The need to move to virtual during the height of the pandemic was an obvious step for many event managers to ensure they give their events continuity, bring in sponsorship revenue and lets face it, that they continue to have a job.
The virtual world has uncovered many of the benefits that technology brings with it, even those events that have been running for decades. To name a few: the high value of real-time analytics, the positive impact on diversity and inclusion, the automation of tedious tasks that have led to happier organizers and reduction of human errors, etc.
But the real transformation of events begins now.
Smart and ambitious leaders will not allow themselves, their teams and their events to fall behind. Returning to events without technology, without an app, without means of networking digitally will be commercial self-destruction. Defining what technology will give events a competitive advantage and entice customers to return next time is, without doubt, the top priority in any strategic conversation from now on.
Before going into specifics, let us share some key points we have already learnt from hosting hybrid events:
Differentiating experiences: Give yourself time to define your attendees’ experiences. Should those attendees that have invested time and money in attending the events in person be given the same experience and value as those that are joining virtually? Will they be generating the same level of ROI? Will they need to pay the same registration fees? What and how will you hook them to come back to your next event? There is not necessarily a right answer here but the key is to make a decision early in the process.
Budgets: A traditional budgeting process for a single in-person event used to see costs such as venue, production, travel, etc. quantified and defined. Those costs are still valid and they apply to the new type of events too. But realistically, organizers should expect hybrid event costs to be higher. Hybrid events will require for example: a production agency that manages not only what is happening on-site, but what is shown in the virtual world, a venue that can accommodate in person and virtual meetings (maybe areas where the set up includes PCs with good cameras and microphones ready for the conference calls) and a much stronger Wi-Fi network infrastructure (we can’t stress this enough!) for the remote experience to be sleek and valuable.
Nevertheless, organizers should certainly see higher revenues coming from a hybrid approach. Larger audiences joining from different locations, more brands supporting remotely and other added value. These two variants (higher costs and higher revenues) should balance each other out, making your events contribution the same as before or higher!
Hint! Allocate some contingency budget as there will certainly be unknowns.
Registration: Some event management tools allow you to define different paths in registration for different ticket types. This logic enables organizers to, not only charge differently and ask different qualifying questions but to incorporate different features depending on the registration path. For example, a delegate that will be visiting the venue should be advised on travel plans, collection of badges and all entertainment on site. A person joining remotely will prefer to know when the key sessions are live and how to make the most of online networking.
Post-event surveys and reports: this should not be an afterthought. The ROI of your event to someone that attended personally will be, without a doubt, different to a person who spent and hour or two watching a session online. Reporting them and studying them separately is essential. They will require different messaging and different follow ups. Don’t merge them, give them each the time and effort they deserve.
The future of events includes digital. The benefits and improvements seen in our industry in the last 2 years are dramatic. There is no turning back now.
Here are a few powerful event management tools in Canapii that will get you excited about hybrid:
Deliver a smooth guest experience and increase attendance with our easy-to-use registration system. Create and customize ticket types, simplify ticket selling, monitor and manage access restrictions.
Welcome your attendees when they arrive by seamlessly checking them into your event from the live attendee list. Instantly track and measure your event data in real-time to make on-the-fly changes and improvements.
Eliminate stress and long registration queues by printing badges at check-ins. Organizers can customize A5 badges, printable from onsite attendee list. Branding, QR code, attendee name, company name, profile photo, event agenda overview and sponsor branding can all be included. Standard templates can be easily customized to suit your brand.
Manage and validate guest entry to your event through QR scanning. Track attendance for every session or meeting, link any event-related resources and include all promotional materials in it to maximize your event impact. Promote better networking among attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors by simply scanning each other’s badge and instantly saving contact digitally in their smartphones.
Keep the audience informed through notifications to different attendee types such as specific updates for those people who are present at the venue, staying in different hotels, and speaking other languages. Segment your audience (on-site delegates vs virtual only).
Possibility of pre-scheduling notifications for a more seamless event management. It is ideal when promoting onsite event activities, meet and greet opportunities with keynotes, early access to future events, exclusive promotions, and many more.
Event organizers can identify hotels, travel bookings, airports, cities, and mode of transportation in the Canapii event console. They can also view the delegate travel requirements in real time and instantly get notified via the live travel dashboard.
Attendees can easily track and manage their confirmed travel booking within their event profile.
Organizers can upload special floor plans, seating or exhibition charts, layouts, and other documents on the app for users to view.
Streamline the attendee experience by replacing physical tickets with RFID bracelets or badges for in-person events. By using RFID or beacon technology, you can track attendees’ movement and behavior such as meetings or session attendance, and footfall counting without the requirement of scanning.
Ability to upload translations to an on-demand video; and enable viewers to switch to their preferred language while watching.
Offer attendees the opportunity to build and customize their experience by selecting sessions and activities only they are interested in. All integrated within their own personal agenda.
Enable attendees to spontaneously interact and exchange ideas with other attendees, privately or as a group. Transform discussions into connections by scheduling meetings without a hassle. Ability to facilitate in-person meetings and cross networking between online and live audience.
Ability to provide a dedicated area for speakers, moderators, and event organizers to connect and engage prior to going live on a virtual stage, conduct important tech checks and so much more!
Gain full control of sessions and presentations by choosing to broadcast live, simulate, and on-demand, giving more flexibility and convenience to speakers and audience.
Deliver an inclusive experience for attendees by having live captions available at your event. Our machine-generated AI transcription provides access to spoken language displayed on a screen and delivered in real-time.
Keep both online and in-person attendees engaged and make it easier for them to provide feedback with polls and surveys optimized for your event.
Make your hybrid event more lively, interactive, and enjoyable by featuring attendees’ social media posts both in-person and online. The live social wall allows event organizers to curate the content from your event’s official hashtag or event’s official social media channels and display it on a screen, before and after each session or simply embed it on your event page or live stream.
Ability to connect with online and in-person attendees which drives greater reach and value. Allow sponsors and exhibitors to promote their brand through in-person and digital signage and exhibit virtual or in-person exhibit hall.
Ability to setup a points-based system that rewards attendees for all sorts of activities such as by sending chats, visiting sponsor booths and many more using the gamification tool.
Gain real-time insights into both virtual and in-person performance such as session data, audience behavior, and more with our powerful reporting.
Ability to explore and connect best-in-class software providers through Canapii integrations.
Fully linked to your virtual experience, including remote participation:
Enable your global audience to participate in fully customizable events. Ability to select their own time zone from the drop-down menu. This will auto-translate all times throughout the event based on their selected time zone.
Receive 24/7 ad hoc support from anywhere in the world, access to help guides and event kits.
Enable attendees to spontaneously interact and exchange ideas with other attendees, keynote speakers, privately or as a group, through our embedded live chat that is present across your virtual event. Allow attendees to build connections and spark engagement by conducting discussions in smaller groups using live breakouts.
Ability to upload downloadable collaterals and information with format such as mp4, mp3, pdfs, PowerPoints, and word documents for attendees.
Enable organizers to set up recommended sessions and matchmaking based on attendees’ interest.
Ability to cross-post your sessions to social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The social media sharing buttons will be on the live site, so if your attendees like what you’re saying, they can post the link themselves to boost engagement.
With built-in accessibility features like language translation, subtitles, color contrast, text size adjustments, and more, you can ensure that every attendee at your event is accommodated.
There are some excellent tools available out there that help you plan and host your hybrid events. Look for a tool that is easy, simple to use and connect seamlessly to your event needs. Therefore, if you find a tool that combines both the physical and digital aspects of an event, then give it a shot for your event’s success and own convenience. Best to consult with your event provider first about the capabilities and limitations before launching your hybrid events.
Learn how Canapii can help you host successful hybrid events, get in touch with us today!