If, like many businesses, you’ve considered hybrid events as part of your marketing strategy, then you need a hybrid event checklist.
This checklist helps you stay focused on every detail in your hybrid event.
As people and businesses alike look to the summer months as a time for exploring new opportunities, connecting, and reconnecting, hybrid events are likely to increase.
To make the most of your upcoming hybrid experience, you’ll need the Eventtus Hybrid Events Checklist so you can tick away as you prepare for the big day.
What are hybrid events?
You’re probably familiar with in-personal events and virtual events.
Because of their nature, hybrid events require more work than virtual events and in-person ones.
Why? Because as a business running a hybrid event, you’ll be covering two grounds. You’ll want to focus on both the physical and virtual sides of the event.
Hybrid event data
To understand more about hybrid events and how they fit in with other companies’ and event organizers’ budgets, here are some statistics worth mentioning.
A survey by Markletic of roughly 3,000 event organizers found that over a third (34%) of event organizers were looking to invest more in hybrid events over the coming years.
That said, almost the same number (35%) struggled to find “the right venue” for hosting hybrid events.
Remember: A hybrid event requires a physical location and virtual event platform.
Since the hybrid experience is generally new, many organizers said their event speakers had problems engaging audiences in the virtual and in-person sides of the event at the same time.
When it came to the return on investment (ROI) of the hybrid event, nearly 86% of B2B companies said they saw or expected to see a positive ROI “7 months after the event date.”
This means that hybrid events have a longer-term impact in terms of ROI.
Similarly, a 2020 survey by Bizzabo found marketers expecting 2021 to see more hybrid events hosted “than ever before.”
Your 5-Stage Hybrid event checklist
To make the hybrid experience work for you, we’ve created a detailed step-by-step hybrid event checklist.
The key to a successful hybrid event is knowing all the ins, outs, and the tiniest details about your event. You’ll find many questions here.
The purpose of this checklist is to ensure you to have as much information about your event beforehand so you’re prepared for everything.
The Eventtus Hybrid Events Checklist is divided into 5 stages.
Stage 1: Pre-event questions and budgeting
- What is the purpose of creating a hybrid event?
Is it an informational event? A conference? A product launch? Or are you holding the event for brand building?
- What are you looking to get out of this event? And how will you measure success?
You’re not creating a hybrid event for fun. That’s for sure. So, aside from knowing the purpose, you need to have a target in mind. This can be generating leads or sales, brand building, making money, among other reasons.
You’ll want to set your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
Decide on the best way to measure your KPIs. When the event is over, revert to those KPIs and decide on what worked and what didn’t along with the lessons learnt.
- What’s your estimated budget for this event?
When it comes to budgeting, you need to remember that you’ll need:
- A physical location
- A virtual event platform
- A marketing budget
- To budget for extras like equipment, speakers, printed materials,…etc.
- Moderators and ushers (if they’re not available in-house)
This means you’ll need to put a range for your overall budget. You can add a range for each of the above points too.
A quick research of physical and virtual venues will help you understand the average you’ll need to allocate to each item.
- What’s the main theme or topic for your event?
Knowing the broad lines of your event in terms of theme will help you create your content and agenda. It will also help you decide on your speakers and topics.
- When do you expect to host this hybrid event?
Knowing the ‘when’ for your event helps you set a deadline. It’s important to set a realistic target date so you have enough time to prepare.
Remember: You’ll be handling 2 sides of an event, a virtual one and in-person one. So you’ll need to prepare for both.
- How long is this event?
Another important item to consider is the length of your hybrid event. It could be a one-day event or a three-day one. Normally, such events don’t expand to a week.
Stage 2: Pre-event prepping
Now that you’ve written down the basics, it’s time to move on to more detailed prep-stage needs and points in your hybrid event checklist.
This stage includes several sub-stages.
Part 1: The ground work
Since you’ve settled on a broad theme and topic for your hybrid event, you’ll now want to:
- Identify your topics: These are the ones that will be included in your agenda.
- Identify your speakers: They are the people who will be giving talks, sessions, workshops…etc. You’ll specifically want to see who your external speakers are. These are the ones who don’t work for your company.
- Decide on the number and types of sessions you’ll provide: This includes workshops, Q&A sessions, fireside chats, and more.
You’ll also need to decide if each session type will be available for your virtual and in-person event at the same time or if you’ll offer separate sessions for each side of your event.
- Workshops: If you have workshops, you’ll need to determine if people within your organization will be giving them or if some of your external speakers will be offering them or if you’ll offer a mix of workshops.
- Virtual options: Having a virtual side for your event comes with multiple options. If you’re using Eventtus, these options include offering session replays, virtual meetings, and networking circles, just to name a few.
Part 2: Marketing for hybrid event
- Content: An important part of your hybrid event checklist is the content for the virtual and in-person sides of your event.
Content entails: your event agenda, landing pages, printed brochures, copywriting materials, lead generation materials, presentations, among other needs.
- Hybrid event promotion: Where will you be telling people about your event? Promotion involves generating awareness and ticket sales.
Promotion options include: Social media platforms, your website, paid advertising, and/or email marketing.
Part 3: Logistics
While you may expect a hybrid event’s logistics to be focused on the in-person side of the event, logistics relate to both sides.
You’ll need to determine:
- Where you’ll hold your in-person side of the event.
- Your needs for the on-ground location such as cameras, speakers (tech), seating arrangements, workshop locations…etc.
- The virtual event platform for the virtual-side of the event.
- Any tech needed to connect your online and offline sessions (and if you’ll connect them).
- Ushers needed for the in-person event and moderators for the virtual one.
Part 4: Sponsors and exhibitors
Having sponsors can help you grow your revenues. At the same time, your hybrid event helps sponsors and exhibitors from being present at your event by connecting with potential customers and hires.
You can give sponsors and exhibitors the opportunity to choose between the in-person and virtual event. You can offer different pricing options for each. Or they can choose to be present at both and reach out to more people.
If you’re using Eventtus as your virtual platform, we provide your sponsors and exhibitors with a tour of the platform and their virtual booths.
Part 5: Networking
Networking is one of the top reasons people attend events, whether virtual events or in-person ones.
As an event organizer or host, you’ll want to set up opportunities, both physical and virtual, for your attendees.
Engaging and networking with attendees virtually has been a problem and fear for some.
That’s why, at Eventtus, we’ve compiled a list of creative virtual networking ideas to help you with the virtual side of your event.
Stage 3: Promoting your hybrid event
No one will know about your event if you don’t tell them.
You’ve allocated your marketing budget. Now you’ll need to see how you’ll sub-divide it across your marketing channels.
Your hybrid event checklist should include your marketing strategy. This includes the ads and content you’ll share across all your platforms, especially your website.
Marketing your event can take place across social media, paid ads, email, and your website.
You’ll need to start promoting your hybrid event at least 6 weeks in advance. All registration for your hybrid event should take place online.
Here’s a tip: Create an email list for your attendees who have registered for your event so you can engage them before your event.
Stage 4: The event
You’re half way there. And you’ve made it to your hybrid event.
But the work isn’t over. This stage involves focusing more engaging your audiences, both on-ground and online.
You can give a brief introduction to your event, how everything works in the virtual venue and on-ground venue. Provide information about networking, exhibitor and sponsors booths, along with everything you think attendees will need.
Your moderators should be ready to answer questions. They should also have done their research about the speakers they’ll introduce and manage their talks.
For those attending virtually, offer a virtual help desk for questions. Many virtual attendees are likely to have questions about using the platform, the agenda, and tech help.
If you’re using Eventtus’s mobile app, you’ll be able to provide more attendee options and answer questions faster.
As an organizer, you’ll want to monitor both sides of your hybrid event. Be attentive to your attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors on both ends.
Don’t forget to use polls to engage your attendees. If you’re using a mobile app, you’ll be able to engage attendees on both sides at the same time.
Did you know that polling ranked most engaging method for attendees? (Markletic)
Stage 5: Wrap up your hybrid event and checklist
At this stage, your hybrid event is over. It’s time to bring those KPIs you’ve set for yourself in Stage 1 to the table and start measuring the performance of your event.
You’ll also want to ask your virtual and on-ground attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors about their opinions, experience, and if they have any suggestions for future events.
This information is gold! It helps you understand your different types of audience, their problems, and their needs.
Finally, see where you are with your KPIs and measure your overall ROI.
You’ve completed your hybrid event checklist! Kudos to you!
By now, you can see that hybrid events aren’t a piece of cake but they do cater to different kinds of audiences.
Each side of your event comes with opportunities for you and your attendees.
The virtual side allows you to attract a global audience, whereas the physical one allows you to attract attendees who are looking for face-to-face interaction.
If you want to cross off the virtual event platform off your hybrid event checklist, then don’t miss out on Eventtus’ special offer.
Create a free account on the Eventtus virtual platform and get $250 in credits to use in your virtual side of your event.