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12 Tips On Going Hybrid

by Gary Lagestee, on Feb 10, 2021

Clarity's Advice On Entering The Hybrid World


2020 was all about virtual events and Clarity expects 2021 is going to be all about hybrid events. Clarity is pumped to spend this year taking a deep dive and helping our clients put on remarkable hybrid events that will blow your hair off. We talked with different team members in Clarity to get their insights on hybrid events and learn what tips and advice they have for entering the hybrid world! 

How live events and hybrid events differ

Before we get started on tips and tricks for the hybrid world, we want to start by saying that your hybrid event shouldn’t be an exact replica of the live events you’ve put on before, because you’re catering to two different audiences. While there are a few main sessions that should be included for the virtual audience, Clarity wants to push you to not be afraid of pre-recording or providing some separate content for your virtual attendees! Now...let’s dive into some tips and tricks to put on awesome hybrid events! 

Tips for attendees at a hybrid event


1. Cater to your two different audiences 

We just talked about how hybrid events cater to two different audiences, so it’s important to recognize it and act on it. Meeting planners are familiar with catering to just the live audience because live events were all we knew for so long. Catering to two different audiences may mean your general session room is set up and looks different because you have two primary purposes for the content. This might seem tricky, but a solid production partner can be a huge help in navigating these types of changes in the hybrid world. 

2. Offer out of the box experience opportunities 

Offering out of the box experience opportunities that make the hybrid event more fun is key. An idea for creating an out of the box experience is to hire a comedian that can speak to both the live and virtual audience. This is a great way to own the hybrid experience and also bring the two audiences together. As a bonus, you can include some fun facts about the company to not only make it fun but make it educational as well. Win-win situation! Another option would be to include your virtual audience in live Q&A during your general session or breakouts. You can do this by working with your production partner to bring virtual attendees into the live environment. 

3. Incorporate gamification

In any event setting, whether live, virtual, or hybrid, incorporating gamification is always a good idea. You can create games that will connect and engage both of your audiences together to create a collaborative and cohesive environment. 

4. Offer speed dating 

Yes, you heard that right! Speed dating is another fun way that crosses both of your audiences. You can pair up a live attendee with a virtual attendee by their interests, job titles, career goals, etc. so they can chat and talk about the event and what their experience has been. 

Tips for the general session of a hybrid event



5. Have a comprehensive application 

What we mean by this, is to have an application that can be utilized and integrates both the live and virtual attendees. This application can cross-pollinate between both the live and virtual attendee’s engagement purposes or even create a one-on-one chat between the two audiences. 

6. Make an opening video

Creating an opening video is an awesome way to set the stage for what’s about to happen. Your goal is to grab the attention of your attendees and keep them engaged. An opening video that drives your message through excitement and emotion will help to limit distractions and enable your audience to focus on your message. To do this, first, come up with one of those perfect questions (what are you hoping to get from this event) and have some of your live attendees and your virtual attendees send in a video answering it. This not only is a great way to open but then you get a good idea of what your virtual attendee’s and live attendee’s expectations are. Clarity can help you edit it all together with a background and music. You can play this opening video simultaneously in both the live environment and in the virtual environment before you cut to the keynote. Another idea for an opening video is to create a timelapse. Make a timelapse from the very beginning of the hybrid event with the empty ballroom, showing the construction of the general session set, to then showing the opening of the general session creates an exciting experience that your audiences haven’t seen before. 

7. Have an emcee or a professional entertainer 

Having an emcee or a professional entertainer at any event is always epic, and in a hybrid event, you have a few options you can go with. You can only have them in the virtual environment to segues the content and the virtual attendees through the platform. On the flip side, you can have them in the live environment and pre-record some of the segways to put in the virtual environment. In this case, the emcee or the professional entertainer would help move things along in the live environment. These are the bits you can constantly be streaming for the virtual audience to see, which connects the two audiences. No matter which route you go, emcee or a professional entertainer are bound to be a hit! 

Tips for the breakout session of a hybrid event


8. Have breakout sessions that include both attendees

Having a moderator from the live side and a moderator from the virtual side is a great way to engage the different audiences in their own way from whatever technology you’re using for the virtual side of things.  

9. Utilizing technology 

Technology has come to be our best friends over the past few years, so utilize it! Utilize technology to bring your two audiences together. You can have a few different screens throughout the event for both of your audiences. You can have a screen that shows a gallery of the virtual audience, you can have a screen that shows the virtual audience a camera to see the live audience, and you can have a screen that goes to both audiences to tie everyone together. 

Tips for exhibitors/sponsors at a hybrid event


10. Get involved in sessions

Getting your exhibitors and sponsors engaged in the sessions or involved in the user meetings with general dialogue with attendees makes the environment more collaborative, and overall great. For hybrid events, that's a good way to keep things tied together and keep people's eyes on the sponsors

11. Highlight and advertise sponsors

Anytime you can highlight the sponsors and use it as an advertisement opportunity, do it! You can easily create a spotlight session or track that will easily fit right in the agenda.

12. Incorporate ScanTrivia

If you have never heard of Scantrivia, it’s awesome! ScanTrivia works on both the virtual side and the hybrid sides to create QR codes. You can use the scanned QR code online to take attendees to trivia pages or gamification for a particular booth. These are easy games that easily connect your two audiences. You can also see if your exhibitors would be willing to send out coupons or trinkets to increase engagement in the hybrid event. 

That's How You Go Hybrid

There you have it! Those are the Clarity team’s tips on how to enter the hybrid world! We are ready to take on 2021 and throw kick-ass hybrid events and create lasting relationships with all of you. If you are ready to start talking about and planning your 2021 hybrid events, give a Clarity rep a call today! 

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Topics:AV ProductionAudio VisualAV ServicesEvent Industry