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I’m considering going hybrid but will it affect my in person attendance?

Hybrid meetings let remote attendees see what they might be missing onsite. And they offer a great alternative for people who can’t attend this year, but want to participate remotely.

Extend Your Reach, Reduce Your Footprint

Far from jeopardizing the in-person component, a hybrid option helps you extend the reach of your event. It lets you share it with the world—and lets potential participants see why they want to be first in line to sign up next year.

And of course, a hybrid meeting will help you contain and reduce your event’s carbon footprint by cutting air travel, accommodation, and onsite meals for your remote participants.

Things To Consider

When deciding whether to do a hybrid meeting, you should ask a few questions:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What value will a hybrid format bring to your event?
  • Is this the right choice for your audience?

If you decide a hybrid meeting is the way to go, remember that some conference sessions translate better to livestreaming than others. Try to choose presenters who will engage successfully with a remote audience, and who are comfortable with delivering their sessions on-camera.

Bridging the Onsite & Online Conversations

You’ll want to use a moderator to bridge the gap between onsite and offsite attendees. Your moderator will ensure that remote participants have a channel to connect with those onsite, and an opportunity to discuss what’s being presented. In fact, this is one advantage to hybrid events: remote attendees can add to the conversation in some very interesting ways, without disturbing the speaker or onsite attendees.

Spread The Word!

A key factor in hybrid event success is adequate promotion, as far in advance of the event as possible. If people don’t know the option is available, they won’t bother looking for it.

As people register for your hybrid event, be sure that you collect information from them—even if you’re offering the content free of charge. Often, hybrid registrants are new to your event, so this is your chance to ask them if they’d like to hear more about next year’s event when this one ends.

Adding Value to Your Event

Livestreaming doesn’t replace face-to-face, but it does add value. While many planners fear that hybrid meetings will detract from face-to-face registration, it’s been shown that in most cases this isn’t true – in fact, 93% of meeting professionals said a hybrid meeting format helped them in exceeding their objectives.

Livestreaming gives remote participants the sense of sampling content for next year’s onsite experience. For example, if only 60 of your 200 sessions are livestreamed, remote participants will be more eager to participate in the full roster of sessions next year.

If you’re thinking of livestreaming only a couple of sessions, you might want to turn this into a promotional giveaway. While this seems like an expensive option, it doesn’t have to be—often, sponsors are willing to subsidize livestreaming a session in exchange for promotional opportunities.

Looking Ahead

And once the session has been captured on video, you can keep it up on your website long after your event is over—this can be a great promo for next year’s event. If the session is a sponsored one, you’ll be delivering great value to your sponsors, as well.

We turn the question to you now, what are your experiences with hybrid meetings?

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