Blog – Tips and Trends For Your Events

5 Effective Hybrid Event Ideas for Newbies

Hybrid event ideas concept; photo of a hybrid event live streaming in a laptop

Photo credit: Malte Helmhold

Hybrid events are the most common trend in today’s event industry. In fact, statistics show that “73 percent of event planners now think hybrid events will continue to be more common in the future.”

While most are in the hype with hybrid set-ups, some are still hesitant, and uncertain about the transition. If you are still venturing out the new waters of hybrid events, then this guide is perfect for you. Find out everything you need to know about hybrid events. Let’s keep the ball rolling.

What are hybrid events?

Now before we dig into the specifics, and details, let us first define what is a hybrid event. The simplest way to describe a hybrid event is that it brings people together with both in-person, and online elements. In hybrid events, you get to engage onsite attendees, and virtual attendees all at the same time.

This is probably the greatest benefit of hybrid settings: broader audience reach, and increased number of attendance. There’s also a greater return on investment in conducting hybrid events in addition to increased sponsorship, and networking opportunities.

Is the hybrid model fit for me?

The overwhelming advantages of a hybrid set-up somehow screen the stigma, and encourage more people to shift to this format. However, not all event structures, and conditions are fitted for a hybrid event.

Therefore, it’s necessary to evaluate some major factors to know if it’s something that will work for you, and your organization. On the side of the audience, these factors include their demographics, availability, preference, health conditions, and expected attendance. For event planners, and businesses, factors like production capabilities, budget restraints, and venue capacity are important considerations.

When you have a fair number of attendees eager to join the event live, and you have the capacity to provide the same high-quality content, and experience to your virtual attendees, then hybrids will make a perfect match for you.

Some of the most common hybrid events hosted in the previous years are seminars, conferences, fundraising gala/dinner, and product launches.

Common challenges with hybrid events

Conducting purely virtual events or hosting an exclusive live event is difficult enough. How much more doing it in a hybrid setting! In order to go through event planning successfully, you must be fully prepared to handle these common challenges:

  • Effectively engaging 2 audiences at the same time

According to recent statistics, “audience engagement is the largest challenge when it comes to virtual events. The next biggest challenge is interaction.”

You need to connect to two different types of audiences, who have different attention spans, and means of consuming content, all at the same time. Making sure that both audiences receive equal opportunities, and the same quality content is also a challenge.

  • Different time zones of virtual attendees, and live audience

Though the online aspect of hybrids provides access to a global audience, the different time zones of attendees add complexity to an already complicated model. According to a Markletic report on hybrid event statistics, “49% of event organizers stated that they faced difficulties with scheduling the event for an international audience with multiple time zones.”

When conducting a hybrid seminar, you must carefully plot the time differences of the participants. Failing to do so may result in participants dozing off during important sessions. Align your program to hours where your virtual audience is likely to be active, and attentive.

  • Maintaining a seamless, and balanced program flow

Distractions, digital fatigue, and connectivity issues are some common blockers your participants might experience during hybrid events. That’s why maintaining a seamless flow from start to finish will be quite difficult to do.

  • Short attention span of the virtual audience

According to studies, “you only have 8 seconds to capture virtual event attendees’ attention before it wavers.” Participants attending events in the comforts of their homes might receive too much comfort which might lead to napping during sessions or losing focus.

  • Ticketing strategy

One thing that event managers are struggling with is making the right ticketing price for a highly diverse audience. Prices will obviously vary according to accessibility, and privileges.

Effective hybrid event ideas for conferences, seminars, and fundraising events

1. Keep in mind that you have one event with 2 audiences

Hybrids are not live streams of an in-person meeting. It is a set-up where attendees joining online can participate, and engage as much as those present onsite. In order to have a unified and seamless experience, factors such as a wholesome streaming platform, appropriate, physical venue, and high caliber production equipment among others play an important part.

  • Wholesome streaming platform – Choose a virtual streaming provider that will allow attendees to participate through live chats, polls, breakout discussions, and Q&A sessions.
  • Physical venue – Your hybrid event venue should have a dedicated space for live streaming, and recording sessions. The venue should also guarantee a safe in-person experience.
  • Production equipment – In the virtual space, the audio, and video components of your event play a critical role in preventing your virtual audience from dropping out or losing interest. Along with AV equipment, you should consider hiring a strong internet provider.

2. Deliver valuable, and relevant content

Content still remains as king. In today’s virtual space, a lot of competing content is available for your target audience. Making sure that you are delivering valuable, and relevant content will help you stand out from your competitors.

The hybrid model promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that’s why it’s very important to craft content that adheres to these values. Decide on which parts of your content are going to be simultaneously broadcasted. May it be training sessions, Q&A portions, panel discussions or breakout sessions, it’s not wise to stream every in-person activity.

You could also opt to dedicate an exclusive virtual session by playing pre-recorded videos. Maximize engagement by having a Q&A with keynote speakers afterward. You could also do group discussions depending on the time. Just be mindful and attentive if your audience can still take in additional information.

3. Hire a professional moderator, and a hybrid-trained team

A moderator or a virtual host is necessary to keep your virtual attendees engaged, involved, and entertained. Giving occasional breaks to your virtual audience will help eliminate any online fatigue but you need to make sure that there’s no dead air during these breaks.

One effective way to do that is to have your moderator generate some casual talks or recaps from previous sessions. Your host can further interact with attendees by reading their live chats, and generating conversations. Hiring a hybrid-ready team is as equally effective as having a virtual host.

With the complexity of hybrid models, you need every help that you can get. This team should be well accustomed to AV production in addition to having the basic skills on conducting a live meeting.

4. Memorable, and engaging networking sessions

Networking is one of the most common goals of hybrid events. You can maximize networking opportunities in your conference or seminar by allowing significant time, and giving a conclusive space for attendees to connect to their peers or people of interest.

In your onsite venue, you can designate tables divided by some sort of screen for protection. You could also open pre-arranged breakout rooms where your virtual participants can enter, and interact with each other. You can just put designated people who’ll act as moderators in these breakout rooms.

5. Reasonable ticket prices, and a simple registration process

One of the challenges previously stated is setting ticket prices for each of your audience. According to ProGlobalEvent, there are 3 ways to price a hybrid event. The first is setting the price of a virtual version as a percentage of the price for the onsite experience. This percentage should not exceed 75% of the onsite ticket price.

The second way is pricing based on the content they want to access. This is effective for those who can’t afford to finish the whole event but have preferred sessions. The third one is a combination of both types.

Deciding for ticket prices is just a small part of the entire event logistics. You need to sell these tickets. But before that, you need a registration solution that will allow people to register online. Event Espresso is a WordPress event manager which will help you manage registrations online.

Our services will help you sell tickets online, collect payments, and send out links and customized emails. And this is helpful because it will cut down costs and effort on manual labor. In addition to that, Event Espresso helps you limit the number of your onsite registrants. This solution is perfect for hybrid events.

Conclusion

Events will continue to become more valuable in the future not only due to their marketing value but because of the positive effects events bring such as fostering connection, and belongingness among many.

Events make people happier, and promote positive well-being. So more than focusing on the marketing side, it’s important to use your events in bringing value to people. It’s important to know them first in order to meet their needs. Before launching your fundraising activities, it’s necessary to understand beforehand the reasons why people donate or support your cause.

May this guide somehow help eliminate existing misconceptions on hybrid events. Apply the mentioned hybrid event ideas for an easy transition. No matter how you choose to host your upcoming event, you need partners, and tools to help you carry out necessary, and tedious tasks.

Event Espresso helps thousands of event managers, and organizations manage their registration. Ensure a seamless registration for you, and your attendees. Try our free demo today.

Comment

4 Positive Effects of Events: Happiness, Human Connection, and More

Positive effects of events

People are constantly looking for ways to better their life and promote positivity. Attending events is a great way to experience happiness, connect with like-minded people, and foster positive well-being.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some positive effects of events on your attendees and how you can organize events to fully cater to them. Read More

Read More Comment

Why Do People Donate? Top Reasons Why Donors Give

volunteers forming a red heart using their hands; fundraising effort concept

If you have experienced selling something before, you know how important it is to survey customers on the reasons for their purchase. You want to know what they like about the product/services you are offering. Knowing this valuable data will help you improve your business.

In the same manner, knowing the primary motivations of donors in giving is important for a variety of reasons. First, it helps you maximize your marketing efforts. Knowing how and where they’ve heard of your cause directs you to where you need to focus your marketing strategy. Another thing is that it will help you to understand your personal donors better.

Most often, people give for a cause they are passionate about. When you truly understand their aspirations, you’ll know the kind of people you are reaching out to. And it will help you connect to them better.

Lastly, it acts as an indicator of what went right and what went wrong. Do your donors understand your message and mission? It will give you the opportunity to improve and do more.

Before we unlock the reasons why people support your fundraising efforts, let’s first look at the reasons why it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Why it’s good to give:

Giving makes you happy

This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of giving. Giving is always associated with happiness and pleasure. Every time we donate, our brain releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which then gives us the feeling of satisfaction and happiness.

Indeed, giving people are happy people.

Giving is good for your health

More than the emotional gratification, giving promotes good health and wellness. Some of the medical benefits of giving include reducing exposure to stress hormones, lowering of blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, and reducing anxiety and depression.

Therefore, if you want to live longer, give.

Giving is fulfilling

Giving awakens a sense of purpose. Albert Einstein once said, “Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living.” When we work for something that is bigger than us, and we live not just for ourselves, our lives become more meaningful.

The fruit of giving brings a greater and far more different sense of satisfaction and self-worth.

Giving is impactful

A recent study from Frontiers on the contagion of donation behaviors found that the positive donation behavior of people greatly influences the donation decision of others. To simply put it, your giving encourages others to do the same.

And it is more gratifying to know that the very first people we influence are our children. When this happens, generosity becomes part of a family’s culture which creates a chain reaction of giving for generations to come. And the impact that it creates is bigger than we hoped it would be.

Giving never stops with you.

Giving is loving

As cliche as it may sound, giving is proof of one’s love and compassion for others. When you help in providing food services to cancer patients, raise awareness for children with mental health challenges, or raise funds to educate underprivileged children, you move past your comforts. And that is love.

So every time we give, we love.

Reasons why donors give

Giving does a lot more to you than to those you are actually helping. Aside from the benefits of giving, here are other motivations why people donate to charity.

1. They believe in your mission

People are persuaded to give when they are persuaded by your fundraising mission. When they see the relevance and impact that your organization is making, they are more likely to support your cause.

Charitable giving is often triggered by an emotional connection. What story are you telling? Does your story connect to people?

2. They share the same values as you have

Fundraising events bring like-minded people together. When a person becomes a personal donor, it’s more likely to conclude that they share the same principles and causes your organization stands for.

3. Your organization and cause stand out to them

More and more people are persuaded to give to charitable causes because of what they see on social media. Or It could be that they personally know some of the people your organization is helping. Testimonials and personal experiences are great drivers of donations.

Charities stand out from the rest because they display a certain degree of integrity and accountability. And because of these, your organization gains trust and support.

4. It’s part of what they believe in

Generosity and selflessness are some common teachings of religions. A study entitled Drivers of Donations reports that “religious  people tend  to  donate more regularly,  give  to  both  religious  and  secular  organizations,  and  give  higher  monetary amounts, in stark contrast with secular and religious but non church goer donors who give less and less regularly.”

For them, giving is part of obeying God. For philanthropists, they give because they believe that it’s their purpose to do so. They have a sense of responsibility to give and help those who are in need.

5. They want to make a difference

Donors are motivated to give because they want to make a change. They want to be a part of something bigger. For others, donating or volunteering is more than helping. It becomes a part of their legacy, something they want to be remembered for.

Giving, may it be monetary or through volunteering, is always meaningful and powerful. As you continue to advance your fundraising efforts, it’s important to wind down for a bit. Take a break and celebrate everyone’s effort. Prioritize donor appreciation and get to know them more. Start your fundraising planning with our fundraising event planning template.

As you move forward with your fundraising planning, you’ll need the best WordPress event registration plugin that’ll allow your participants to register and pay online. Manage registrations with ease and efficiency. Try our free demo to get started.

Comment

The 6 Basic Steps on Hosting a Conference

Hosting a conference for business leaders

Hosting a successful conference involves a lot of planning and can get quite intimidating if it’s your first time.

Ideally, you want to create “checklists” of the things you need to do and cross them off as you go. This helps ensure everything is in place to successfully host a conference. In this guide, we’ll go over six crucial steps you should follow when hosting a conference. Read More

Read More Comment

Accept Event Payments with Square using Credit Cards, Google Pay, and Apple Pay

Attendees participating in a business conference.

You can now use Square to accept payments for your event registrations or tickets using Event Espresso. Event organizers in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Republic of Ireland and France can receive debit card or credit card payments from attendees worldwide. Plus, Google Pay and Apple Pay are available in select countries.

Receive payments for event registrations through Apple Pay and Google Pay

Event payments are available for Google Pay and Apple Pay via Square. Here are the countries where the services are available. Read More

Read More Comment

10 Best Event Planning Resources

Event planning resources

If you’re thinking about hosting an event, the first step is to start planning for it. It helps to have high-quality event planning resources at your disposal.

Ideally, you want to plan ahead so that when it’s time to host the event, you and your staff members know exactly what to do. This also helps keep all the important timelines of the event in place and ensures you’re able to effectively manage your event.

In this article, we’ll go over various event planning resources that will help you easily plan your event and effectively execute it. Read More

Read More Comment

How to Create a Mailchimp Signup Form in WordPress & Send Emails

It’s no secret that email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels out there, offering an incredible ROI of up to $42 for every $1 spent. It offers some unique advantages over other forms of marketing and helps you build a base of loyal users independent of other sources of traffic that tend to be mostly out of your control.

However, you need the right tool to power your email marketing efforts. And as a small business manager or event manager, you probably can’t find anything better than Mailchimp. It offers a perfect balance of simplicity and functionality. Combining it with an opt-in tool like MailOptin to collect emails is going to help you build a solid email marketing foundation.

With that said, let us begin with creating an opt-in form with MailOptin and integrating Mailchimp with the versatile opt-in tool. Read More

Read More Comment

The 12-Step Guide for Your Fundraising Event Planning Template

Food distribution as a result of a fundraising event of a non-profit organization

Are you preparing for your next fundraising event? If so, then you’re making the right choice. Qgiv reports that 35% of the overall donation happens during the last three months of the year. Furthermore, 12% of global donations happen during the last three days of the year. Without a doubt, this is the best time to advance your fundraising causes.

So get your pens and papers ready, because today we will teach you how to proceed with your event planning without a hitch– by making a fundraising event planning template. Read More

Read More Comment

How to Plan a Workshop Checklist

People figuring out how to plan a workshop checklist.

Planning a workshop can be quite challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. You have to do a lot of things in such little time and make sure nothing goes wrong. In this guide, we’ll explain how to plan a workshop checklist. Read More

Read More Comment

How to Create Your Event Planning Questionnaire (Like a Pro)

Business-owners-and-employees-gathering-at-a-venue-for-a-corporate-event
Photo credit: Jakob Dalbjörn

Events are one of the more effective marketing methods for businesses and organizations. For non-profit organizations like churches, events are utilized to generate funds, empower their congregation, teach and inspire, and serve communities.

For businesses, it generates sales, increases brand credibility and awareness, and allows you to know your customers. A Bizzabo marketing report suggested that 60% of business leaders believe that events are the most crucial marketing channels for attaining business goals.

Whether you are preparing for your company’s internal event or for a client, starting event planning with a pre-event consultation is vital. And to get the best out of it, you’ll be needing this essential tool: your event planning questionnaire.

This article will teach you the practical steps to construct your event planning questionnaire and the essential questions you need to include in it. Read More

Read More Comment

Event Espresso