We didn’t realize how one event could change our life until last year. When a virus brought the whole world to the knees. Our world got turned upside down. In the wake of the outbreak of a pandemic, the world was forced to go into lockdown. Since everything had to be moved online to continue working, the events and Hybrid event platform were also shifted to the digital medium. And then virtual events became a norm of the new normal. Despite being convenient, virtual events lagged behind something. And that was the engagement level of a physical event.
Now that the world is on track to recovery. And we are expecting to return soon to our regular life. The virtual events will be succeeded by Hybrid events. However, for the virtual audience part, the same virtual event platforms will be used.
The growing need for virtual events and expected high demands for hybrid events soon have led to the emergence of many new platforms. And now the question that has arisen is which platform will be best for virtual/Hybrid events? And how to select the right platform/software for your hybrid event? The answer is simple, look at what these platforms are giving. But before we discuss that, let’s first understand what hybrid events are.
Hybrid events – a new beginning
A hybrid event is a cross between a physical and a virtual event. It is an in-person event that is also available to a virtual audience. This event can either be accessed through a live stream or on-demand video. What makes a hybrid event great is that it offers the best of both worlds. It provides you with the comfort of attending an event from anywhere, like a virtual event. And you can engage your audience like a physical event. Now let’s look at what to look for in a platform for a hybrid event.
Things to consider while selecting a Hybrid event platform
Design and interface
The first thing your audience will see is the design of the landing page. This landing page can be a lobby or anything. And as you have heard, ‘the first impression is the last impression’ so, the design has to make an attendee feel excited. You can also have an exhibition hall, multiple auditoriums, lounges and so on.
Apart from design, the interface has to be user friendly. An attendee should be able to navigate easily through the interface of the platform. Otherwise, he/she will be frustrated and will eventually leave the event.
In the digital world, security is a primary concern for many people. And this is true for corporates and individual persons. So both the host as well as attendee want to protect its data. Now, this data can be as simple as login details or can be confidential information. Many events are for limited and specific people only. A stranger is not allowed. So, the security provided by the hybrid event platform has to be strong. It should include basic yet essential security features like a two-step login process, use of OTP, and captcha. And sophisticated features like end-to-end encryption and so on.
Along with security features, you would also need various options to engage your audience. You got a great design, a secure environment for your event. But without any engagement features, your audience will turn away from the event.
A survey says those who didn’t engage the audience in virtual/hybrid events had 150% more chances of failure than those who did. Now that you know the importance of captivating an audience, you must be thinking about which features to look for. Don’t worry. We have some suggestions. You can look for features like Gamification. Leaderboard, AR Photobooth, Emoticons and social wall and so on. These features will keep your audience busy, and they won’t leave your event mid-way.
Networking is also a part of the engaging audience. However, in many cases, networking can be the sole motivation for attending an event. This extends to virtual events also. So, you wouldn’t want to lose a set of the audience looking for building new connections.
After realizing the importance of networking in a virtual/hybrid event. You must be wondering which are the powerful networking tools and features? Here is the list of some of these features and tools – AI matchmaking, Networking lounges, 2-way communication, Live Chats (1:1 or group) to begin with. These features will let your attendees connect with the other attendees, guests, speakers, and exhibitors in your hybrid event. You can also get more features for networking. More features mean more networking chances.
You hosted a virtual/hybrid event. But if you want to access analytics, what will you do? Wait, before we answer this question, first understand what analytics is. It can be referred to your event attendees’ activities. These activities can be the attendee population, locations, live chat, and networking actions. Also, you can see who got in touch with a particular exhibitor or sponsor, the event app download count, and a lot more.
Not only after the event, but you can also monitor attendees’ activities during the event.
Coming back to the question, how will you access analytics during the event? The answer is simple, ask the platform team for the option to do the same. Also, you must be wondering why analytics are so crucial? The reason behind this is it helps you to understand what worked better for your audience and whatnot. So that in the next event, you can make changes accordingly.
Imagine you hosted a virtual/hybrid event. You invited all your business partners and influential people, but you encountered a technical problem. And you are not able to deal with it, so what will you do? Whom will you ask for help? The answer is obvious: the support team of the platform.
Along with other features, tech support is also necessary. Without tech support, you may face a problem during an event. And this will ruin not only your audience’s experience but also your reputation. So make sure you are getting technical support with the virtual/hybrid event platform.
We hope this article will guide you in getting the right hybrid event platform. If you have any doubt, feel free to ask.