Your top 5 FAQs on virtual or hybrid events

June 10, 2020

 

What is the biggest fear of running virtual or hybrid events? Without equal, it is the fear of the technology that puts most people off the idea. Now is the time to face those fears as the events industry moves into a new world. Some say it’s a world that is long overdue, it’s only the fear that has been holding us back.

To help you make up your own mind take a look at the Top 5 FAQs our team are answering right now.

  1. It must be a low-cost option compared to a live event?

There is no doubt you will save on travel, venue costs, catering, and accommodation and those personal elements. However, you do have to factor in extended planning time and possibly a larger production team. It’s like going from planning in 15-minute blocks to planning in seconds – or going from a planning a conference day to planning a live TV show. Time becomes more critical. Most virtual and hybrid events require a high level of pre-planning and testing – all of this takes time.

It is pretty daunting if you haven’t done it before. Once you have been through the process of converting an event from live to virtual you begin to shift your thinking which can reduce planning time for your next event. It does depend on the type of event you are planning but working to detailed and thorough plans with experienced project managers and technicians is essential to make your event a success.

  1. Our content is confidential how do you make sure it is secure?

Like planning for any other event, you must make sure you ask the right questions before you begin. Our main advice when it comes to sensitive information is to ask for; a secure link, username/password protection, options for single user access, stream over an encrypted connection, and potentially look into Digital Rights Management.

Another consideration is redundancy planning. You must ensure your event has Plan B and Plan C in place should any element fail. For instance, some venues provide poor internet connection and there goes Plan A! Ensure every angle is covered and your content is safe and secure and never go in without a Plan B.

  1. What happens with our content once the event is over?

Try to understand where your content will be stored so that you can track what happens to it once the event is over. You should make sure you plan to have it stored securely if it is going to an ‘On-demand’ model, or how long it will be stored if you no longer need it.

When your virtual or hybrid event is done and dusted, you might want to consider extending the life of your content by offering it ‘On-demand’ so you can continue to monetise or attract wider audiences.

  1. How do I know who has attended my event?

Setting up secure registration for your event is the best way of keeping your event private for invited attendees. This will also allow you to capture data on who attended and for how long. You may also record any Q&A sessions for your records.

Collecting data on your event attendance is integral to measure your ROI and to assist you in understanding what session worked and what session didn’t, to help plan your future events. Consider what data capture you need and if you require a custom-built registration page and fast turn-around reports that match your requirements.

  1. How do I keep people engaged online?

It’s hard to imagine when you haven’t done these types of event before. We know that each audience is different but all of them like to be engaged. You have lots of options to choose from when it comes to audience interactivity but adjusting how you create your agenda is paramount for success.

Consider shorter presentation session (which could be pre-recorded) with a live but longer than usual Q&A . You can provide downloads on your landing page if you want people to refer to documents and presentation materials. Use Polling as a tool which allows everyone to participate with almost immediate results that everyone can see.

Use a live Host and ‘stream-in’ other panellists to have a discussion, you could provide them with questions that have been pre-submitted by the audience. Add some fun elements such as a Trivia Quiz or Entertainment sessions. Think about social media integration so the audience can provide photos and comments.

Don’t let the technology scare you. Just make sure you have the right partners on board that you can trust to deliver your event to the level of professionalism you desire. Big or small, CMS does them all. So if you need some advice or assistance with your next virtual or hybrid event, give us a call.