Online program for hybrid event

Article written by Paul Cook. Follow the link:

“The Feast of your Online Program

In deciding to hold your hybrid event you begin to put your programs together for your different participants. As you know with hybrid events; you have your onsite participants and online participants.

In creating your onsite program you may well be able to call on your previous experience or that of your colleagues/service providers as face to face events have been with us for many years.

But creating the online program can be trickier for some event planners. There are some very good online programs forming part of a hybrid event but the majority I have experienced have fallen to being a victim of too much (feast) or too little (famine) for the online participants.

An online participant has the same physical needs as an onsite participant. Whilst you cannot see your online participants you will know that they will need to eat, drink and have time for comfort breaks and that has to be built into your online program experience. If you don’t consider this then you are not looking after your online participants.

I have experienced many hybrid events as an online participant only to find that there wasn’t a gap in the program for me to do anything other than stay glued to my computer. It probably wasn’t intentional on the part of the event planner but it didn’t help make my experience as good as it could have been.

My key tip here is not to have speaker presentation, speaker interview, speaker presentation, speaker interview in a continuous loop but to have a balance which allows breaks for your online participants.

Let them grab a coffee, check their messages, and generally provide them with the freedom to do what your online participants are able to do in their break periods.

I think that one of the reasons why so much is packed (by some event planners) into an online program is simply due to the ‘engagement fear’ that many event planners have. It can come from the idea that if there isn’t enough content then the online participant will leave the event.

My view is that with carefully planned content that allows breaks and reflection time the online participant will be much more likely to return to your program and become involved in your event.

Good luck with your online program planning and next time I’ll look at the ‘famine of your online program’.”


Business objectives for virtual events

In their Digital Event Benchmark Report, the Virtual Edge Institute focuses on business objectives for organizing online events.

“The vast majority of survey respondents have multiple goals and objectives for their digital events, with the most reported goal being the ability for digital events to expand the organization’s reach and audience. […]

Half of respondents list generating revenue as a goal or objective, with nearly as many interested in establishing their organization as an industry leader, driving more international attendance and providing more value to physical event attendees by providing them access to event content, post- event.

Interestingly, while only 49 percent say their goal is to provide this additional value to physical event attendees, a 2013 physical event attendee survey conducted by VEI, found that 80 percent of attendees would actually use the fact that they had access to such content after the event as justification for their physical attendance.”


Tips for your hybrid event planning

This is an article written by Paul Cook on his blog, that we think is worth sharing.

“I really enjoy the challenges and opportunities that hybrid events bring. To me, a hybrid event is “bringing together a face to face and remote audience for a shared participatory experience in real time.” Here are a few quick tips that I hope will help you with your hybrid event planning.

Tip 1 – Event Objectives

Is the hybrid event really the right format that is going to deliver according to your event objectives? Do not have a hybrid event just because you think it is the latest thing you have to do. It always has to be appropriate and not every event needs to be or should be a hybrid.

Tip 2 – Two Audiences

Never forget that you have more than one audience. There is absolutely nothing more annoying than to be the remote participant that has been forgotten.

Tip 3 – Planning The Program

Programme planning is very important as you need to be able to visualize how the remote attendees will be able to participate and how you will let them know to return to the programme.  With a face to face audience it’s simple, at the end of the coffee break people return to the main room. But with remote attendees how will you ensure that they have come back and are ready to join you again?

Tip 4 – Exercises Do Not Always Translate

An exercise that can be easily carried out in a live environment may make for some challenges when trying it with remote participants.  Networking is a good example. It is easy for people to get to know each other in a two minute ice breaker style session in person but how will you do that with remote participants?

Tip 5 – Focus Your Speakers

Many professional speakers will not have a problem in speaking at a hybrid event but they can still forget (albeit inadvertently) that there is an audience outside of the room. So it’s always worth prompting them to be on the safe side and do let them know which camera to address.  With those speakers that may not be used to being filmed you may need to help them so that they become comfortable before speaking.”

The hybrid event landscape

The Virtual Edge Institute recently published the survey results on hybrid events landscape, from over 1800 Meeting Professionals.
The article is available here:

“Hybrid meetings help meeting professionals in exceeding their goals.

Sonic Foundry and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation conducted research to establish how hybrid meetings are helping meeting planners to expand the reach of their events and drive business results. The research team conducted nearly 40 interviews and a quantitative survey which was completed by 1800 participants. These participants included meeting professionals, event delegates, technology vendors and consultants.

The research indicated that hybrid meetings are helping meeting organizers around the world in achieving their goals such as increasing sales, improving performance and boosting attendance.

Key findings

An overwhelming majority of respondents see the growing importance of hybrid meetings, and are planning to adopt this trend in near future.
– 93 % said hybrid meeting helped them in exceeding their objectives.
– 70% believed hybrid meetings will be an important part of meetings in the future.
-About half of respondents reported that they capture their conference content for on-demand access.”

10 reasons to organize hybrid events

Article written by Emilie Barta, going through 10 reasons why you should turn your face-to-face event into a hybrid event
The whole article can be read here:

“Let’s face it, hybrid events are a new concept, most associations and conference organizers find them intimidating, and some technology glitches need to be worked out. But I believe that attendees will forgive the hiccups in the learning process as long as their needs are met and their concerns are addressed.

In that respect, here is why associations and conference organizers should add a virtual component to their conference, conclave, congress, meeting, event, trade show, etc. and create a hybrid event:

–hybrid events increase the size of your audience since you now have both a face-to-face audience and a virtual audience…in this case two is better than one
–hybrid events extend the reach of your conference to a global community since you are now streaming information over the internet…not only do you pick up attendees from far away who would never consider attending your event, but you also pick up attendees you never even knew existed who just “happened upon” your virtual component
–hybrid events give those unable to attend the ability to still participate in your conference…we all know that “stuff happens” and sometimes people are not able to attend an event in person, so giving them access through a virtual component (since something is better than nothing) shows them that you appreciate their interest and still want to provide them information and education
–hybrid events allow for “collective-knowledge,” so more people involved in your conference means more idea-sharing and brain-storming…think of how much more can be learned and accomplished by widening your audience since networking and learning from your peers is one of the biggest advantages to having a conference
–hybrid events provide footage which can be archived and re-purposed for further education and promotion…websites and video do not have an expiration date, so you are able to use what you recorded indefinitely and in many different ways; think of the good-will you will generate if you pass the content to others for their own personal and professional use, and then think of even how much more exposure, and possibly revenue, you will get as a result
–hybrid events enable year-round, never-ending conversations and interactions…since you are building a new web-based community, this community can continue to interact well after your event physically ends
–hybrid events create new sponsorship opportunities and more publicity for your sponsors, advertisers, vendors, supporters, etc…especially since there is a much wider audience, a much longer time frame for exposure, and the ability to expand your reach exponentially through social media and word-of-mouth “sharing”
–hybrid events create new revenue streams for your association/organization…although a virtual component cannot demand the same price as you would charge your face-to-face attendees, fees can be collected for registration and continuing education credits
–hybrid events show that your association/organization is forward thinking and on the cutting edge of technology…you want to constantly service your members, so prove to them that you are always looking for ways to advance your organization into the future by taking advantage of developing trends and strategies
–hybrid events convert virtual attendees into face-to-face attendees at your next event…we all know that there is nothing better than meeting someone face-to-face, shaking their hand, reading their body language, and sharing information and stories right next to each other, so use your virtual component to create a feeling of “I have to be there next year” “