Event Tech News
from Digital Motion
news in virtual, hybrid and on-site events.
A Hybrid Event is Always a Good Idea!
Five Reasons Why A Hybrid Style Meeting Can Better Serve Your Attendees and Positively Impact your Bottom Line.
Are you struggling with the decision of whether to keep your conference or corporate meeting on-site-only OR virtual-only?
You may be on the fence because you like the idea of adding a hybrid component, but you don’t want to lose the onsite attendees you have always had, and certainly don’t want to be left with unused hotel rooms!
On the other hand, you might have transitioned to a virtual-only conference in the midst of the pandemic and you are a bit tentative to return to an on-site format.
You certainly want to make the best choice for your conference, and not blow your budget. Plus, you may be a little fearful of the unknown waters of a hybrid meeting - this can be scary!
We understand both sides of the coin! We talk to clients daily who are wrestling over this same decision. It can be overwhelming to determine the best course of action for your specific event objectives.
Despite the conundrum this presents, we’d like to ease your mind by suggesting that adding a Hybrid component to your event is always a good idea. It is possible to have both: an on-site and on-line format option that can actually better serve your attendees and positively impact your bottom line.
5 Reasons adding a Hybrid Component is Always a Good Idea:
1. Broaden your Audience (NOW)
Despite the worry that you will cannibalize your onsite attendance by adding a virtual audience, there are ways to combat this eventuality by adding safeguards in place in your ticketing strategy. Here are a few of those safeguards:
In your registration process:
- Clearly communicate the added value of each ticket option and stack benefits to the on-site ticket (Networking, Cocktail Receptions, Dine-arounds, Swag, Door prizes, etc.) vs. the on-line ticket (Flexible, Easy, Convenient.)
- Create strategic ticket levels of content and access in a way that guides your desired attendance thresholds.
- Delay offering the online ticket option to closer to the event date or run side promotional sales.Example: Offer a certain number of onsite ticket sales for a certain time period, and then a new limited virtual only ticket in a “flash-sale.”
- Apply parameters to the audience in the registration process to buy on-site tickets (by region or by content level access) vs. the virtual ticket.
If you plan a solid ticket strategy, you then can feel free to open up your conference to a much broader audience. You might be surprised by an overall ticket sales growth of all ticket formats with proper marketing and communication on your ticket options. Not only does this strategy allow you to unleash new possibilities of a wider reach of your amazing conference, but it gives you something new to create buzz before, during and even after your event.
2. Re-package and Re-sell your Content (LATER)
Recording your sessions during the on-site event means you have saved your content for later use. If you really do not think live-streaming your content to a virtual audience is the right choice for your event objectives, we strongly recommend recording your sessions and repackaging that awesome content for later use. Uploading your content sessions to a virtual platform for a polished, provides a seamless virtual viewing experience of your content.
The possibilities for repurposing your recorded content are endless. Here are just a few options:
- Send your online attendees a link to conference content after the event has concluded as a perk.
- Sell virtual tickets of the meeting content after the event for more ticket sales.
- Plan a Virtual-only Conference at a later date with timed showings of your main sessions and breakout sessions, or on-demand for anytime viewing.
Pro Tip: There are many virtual platforms available with a variety of levels of functionality, bells and whistles. Digital Motion supports many virtual platforms in addition to offering our own SimplePage Event Platform which is a great option to present your content in a professional, seamless way. Learn More.
3. Back-up for Unforseen World Events
Thankfully, the world has largely moved beyond the shutdowns that the COVID-19 pandemic caused. However, there are still spikes happening around the world, and if we learned anything from that experience, it is that this type of emergency can still happen. In addition to health related emergencies, there are travel-related emergencies that arise, as well as other natural events that can affect travel options and willingness to travel.
Adding a virtual component to your on-site event can help ensure your event from the impact of unforeseen events. Here are some examples:
- If travel or health concerns arise, you already have the option in place for attendees to still attend virtually. You can manage the balance between on-site and on-line attendees.
- If one of your speakers has a last minute problem and can’t travel, you can bring them (or a substitute speaker) into your onsite session remotely.
- Your attendees have more flexibility in the way they attend the session (onsite or online) that they can shift to virtual quickly in the face of sickness, schedule changes, etc.
4. Better Accommodate your Attendee’s Needs
It is always important to be sensitive and accommodating of all the needs of your desired attendees. There are many people who would love to come to your event, but cannot due to health concerns, travel concerns or because they are caring for family members or can’t leave their job. Providing options to attend your event with both on-site and virtual access displays your determination to accommodate all the needs of your desired attendees, regardless of health, location or ability.
Pro Tip: There are many ways you can further make your event accessible, stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on Event Accessibility.
5. Update your Event Image
Lastly, there is a lot of competition out there for conferences in your industry. Conferences that are innovative with modern functionality stand out. Attendees are increasingly discerning on what conferences are current, modern and worthwhile. If you have hosted the same event for decades, or you are just starting to plan your first one, it is important to offer an updated aesthetic and modern access and functionality.
Your conference attendees most likely are frequently attending other conferences and, simply put, they can tell if yours seems outdated. Coming in strong with a hybrid format not only offers your attendees the flexibility they need, but it also sends a message that your conference is professional, modern and fresh. This is attractive to attendees and will boost the conference image, therefore boosting sales and sponsorships.
Want to know more?
If this is the kind of information you need to help determine the next right step for your conference and you would like even more tips, book a free consultation with Digital Motion. We will listen to your event and give you our best recommendations on how to make your event a success.
Our mission at Digital Motion is to go above and beyond for our clients. We want to provide innovative, creative solutions that enhance your meeting and accomplish your goals. And above all, we want to be your valued partner.
Guest Blog Article by Author, Speaker, Coach and CEO of Pro Presenting LLC, Patrick O'Mara
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