Date:  15/06/2021

Top Tips for Engaging a Hybrid Audience

When it comes to hybrid it can feel a challenge to ensure that you are engaging both your in-person and virtual attendees whilst not forgetting either of the audiences. We have compiled a list of our 46 top tips that you should consider when organising an engaging hybrid event.

  1. Create tailored programming that is separate for each audience.

  2. Offer on-demand content for attendees to watch in line with their schedule.

  3. Use a virtual emcee who can help engage the virtual audience with what’s coming up next, live interviews, live chat call outs etc. 
  4. Refrain from having all content pre-recorded. This will reduce engagement if attendees aren’t able to interact with the speakers. 

  5. Assess your camera set-up including number of cameras, shooting angles etc.

  6. Look for venues that have the experience and the set up for hybrid events.

  7. Aim to create a TV-like experience for those attending virtually.

  8. Animate the virtual content with speaker name, titles and agenda item so virtual attendees are always clear on who is speaking.

  9. Test, test and test again. If the stream is low quality or buffers, you will lose engagement.

  10. Create a digital event lobby so the virtual attendees have an impressive welcome experience. 

  11. Remember content is key! For joint sessions, design your content to work across both audiences. 

  12. Think how the venue looks for your virtual audience. 

  13. Create content that can compete against distractions. No death by PowerPoint. 

  14. Make sure the content can be seen easily for the virtual audience. Check your font sizes. 

  15. Build in breaks throughout and don’t make sessions too long. Aim for less than 45 mins per session.

  16. Build in live polls, Q&As and gamification to help engagement.

  17. Use an app for virtual attendees to engage with in-person attendees.

  18. Create small breakout groups for both in-person and virtual attendees to bridge the gap.

  19. Create coffee breaks for in-person and virtual attendees so they have a chance to network.

  20. Collect data during the event through polls and Q&As, so as to refine future hybrid events.

  21. Share refreshers after the event which are assigned to each individual audience.

  22. Have virtual attendees submit questions that are answered live to create a bridge between audiences.

  23. Create a 3D virtual environment for the virtual attendees to make the event more interactive.

  24. Allow audiences to build personalised agendas which can be added to a calendar.

  25. Coach presenters on how to best engage two audiences, where to look at which camera etc.

  26. Encourage speakers to give callouts to acknowledge attendees in the room and online.

  27. Send teaser boxes to the virtual audience for F&B, wellness or for interactive sessions.

  28. Include behind the scenes content for virtual attendees to feel more involved.

  29. Create incentives for both audiences. Tailor them dependent on the audience and their needs.

  30. Survey both sets of audiences after, remembering to tailor questions to their individual experience.

  31. Understand the demographic of each audience and how this affects the experience.

  32. Create survey questions sent out before the event to understand what attendees want to get out of the event.

  33. Offer private chat options for delegates to network with each area despite their location.

  34. Consider the journey of each audience from start to finish – key to a seamless hybrid.

  35. What is your goal: to motivate, entertain, network etc. Define this early on.
  36. Track virtual interactions so you can use the data to improve future hybrid events.

  37. Give technical support to your virtual audience and make it clear how to access it.

  38. Assign a virtual event manager role as a point of contact to engage attendees and offer support.

  39. Create a hybrid team: Include people on the ground and to handle the virtual stream.

  40. Create virtual only activities for when in-person attendees are on breaks, lunch etc.

  41. Use social media to engage and create a dynamic between the two audiences.

  42. Create comms that communicates all the COVID-safety measures for in-person attendees.

  43. Crowdsource content from both sets of attendees to make sessions more personal.

  44. Create online specific handouts, polls, Q&As to help keep attendees engaged.
  45. Deliver AI powered networking so attendees can get the most out of the event.

  46. Deliver regular comms that are segmented for both audience and their experience.

    If you are looking to deliver a hybrid event and would like support from an events agency then do drop us a line – we’d love to help.