Date:  14/06/2021

How to adapt your content for a hybrid event

When delivering a hybrid event, the content is absolutely crucial for ensuring you can keep both audiences engaged. Whilst it is one event, you should consider it as two experiences, where the content is adapted to suit both the in-person audience and the virtual attendees. Below we’ve picked out all the content considerations for for a hybrid event. 

Create a virtual and in-person content strategy

When starting to plan out your content, create a virtual and an in-person content strategy. Step into each audience’s shoes when planning to help you to formulate a strategy that will keep each audience engaged. Consider whether you will live stream, film pre-recorded content or supply on-demand content and how each of these will fit in throughout the event. 

Consider how the content appears for the virtual audience

Remember that your virtual audience will be viewing through a smaller screen, so simple things like font sizes can make all the difference. You don’t want your virtual audience to check out because they’re not able to view the content properly. 

Plan for shorter sessions

Whilst an in-person audience may easily sit through 1.5 hours of content in a row, you’re likely to lose the focus of your virtual attendees if you run long sessions with no breaks. Aim to keep each session around 30 minutes long and plan for regular breaks. 

Train speakers on how to present both virtually and in-person

Where the content is being streamed to both the virtual and the live audience, the speakers will need to be trained on their delivery, so as not to alienate one of the audiences.  Have the speakers reference both the audiences, and have them refer to the individual experiences such as slido for in-person attendees and the live chat function for virtual. Make sure the speakers look into the camera and look at their live audience, doing a mixture of both throughout their presentation. Where the speaker is specifically referencing something for the virtual audience then they should look into the camera when doing so. 

Be mindful of when you are scheduling the event for

Whilst in-person attendees will be at the event live, they are less likely to cancel or miss sessions. But virtual attendees can more easily disengage and log off from sessions, so it’s best to be mindful of times in the day when you will receive better engagement. Aim to not plan the event during school run time or when there may be events such as football matches on. 

Assign a dedicated role for engaging the virtual attendees

To get the best out of your content, create a dedicated role for engaging virtual attendees. They can ask questions in the chat section, be a dedicated point of contact for any issues and be there to ensure that the virtual attendees feel like they are receiving as special an experience as the in-person attendees.  

Create virtual-only content

When the in-person attendees are networking, on breaks or having lunch then this can be a great time for a virtual-only content stream to take place. Treat attendees to a virtual masterclass, create breakout sessions or have them take part in a virtual mindfulness or yoga session. 

Create on-demand content

Don’t always expect that the virtual attendees have the time and availability to attend all the sessions at once. Make sure to host the sessions on-demand so they can be watched when an attendee is best able to focus on the content. 

Navigate time-zones

If your hybrid event is global then make sure to consider the time zones to get the best engagement with your content. Choose a timezone that best suits the majority of the countries attending, and ensure that the countries whose time zones are difficult have clear access of where to find the on-demand content. 

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