Over the course of the last two years, organizations had to look for new ways to host marketing events. They had to rapidly adapt to remote and virtual events and find creative ways to connect to their audiences.
But as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, we can’t wait to return to hosting in-person events. And while virtual and hybrid events are likely to remain an important part of the event organizing mix, you may wonder what to consider now that we’re able to resume hosting in-person events.
Establish a Solid Hybrid Model
As in-person events begin to resume, companies rely on event technology to ensure that all attendees, regardless of how they participate, have a positive experience. The notion of bringing together event participants from anywhere, anytime is one of the main reasons the hybrid event model has presently gained popularity.
By establishing a solid hybrid model, organizations not only can reach out to more attendees, but create a smooth transition from virtual to in-person and vice versa. A virtual feature incorporated into your in-person event, as part of any event, can put your events in significant advantage. It may improve the quality of your events by reaching a larger global crowd, allowing for more flexibility in scheduling, encouraging real-time interactions through live streaming and providing on-demand content post-event.
Experiment with creative methods to link the various types of audiences by incorporating engaging material into your presentation. For example, to link your in-person guests with virtual participants, providing programs such as fairs, discussions, or interviews. You may also include virtual attendees in focus groups, which may benefit both the virtual engagement and your sponsors.
It’s important to incorporate virtual technology into your in-person events, to help reach more participants and to help increase your ROI. By using virtual technology, you can attract more high-value shareholders and build relationships that will enrich your market capitalization.
Maintain Focus on the Participants
The technology employed is not the main character, rather it adds to the greater experience of an event. You may feel like you’re broadcasting an event to a faceless audience, yet the individuals are yearning for meaningful interactions.
To connect with them, use polling and Q&A tools provided by event management software. Although the audience is in a separate room, learning how to contact the people behind the screens in a warm welcoming manner can enthrall your audience.
Plan your events, engage your audiences, take precautions, and use the right event technology to help you create a natural experience.
Health Safety Considerations for In-Person Events
For marketing events to resume in a safe manner, planners need to have thorough plans to prevent, detect and respond to potential outbreaks. COVID-19 has added an unfortunate layer of complexity regarding the risks associated with managing events in the foreseeable future.
Having recommended protocols in place is a must, however attendee perceptions of safety will be a key factor driving when programs will operate in person again. Even as local governments allow in-person events to resume, event organizers will need to assess the confidence of all their stakeholders, each with varying degrees of motivation to attend—sponsors, paying vs. non-paying attendees, speakers/presenters, onsite staff, etc.
A survey from Morning Consult found 70% of U.S. adults said they’d feel more comfortable if there were fewer people around as they attend events. Over a third of consumers feel safe staying in a hotel— up from roughly 1 in 5 in early-April, according to Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker.
Creating an Engaging In-Person Event
Leveraging event technology for automation makes your events more efficient in the process. By including virtual components in your in-person event design, you can improve your event’s accessibility, long-term viability, and reach. Using a robust event management software, mobile apps, and event intelligence can amplify your event ROI. Depending on your event management platform there are many different features to engage with your in-person attendees. Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Stay connected with virtual and in person attendees using a Mobile App
- Notify your guests about upcoming sessions and promote relevant content to them
- Encourage your in-person attendee to interact with virtual attendees through photo sharing, discussion boards, live polls, social feeds and gamification
- Create a fully-branded event website with clear paths for your hybrid and in-person attendees
- Customize event communications to each attendee type, with relevant join links and session recommendations
- Offer seamless, one-touch access to sessions, content, speakers and sponsors
It’s important that we keep up with the times and not fall back to old strategies now that in-person is coming back. Virtual events always had a role pre-COVID, but now, event organizers view them differently. Moving forward, most in-person events will have a virtual element to it to support participants worldwide.
Find out how Certain can make your next in-person event a success. Contact us today to speak to one of our event experts.