he year 2019 was an interesting one. The pandemic brought about circumstances that nobody expected or knew how to deal with them. However, if there is one thing that technology has taught is adaptability.
However, if there is one thing that technology has taught is adaptability. Event production companies faced a colossal challenge transforming the in-person experience to virtual setups, and this is where they managed to showcase adaptability.
Virtual events and hybrid events soon became a thing and new ways were found to connect through the internet. Today, hybrid events have witnessed a surge, and many companies prefer this mode of conducting events so that those who can attend in person do so, and those who cannot still join virtually. However, an event organizer who is new to conducting hybrid events might make some mistakes that can be easily avoided.
Therefore, we have brought a list of mistakes to avoid while hosting hybrid meetings.
Table of Contents
Stay clear from technical jargon
If you are meeting a small group of people, such as your teammates, you can perhaps get away with technical jargon. However, if it is a bigger meeting or a full-fledged event, then dense content is the perfect way to make your audience lose interest.
Keep your sentences shorter and simple. Instead of incorporating a lot of facts and numbers, try to keep it conversational. Do add a few questions so you can involve other members, and it is not just you who continues to talk.
Ignoring the online participants
Nobody likes to ignore their participants. But managing both live and virtual audiences can become overwhelming.
We cannot stress this enough–don’t forget any of your audience members. If anything, put more effort into including the online audience with the help of interactive tools such as live chat, polls and q&a, speed networking, and social lounges or breakout rooms.
Choosing the wrong conference platform
Your event needs to be perfect, and that can only be achieved through an online conference platform that best checks all your requirements. This is where event production companies are extremely useful.
You may think that you could choose the perfect platform to host your event, and you may even succeed in doing that. But why take the risk?
Choose an event company that could best guide you in your pursuit.
They won’t only make the best platform available to you but ensure that your event runs smoothly.
There is a reason that the ‘mantra’ practice makes perfect is held dearly by planners. While practice is important in the in-person experience, it is even more essential that everything on the virtual front is working.
This includes everything- from lights to camera to materials and content, and your backup internet connection.
All through your event, hope that everything goes smoothly but at the same time, expect that none of it will. So, be conscious about everything that could go wrong and fix it or find a backup for it.
Having a dull speaker
We have all been there; when we were excited to be part of an online event, but the host just put us off to sleep. Not everyone can speak well and manage to engage the audience, and the sooner you realize that, the better it is. So, pick someone who is confident, comfortable with technology, and will be able to engage both the in-person and virtual attendees.
At the same time, provide support and training to them. Ask them if they have any reservations and if you, as a team, could help them with anything. Don’t make them feel that they are the sole captains of the ship and have to manage everything independently.
When your event is completely physical, you can expect to control how you manage time. However, the challenge with hybrid events is that you cannot force your online attendees to sit in one place for extended periods of time.
Even if they want to sit throughout the 5-hour schedule you have penned out for three days straight, they will lose interest and zone out. So, it is better that you cut short your sessions so that the online attendees remain engaged.
If you cannot cut the sessions shorter, then you may want to spread it out over days. For example, divide the content that you would speak in one day over two days.
Not giving attention to broadcast quality
No matter if you have a good orator or you have engaging content, if your broadcast quality is not good, you’ll fail to ‘wow’ your online attendees.
Make it fun for them to join virtually. Adopt creative methods of engagement. Think about everything you would like had you been joining virtually.
Give consideration to camera angles, light, audio, and video quality. Use green screens if you ought to. Meanwhile, don’t overlook the in-person audience.
This is one of the most common yet easily avoidable mistakes people make while hosting hybrid or online events. It will be a waste to train your speaker, collaborate with an event agency, craft your content and materials if you have an internet issue on the day of the event.
The internet plays a vital part in making any online event a success. If your internet glitches during the event, not only would it spoil your online audience’s experience, but the disturbance will also irk the in-person attendees.
Making a hybrid event successful takes a lot of effort, so you should start planning as early as you can. While some things may go wrong despite all efforts, there are some common errors that you can easily avoid. Follow the list we have shared above, so you don’t repeat these common mistakes.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd, leading event planning company offering event management and venue finding services in the UK. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.