair in your keynote sessions, they can still enjoy the energy of your keynote sessions through live streaming. With live streaming, digital attendees get the best seat in the house.
Give every attendee the ability to weigh in during your Q&A by assigning moderators to communicate online questions to the speaker.
3. Short Motivational Sessions
Short motivating talks (similar to TED Talks) can serve as some of your most valued content. Because they require very little interaction, these sessions are ideal for any audience.
4. Paid Exclusive Content
Charging a small fee often increases the perceived value of sessions both online and offline. Regain some of the money that you put into live streaming by charging attendees for special access sessions.
Games are a great way to get both audiences interacting with each other and with content. With a little bit of creativity, you can gamify almost any event activity. Some event teams are leveraging bingo cards to promote exhibitor visits, while others are incorporating leaderboards with points-based tracking to highlight top players.
With a mobile app, you can quickly gather poll results from both of your audiences. Giving digital attendees a say in the live poll will help them feel included even as they watch remotely.
7. Product Launches
Use product announcements as drivers for your event and as a way to inform your in-person and online audiences at the same time.
8. Training & Certification
Host online training before your event and allow attendees to complete certification at your live event with extended post-event opportunities for those who cannot be there in person.
9. Pre-Event Promotional Content
Prior to your event, give all attendees a glimpse of what they will experience the day or week of the event. Publish videos to your event website or attendee portal to drum up excitement and begin conversations prior to the event.
10. Hands-On Experiences
Set up workshop lounges onsite where in-person attendees can comfortably join online attendees in a hands-on digital experience with your products.
11. Speed Demos
Use broadcasting rooms to give exhibitors a short amount of time to pitch their products or services to online attendees.
12. Customer Stories
Last but not least, consider asking customers to share their stories as part of your event. Though not unique to hybrid events, customer stories bolster the hybrid experience by enabling digital attendees to hear from their peers.
Learn more about RainFocus’ approach to hybrid event content strategy by reading our latest guide.