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3 Common Challenges of Hybrid Events

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Before the pandemic, the term 'hybrid event' was not common and it has now become one of the most searched keywords on Google. To organise a successful hybrid event, you will need to consider the following 3 common challenges.

1. Event Ticket Pricing Strategy

Pre-pandemic, webinars have mostly been free-of-charge and this remains one of the biggest challenges when you transform a live event into a hybrid format.

While it may seem difficult to justify the pricing strategy for any kind of hybrid event — the following are real costs considerations for any hybrid event:

  • On-site costs Going hybrid does not mean less equipment, in fact, it requires more sophisticated and reliable audio-visual equipment. Consider for a moment, the needs for streaming, already you will need adequate bandwidth, streaming equipment, streaming service/portals, to ensure the onsite content reaches the online audience.

  • Remote costs Hybrid events offer the flexibility of having speakers remotely connected. For some keynote speakers, you may want to elevate the experience and stream them remotely from a studio environment overseas adding to your costs.

  • Duration of the event Venue rental, manpower, equipment hire still applies in a hybrid event.

  • Accessible contents The level of speakers, availability of on-demand contents, recorded session, presentation slides, etc can also be influencing factors in your pricing strategy and revenue mix.

  • Attendees & sponsors The presence of sponsors/exhibitors can have a strong influence on your ticket pricing strategy. With encouraging sponsor support, you can consider implementing a token fee to encourage critical mass and attract participation for online attendees. Similarly onsite attendees may be charged at costs plus a little to encourage attendance.

2. Answering The Needs of Both Attendees

Audience experience is critical in hybrid events, and you will need to balance the experiences created for the onsite and the online attendee. The same content may need to be presented in different ways to cater to both types of audiences. Below are some areas to consider:

  • Test and Test Again The Platform If the technology does not work, you will run the risk of your online audience having a bad experience and feeling they have been sidelined. At Dorier, our customised solution is tailor made to the needs of our client with the priority is on the audience engagements; ensuring that no attendee will feel like second-class citizens throughout the event.

  • Prioritise The Audience Engagement Most online audience will not be able to stay focused staring at the screen and sit still for more than 45 minutes. Simple live Q&A, polls and one-to-one networking are all great features to keep them engaged throughout the events. Also remember to design short breaks in between sessions to avoid online event fatigue.

  • Be Selective on Choosing The Speakers, Moderators and Emcee Not all speakers and emcees transfer well into an online event. Good speakers, moderators or hosts can make all the difference to a successful hybrid event so choose wisely and research on their past experiences.

  • Standby The Dedicated Support There is no guarantee for a 100% problem-free hybrid event due to various uncontrollable factors including online audience/speakers’ internet speed, compatibility of their devices and/or web browsers or even speakers moving away to get their coffee when they are to go live. Having a dedicated team to quickly respond to technical issues or manage speakers is crucial to a successful experience for all the stakeholders.

3. Connecting On-Site and Online Attendees In live events, attendees will naturally start networking the moment they enter the venue, but that is not the case for hybrid or virtual events. There are things that needs to be prepared and considered in creating seamless networking sessions.

  • Be a Matchmaker With the advance of AI, it is possible to matchmake your registered attendees by relevancy, even prior to the event. It is also possible to schedule a one-on-one calls for a more intimate discussion during the event.

  • Get Visual Hybrid events tend to require a smaller stage and more scaled-down stage backdrops. However, it is very important to ensure your online audience can still see clearly the entire stage and what's happening on it. Having a PIP (Picture in Picture) on screen will be a great thing to have for the audience to see the speakers and presentation slide side by side on their screen or better still see and feel part of the onsite crowd and vice versa.

  • Leverage Social Making use of the event hashtag is one way of leveraging social to gain organic reach and followers to your event. Some event platform allows you to create live conversations during the event via social media chat and comments giving you a much wider exposure on social media and generating FOMO for those who are not attending.

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