Top 10 tips for hybrid conferences


1. Brief, brief and rebrief your speakers
Speakers need to be aware there is an online audience not just the one in the room and can help if there are issues on the day.
2. Make a contingency plan
Plan for every eventuality – problems do happen especially with live events and online streaming. Check your plans with colleagues who have hybrid event experience or consider using a consultant for bother planning your event and contingency planning.
3. Interact with your audience
Make use of the virtual platform engagement/networking tools. Also use Twitter, it’s a great way of interacting and can really help if you do experience technical problems with your virtual platform. Promote your Hybrid hashtag in advance and monitor tweets though Hootsuite or GleanIn, this also allows you to measure participant engagement and satisfaction levels.
4. Experiment
You can experiment with physical and virtual attendees, live and remote speakers and all sorts of technology to help find the best fit for your event.
5. Use your contacts
We got great advice and help from people who’d done it all before and they really helped us avoid some obvious mistakes. LinkedIn is a great way to find experts in the hybrid field if you don’t have contacts already.
6. Make A/V a planning prerogative 
Have your technical requirements for lighting and power agreed by the venue in advance to ensure they have the capabilities that you require long before you arrive to set up.
7. Market early
Allow as much time as possible to market your event, ideally 4-6 weeks and ensure that your marketing communications strategy includes a mix of email, social media, online website promotions and PR.
8. Extend your reach
Ask your speakers to invite their audiences and promote their sessions using the Hybrid hashtag and URL to your virtual event centre.
9. Get the word out
Involve a PR agency to help you raise awareness in advance, the press love technology and can secure valuable column inches for your event.
10. Measure!
Set clear objectives, benchmarks and targets to help you measure your success. What are your objectives, what does success look like for you?

Best Practices for Virtual Events

Extract from a report dating back to 2007, published by the FactPoint group, a US-based research and consulting firm. The report is available to download here :

“Technologies have advanced to the point where these and other sizable virtual events look and feel remarkably like their physical counterparts while delivering the same knowledge-sharing and personal interactions. Virtual events also give event organizers and sponsors extremely rich marketing data.

Top 10 Best Practices for Virtual Events
1. Pick an experienced service provider.
2. Create an event strategy and clear goals.
3. Educate sponsors and then sell them.
4. Provide administrative tools to make sponsors self-sufficient.
5. Maximize attendee time at the event.
6. Drive traffic to sponsor locations.
7. Proactively interact live with attendees.
8. Promote the event on-demand after the live event.
9. Qualify and prioritize leads.
10. Conduct a ROI analysis.”