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  • Mary Windham

5 Hybrid Event Mistakes to Avoid

From the Desk of Mary

Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer

Planning a successful hybrid event is key for future business leaders and event planners. In our last blog post, we reviewed the benefits and examples of hybrid events.

Now, we’re going to look at what NOT to do with hybrid events.

Planning a successful hybrid event is kind of like planning two simultaneous, interconnected experiences at once. It’s complicated and can be overwhelming for the novice. Here are some common mistakes that can easily trip you up:

1. Ignoring Your Virtual Attendees

It’s too easy to arrange an in-person event, live stream it, and think your job is done. The key to a hybrid event is that it engages and informs the virtual audience just as much as the in-person audience. There should be easily accessible tech support, fun engagement and networking opportunities, and access to the same conference materials wherever possible.

2. Sloppy Scheduling

Most likely, there will be a different schedule for your in-person and virtual attendees. For one, virtual attendees will need more breaks than in-person attendees to maintain their focus. In addition, don’t forget about time zones! Your audience may be spread out, so having start and end times that work with multiple geographic locations could enhance your attendee list.

3. Poor A/V Setup or Bandwidth

Your technology and A/V integrations are critical as well. Zoom alone won’t cut it; you need an online event platform and onsite A/V support that works well together and supports a positive, reliable attendee experience across all activities.

4. Skipping Rehearsal

Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, a rehearsal is absolutely essential - you never know what might go wrong at the most inopportune moment. Presenters can use this time to refine their talks, A/V and streaming services can work out the kinks, and you can see how the attendee experience will truly feel. This is a great opportunity to solve any problems on the front side.

5. Forgetting Follow-Through

Like with any event, follow-up with surveys and vendor feedback is incredibly useful. Reach out to your in-person and virtual attendees, as well as your presenters and vendors, to get their thoughts on how it went. This data will be crucial to building your next event bigger and better.

Another great pro tip for really understanding the flow and structure of hybrid events is to attend a couple in your industry! You’ll see things you do and don’t like, giving you ideas for your next event!

Do you have any thoughts on hybrid events? Tell us in the comments below!

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