With virtual events dominating in recent memory, it’s been a while since you booked your last in-person venue. But events don’t look like they did pre-pandemic. They’ll be hybrid—a face-to-face experience with a significant virtual component.
The new era of events means new opportunities, but new challenges, too. You’ll need to follow a different set of considerations when selecting the perfect hybrid event venue. Today, we’ll cover some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
Nearly everything we do impacts the environment. Bicycling to work has a smaller carbon footprint than driving. It’s better to purchase locally grown produce than vegetables shipped across the country. The same goes for switching to renewable energy.
For every environmentally damaging action, there is a more sustainable alternative. Events are no exception.
Events. Meetings. Conferences. All of these can have a substantial environmental impact. How can we make them greener?
Sustainability exists on a sliding scale. You may not be able to make your event 100% green. But every little thing you do to reduce its footprint is worth it in the end.
Here’s our guide to planning greener events and meetings as the industry emerges from COVID-19.
The shift to Hybrid Events is as exciting for your attendees as it is for you. But whenever you step into new territory, you’re bound to feel some uncertainty as well.
We’ve heard some concerns about the number of in-person attendees dwindling due to the permanent virtual component. Is this notion realistic or even relevant? That’s a topic for another day. For now, we’d like to assuage these concerns by sharing a few tips for incentivizing in-person attendance at Hybrid Events.
This is a big one. Content is still king at Hybrid Events, but a desirable location can go a long way toward getting people to show up face-to-face.
Your members probably won’t be too thrilled about going to Buffalo in January. But a trip to Florida will get winter-weary northerners booking flights in no time.
Of course, climate isn’t everything. Florida might not be a convenient location, no matter how enticing the weather. Keep in mind the geographical location of your member base. Consider sending out a survey of potential locations to see if some pique more interest than others.
These days, it’s easy to feel as though COVID-19 is over. We hope it will be soon. But for the time being, safety will remain a concern for some of your attendees at Hybrid Events.
Most individuals with especially strong concerns about the safety of in-person attendance will opt to attend virtually. This flexibility is one of the great perks of the hybrid format.
But if you show that you’re working hard to ensure a safe in-person experience, you just might convince some hesitant individuals to show up face-to-face.
Need some pointers on safely conducting the in-person component of your Hybrid Event? Check out our guide.
People will travel from near and far to make it to your event. Why not give them something tangible for their time?
Gift bags are a mainstay at place-based events. Although some organizations have seen success shipping them out to virtual audience members, they’re a whole lot easier to distribute in-person. And they can even help to draw in crowds.
Come up with gifts that people actually want:
- Tastefully branded clothing
- Reusable water bottles
- Gift cards
- Branded face masks and hand sanitizer
Okay, gift bags probably won’t be the thing that gets people off the fence and attending your Hybrid Event in person. But some enticing goodies can help to seal the deal.
Food and Drink
Why do people attend in-person events? Beyond the educational opportunities and chance to hear some inspiring speakers, conference-goers want to meet people.
Plenty of person-to-person interaction takes place in event halls and during break-out sessions. But don’t discount the communication that tends to occur over food and drink. Not to mention that many people travel with their tastebuds as their guides.
Hot food and cold drinks don’t travel well. Emphasizing the gustatory delights in-person attendees can experience could draw them out in greater numbers.
The tastes of travel are just as important as the sights and sounds. Entertainment is one of the strongest tools you have to incentivize in-person attendance at your Hybrid Events.
The primary goals of your Hybrid Events should always be business and education. But it doesn’t always have to be so serious. People need entertaining, and the evenings provide the perfect opportunity to fit in some fun.
Here are some entertainment ideas that could boost the numbers of in-person attendees:
- Sporting events
- Magic shows
- Escape rooms
- Live bands
No one knows your audience better than you do. Try to think up some entertainment ideas they won’t want to miss.
On the surface, offering sessions exclusively to in-person attendees seems like the perfect way to get them to show up in greater numbers. But it can be a slippery slope.
One of the most common concerns we hear about Hybrid Events is not dwindling in-person attendance, but FOMO among virtual attendees. Our hybrid technology and management strategies make the virtual experience feel just as special as the face-to-face one.
Offering educational content exclusively to in-person attendees could make your virtual audience feel left out.
What’s more important to you: in-person attendance or virtual audience engagement? Let your answer to this question guide you as you plan your Hybrid Event.
Grow Hybrid Event Attendance with CommPartners
Hybrid Events are nothing new to CommPartners. We’ve merged in-person and virtual event experiences for 13 years. When you’re ready to maximize the reach and revenue of your events with a hybrid approach, our Event Producers are ready to help.
We take events and online education seriously. Consider running your Hybrid Event out of our award-winning Elevate LMS for greater engagement and a longer lifecycle.
Let’s start a conversation. Get in touch with Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The events industry is at a crossroads. We can see the end of COVID-19, but we can still feel its sting. A return to in-person events has begun. Still, we have to remember: the pandemic isn’t over yet.
A growing body of evidence indicates that SARS-CoV-2 will become endemic. In less scientific terms, this means that the virus could persist in some form for years to come.
We can’t know what the future holds. But we do know that safety will remain a concern at in-person events for the foreseeable future. For organizations looking to expand their reach and revenue with Hybrid Events, this means you’ll have to give careful thought to the safety of in-person sessions.
The risk of COVID-19 fluctuates with each passing day. Let us show you how to host a Hybrid Event safely for your in-person attendees.
Above All: Follow Federal, State, and Local Guidelines
The majority of federal, state, and municipal regulations for COVID-19 have been lifted at this time. Still, some might remain in your municipality. We’d tell you what they are, but they change by the day and by location. Your considerations for Hybrid Event safety should begin there.
Even if there are no longer official regulations, there are still recommendations. Here are the CDC’s suggestions for hosting large, in-person events. You don’t have to follow them word-for-word, but we recommend at least taking them into account!
Pick a Safe Venue
Give careful thought to the rules and regulations at the venue of your choice. Most will have these published clearly on their website. If you don’t see them there, give them a call and find out what their guidelines might be. You’ll want to understand this early so you can pick safe venue that meets your needs.
Here are a few safety considerations to take into account when selecting a safe venue to host your Hybrid Event:
- Capacity limitations
- Space for social distancing
- Outdoor space (weather permitting)
- Sanitation stations
- Ceiling height
- Fans and windows for air circulation
- Air purification
Hybrid Event safety starts with the venue. The more of these venue safety features you see, the safer the in-person component of your event will be.
Once you’ve settled on a safe venue, give some thought to the organization of the event itself.
Some of our biggest organizational concerns center around check-in and registration. You don’t want crowds forming at the doors. So what’s the solution?
Staggering arrival times is always an option. But allowing attendees to check-in and register in advance could be more elegant. Anything you do to streamline this process will cut down on congestion and promote a safer Hybrid Event.
Don’t let your event be haphazard. Proper organization will ensure a safer experience for all.
PPE and Sanitation
Personal protective equipment and disinfectants are no longer the rarity that they were in the early days of the pandemic. Store shelves overflow with hand sanitizer. Reusable masks are ubiquitous, sometimes even fashionable.
Face masks and hand sanitizer might not be as important moving forward as during the height of the pandemic. But they won’t disappear. Many have suggested that masks will continue to be worn by the sick, as has been customary in much of East Asia for decades. And who wouldn’t be glad to have a bottle of hand sanitizer in their car or their purse?
Most importantly, PPE and sanitation enable safer face-to-face interactions. The in-person attendees at your Hybrid Event will want to see them. You have a duty to keep attendees safe, and these items can play a role in that.
Here’s a secondary benefit: they present a great custom branding opportunity for you and your sponsors.
Communicate Your Safety Protocol
When it comes to COVID protocols, different groups choose to handle things in different ways. California took a distinct approach from Florida. And at some point during the pandemic, you probably found yourself wondering whether you were among Californians or Floridians.
Everyone should be on the same page. Clearly communicate the safety protocol and expectations at your Hybrid Event from the start. Will you require vaccinations? How about temperature checks?
Get the message out well in advance through promotional emails, registration confirmations, and the event microsite. This will help interested individuals determine if they’d prefer to attend in-person or virtually.
Additionally, post your policies prominently at the venue, and take a moment to review them on the first day.
Conduct Safe Hybrid Events with CommPartners
CommPartners knows how to host a Hybrid Event safely. We have 13 years of experience merging in-person and virtual event experiences. Let our expert Event Producers make sure yours goes off without a hitch. Integrating your next Hybrid Event into our award-winning Elevate LMS raises the bar for exposure, longevity, and ROI.
Let’s start a conversation. If you want to learn more about Elevate LMS or our managed hybrid event services, contact Meghan Gowen at Meghan.Gowen@gocadmium.com. Keep up with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The events industry is changing. With the first rumblings of effective vaccines and the end of COVID-19, the world began to look forward to a new era of events. Now, with vaccines proving to be effective and widespread, the future is now.
You may have noticed that the industry is abuzz with anticipation for a “new” type of event—an event equally accessible to both in-person and virtual audiences.
Numerous terms have emerged to describe what is essentially the same thing: a face-to-face event with virtual components. Today, we’ll sort through some of the most common hybrid event synonyms and what they mean for you.
This one is far and away the most popular term for the concept, and what we prefer to use.
Right now, there is a TON of buzz around the word ‘hybrid,’ and not just in the events space. The term has picked up steam among the workforce as a whole. In particular, some have begun to use it to refer to a combination of in-office and remote work. Recently, it has even been applied to new forms of diplomacy.
For all the buzz around Hybrid Events, remember that they are nothing new. We’ve provided Hybrid Events in some form for over 13 years—continually evolving with the technology. We still use the term to refer to an in-person event with any virtual component.
Livestreaming has taken off in popularity in the past decade. As soon as the technology required to record and simultaneously broadcast live events became intuitive and affordable, livestreamed local events became a mainstay.
And why wouldn’t they? The simple act of livestreaming an event provides a simple way for organizations to boost reach and revenue—often exponentially.
But we need a better term to refer to a modern approach to events. With remote, purely virtual events having become the norm during COVID-19, the meaning of a ‘livestreamed event’ has become less clear.
Why? Because when you use the word ‘livestream,’ it’s no longer obvious whether the broadcast emanates from an in-person event hall, or just someone’s home office. There is no distinction for attendees that the event is both in-person and virtual.
We have used this term extensively in the past, but once we realized the potential for confusion, we decided to make the switch in reference to the”new” event format. Still, we can accommodate your livestreaming needs, whether in-person or virtual.
We don’t see this one too often, but it does pop up from time to time. We think it’s a perfectly fine term. But is it better than ‘Hybrid’?
Ultimately, we think it’s a matter of preference. What we like about ‘blended’ is how intuitive, descriptive, and harmonious it sounds. But we aren’t a winery, and ‘Hybrid’ resonates more with people in this new, post-pandemic world.
The term ‘blended events’ emphasizes the harmony between virtual and in-person experiences. ‘Tribrid’ does the opposite.
Proponents of this term emphasize that we can break the experience of a Hybrid Event down into three distinct experiences:
- Strictly in-person
- Strictly virtual
- Shared by in-person AND virtual
We think there’s something to be said for visualizing a ‘tribrid’ experience. It helps to conceptualize the diversity of experiences afforded by a Hybrid Event model.
But we prefer to focus on the unity of these experiences, as attendees now expect toparticipate fully from their home or office.
Don’t Get Bogged Down by the Hybrid Event Synonyms
Whatever you choose to call it is up to you. But know that combining face-to-face and virtual experiences is no fad, and it isn’t even new! CommPartners has more than a decade of Hybrid Event experience under our belts. We’ve seen first-hand just how successful they can be.
Hybrids. Tribrids. Blended events. They all are the same, logical next-step in the world of events, and one that will maximize reach, revenue, and retention for nonprofits, associations, and beyond.
Don’t get bogged down in all the hype around this exciting event format. Instead, start looking forward to the wonderful possibilities presented by Hybrid.
Count on CommPartners for Hybrid Events
Hybrid Events may be new to you, but they aren’t to us. In our 13 years of helping nonprofits and associations reach broader audiences with a hybrid approach, we’ve learned what it takes for them to succeed.
When integrated with our award-winning Elevate LMS, our Hybrid Event services raise the bar for engagement and retention.
When you’re ready to extend your reach, get in touch with CommPartners. Email Meghan Gowen at Meghan.Gowen@GoCadmium.com and ask about our managed services. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!