Research into going hybrid into the event industry showing two key elements: first, tomorrow’s most successful events are going to be a strategic mix of both live and online digital experiences; and second, adding a hybrid element actually increases face-to-face attendance at the annual congress, rather than tempting attendees to tune in from home.
A recent article in CEO Update stated that an association’s well-being depends on its digital maturity. Digital maturity plays a critical role in member and customer engagement, in building communities, delivering educational content and building online presence and reputation.
The hybrid event allows associations to engage existing and new audiences and for longer. It can open up the congress to two new audiences: from the organisation’s target markets who were not going to attend in person, and those from new markets. It offers them valuable learning opportunities that they would previously have missed out on.
By adding a hybrid element, organisations will make the content more inclusive and more accessible to those who want to be involved. In terms of the life cycle of the congress this is absolutely vital.
Here are five practical tips for going hybrid:
Think about the online perspective: ensure the event space will be as engaging as possible for an online audience
Plan carefully and rehearse. Inform speakers well in advance to avoid last-minute panic
Acknowledge the online audience by welcoming the virtual attendees. One way is by sharing online viewer stats in real time
Use social media to engage. Twitter, for instance, is a great way to connect online and live attendees and facilitate conversations and feedback
Make the online content easily accessible and user-friendly
Tomorrow’s successful congresses will be those that engage and activate their target communities by leveraging the synergies between people, technology and face-to-face connections.
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