Hybrid events are the melding of in-person events and virtual events. The concept of a hybrid event came about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But even after the restrictions of the 2020 pandemic have been lifted, virtual and hybrid events continue to be popular forms of event marketing.
In 2023, 73% of event planners affirm that hybrid events will continue to be popular in the future. If you’re a business or an event planner looking to expand your reach, a hybrid event may be the way to go. However, it’s important to choose a hybrid event platform that meets your needs.
With all of the different options for event hybrid event platforms available you need to be through. Finding the right one involves research such as reading online reviews and comparing platform costs. You’ll also need to examine the different hybrid event platform features.
To learn more about how to choose a hybrid event platform, keep reading below for further information.
Read Online Reviews to Help You Choose a Hybrid Event Platform
According to a survey done by Zoom, 29% of event marketers are concerned with choosing the right platform for their hybrid event. Reading online reviews is one of the best ways to find and choose a hybrid event platform that works best for you.
You’re getting honest and upfront reviews from real people like you who’ve used hybrid platforms for hosting their own events. With online review sites, you’ll be able to see the pros and cons of top hybrid event platforms.
You can view detailed information on hybrid event platform features as well. This will help you gather the necessary information to make a more informed decision.
Compare Platform Costs
Cost can be a big issue if you’re on a tight budget. Comparing platform costs for hybrid event platforms doesn’t just allow you to choose a hybrid event platform for one-time use, it can also help you establish if that platform will be suitable for long-term use as well.
Some hybrid event platforms have multiple pricing tiers available. These pricing tiers fluctuate based on your event needs, the number of users, and available features.
It’s important to find the right hybrid platform that is the best cost with the right features included. Shopping around may be a pain, but it is necessary to make the most of your budget.
Consider Hybrid Event Platform Features
Looking at all of the different hybrid event platform features is an important part of how to choose a hybrid event platform.
When it comes to hosting hybrid events, you may only want a very basic number of hybrid event platform features. However, in looking at multiple hybrid platform options, you may find features offered you didn’t know you initially wanted as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important hybrid event platform features here.
No event is one size fits all, so why should your hybrid event platform be? Event registrants don’t want to be greeted by a bland or default welcome page upon logging into the event.
An uninspired looking user-interface attached to your hybrid event will turn guests off to your brand and make you look unprofessional. That’s why it’s important to choose a hybrid event platform that offers you customization options.
You need to be able to personalize the experience to your brand. This means using custom colors and uploading custom banners, logos, and labels that make it uniquely tailored to you.
Just like at in-person events, a hybrid event is a place for attendees to interact. They interact with one another, as well as certain areas within the event, like the information desk. That’s why you need to choose a hybrid event platform that gives you the ability to re-create these areas online.
A good hybrid event platform lets guests explore and interact with many different spaces. From chat lounges to conference halls, informational booths, and more; your hybrid event platform should successfully mimic all of the elements of being there in person.
Your hybrid event attendees want to be seen and heard as much as the in-person event attendees are. An event that only lets in-person guests engage in questioning and discussion can discourage your hybrid participants and make them feel less important.
You will need to choose a hybrid event platform with effective communication channels built-in. Having communication channels for your attendees will help drive up your overall event engagement and encourage active participation.
You should also have breakout chat rooms on specific topics that hybrid event guests can utilize for discussions with one another in the hybrid portal.
Along with supporting communication, hosting hybrid events should also be an opportunity for active networking. So you should choose a hybrid event platform that lets event attendees network as well.
You can do this by creating networking lounges where event participants, hosts, and speakers can interact and network with one another. Offering hybrid guests a place where they can go to network with those both in-person and online is key.
This way, hybrid event guests aren’t missing out on this vital component of the event. They can still make impactful connections in a designated area on the platform.
Live and Recorded Options
A good hybrid event should give your virtual attendees the feeling of being there live. They want to experience everything in real time just as if they were there in person.
No hybrid event attendee wants to log on to find out everything is just static video material. On the other hand, though, some event attendees may like the flexibility of having some recorded material available if they aren’t available for that particular event’s time slot.
You want to choose a hybrid event platform that offers both options. This way guests online can still access recorded information on their own time while also focusing on the immediate live events as they happen.
A whopping 79% of event hosts boost leads and generate sales through hosting events. Hosting hybrid events is no different. A good hybrid event platform should help you brand your virtual event just as you would for an in-person event.
Choose a hybrid event platform with integrated branding capabilities. This will allow you to canvas your whole platform with your brand with ease. With just a few clicks, your brand can be featured on banners, booths, display screens, and standees all over the event.
Mobile App Functionality
When you choose a hybrid event platform, you’re choosing one that offers the most functionality for hybrid event hosts as well as attendees. One way you can do this is to find one that offers mobile access. Guests may not always be at home when they’re attending hybrid events.
Having a mobile app lets hybrid event attendees be a part of the event wherever they are. App functionality in the hybrid event platform lets attendees engage with the event through built-in features like:
- Q and A Sessions
- Interactive Polls
- Chat Functions
- Video Interaction
- Event-Related Games
This helps boost overall event engagement and attendance.
Analytics and Reporting
Hosting hybrid events provides valuable event marketing information relating to your event attendees. So it’s important that you choose a hybrid event platform that lets you view and track this data.
You’ll want to be able to view different aspects such as:
- Event Attendance
- Activity Participation Rates
- Duration of Event Attendance
- Overall Engagement Rates
By having access to this data in real time, you can see which elements of your event are the most popular and successful. It also helps you gauge what may need to be changed or adapted for future events.
Feedback and Surveys
Another way to gauge the success of your hybrid event is to send out guest participation surveys. These surveys give you insights into the attendee experience. You’ll want to choose a hybrid event platform that lets you easily customize and send out surveys to event participants.
Many hybrid event hosts send out pre and post-surveys for the event. Some event hosts may also want to send out surveys during the event itself to see how guests are liking the experience so far and if there are any elements that need fixing or changing.
The hybrid event platform should then be able to take this information and present it to the event hosts in an easy-to-read format.
Of course, with any hybrid event, security is a number one priority. You want to protect event attendees from getting their passwords, payment information, and personal data from being compromised and leaked by hackers.
That’s why you should choose a hybrid event platform with built-in encryption and firewall protection. This will keep attendee information safe and secure.
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Hybrid event platforms can be valuable tools for event marketers. With so many different options for hybrid event platforms available today, it’s important to choose a hybrid event platform that meets all of your unique needs. You need to ensure you have all of the best hybrid event platform features and options to make your hybrid event a success.
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