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Hybrid Events: Connecting The Zoomies With The Roomies

A year ago, the events industry had no choice but to master the art of virtual events. As restrictions are lifted, we can glimpse into the future of post-Covid events.

The next big industry standard is hybrid events. (In-Person & Virtual Attendees)

The last thing we want is for our virtual guests to feel like they are on the outside looking in. So how do you bridge the gap between the virtual audience and the in-person?

Here are my top 4 tips for connecting the Zoomies with the Roomies.

Think And Plan Experiences Through the Lense of BOTH Types of Attendees

You have to put yourself in the shoes of both audiences and step your way through each of those experiences. It takes extra work, and extra thought, AND when executed properly will enhance the experience.

You should not just stick a camera in the corner of the live event, stream it, and call it hybrid.

Always display the zoomies on a large screen in the room. Pass the microphone virtually! Pull the zoomies up on the big screen for shares and questions.

Your goal should be to provide both virtual and in-person guests the opportunity to network and participate in the conversation. Take it one step further and create opportunities for the zoomies to connect with the roomies. Your goal is to create one cohesive audience regardless of their physical location.

Build Out The Virtual Component First, Then Add The In-Person

It is going to take more creativity to engage your online audience so we always recommend designing your event for your online guests first and then incorporate your in-person audience. YES! This means creating two versions of your run-of-show.

This past year we learned how to successfully create an impactful and engaging online experience. Now, combine everything you love about online events and incorporate those strategies into the in-person experience.

Online events created more possibilities that enable us to take our in-person events to the next level and create experiences that we may have never previously imagined.

Have an onsite representative dedicated exclusively to your virtual attendees

Your onsite attendees will have someone on a stage addressing them directly throughout the day. This can make virtual attendees feel left out and detached from the action. Assign a dedicated team member as your Zoom Guy or Gal! This person should be in-person at the event and will work closely with your AV team. They will be constantly engaging with the virtual attendees, keeping the energy up, answering questions and engaging in the chat, and moderating and facilitating breakouts.

Bring a community aspect to both your virtual and in-person guests

Onsite attendees have the benefit of experiencing the community firsthand at the event. Give your virtual guests the same feel by incorporating live polls, pulling them up on the in-person big screen to ask questions during Q&A, and utilizing virtual breakout sessions (at the same time as the in-person breakout sessions). You will be amazed at the “report out/share” portion of the event when in-person and virtual attendees had similar experiences.

Are you hosting an in-person event and want to include Zoomies with the Roomies? Schedule a free strategy call to learn more about what is involved and how you can maximize your revenue by expanding your reach!

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