More than half of the organizations around the world faced a pretty drastic change after the COVID-19 situation. Moreover, the greatest challenge to overcome since 2019 is canceling the event or making them virtual.
Now that the world is gradually transitioning back to its normal state, we must learn the important lessons of virtual adaptation and conduct business affairs regularly.
For this reason, hybrid event ideas have gained immense popularity among various businesses, especially in the nonprofit and academic fields. So, let’s discuss the importance of hybrid events and their benefits.
What is a Hybrid Event?
Before discussing the hybrid event ideas, we would like to define the actual purpose of hybrid events. A hybrid event includes conference, trade expo, training seminar, and various other events that integrates in-person elements with online components. For instance, a business or educational conference held physically in San Francisco can live-stream its sessions and keynotes anywhere around the world to its virtual audience.
Further, we have discussed various hybrid event ideas for nonprofits and academia. But before we discuss those ideas, let’s talk about the importance of hybrid events in the current time.
What Is the Importance of Hybrid Events?
Hybrid events have increased with technology enhancement over the past decade as they provide a wider audience platform to the event organizers. Not only does it increase the audience, but it also enhances the event ROI and provides access to essential data points.
So what other benefits do we get from hybrid events? Let’s take a closer look at these factors:
- Increased Reach: Not everyone can attend your event due to budget restrictions or scheduling conflicts. However, if you conduct these events in-person and online, you will reach more people and exclude this barrier.
- Better ROI: Various people are tight over budget after the unexpected COVID-19 negative consequences. However, this does not decrease the audience’s interest in your event. Therefore, you can sell the virtual access to your conference at a discounted price and maintain your ROI. Additionally, you can utilize the session recordings and keynote as future promotional pieces that significantly decrease marketing costs.
- Important data collection: Lastly, hybrid events are easy to track event management as every action of the attendee is archived by default. Such information can be utilized in the future to improve the event.
11 Hybrid Event Ideas for University Events
If you are planning a hybrid event, you must be well-prepared before conducting the actual event. A phenomenal in-person experience for the academic and fundraising audience is important, but the same experience is expected for virtual participants. Therefore, precise planning and execution for physical and online conferences are essential for a successful hybrid event.
Now to help you decide which event type best suits your academic or nonprofit conference, we have gathered a few hybrid event ideas. Read out these 11 ideas to decide the idea you will use for your next hybrid event.
1. Hybrid Panels
A panel can be planned as a hybrid event if it takes place in person and is transmitted online on the side. The online audience can easily join the essential part of the discussions. For instance, viewers present virtually can directly contact the guest present on the stage via video call.
Further, academia can benefit from this option as the students and faculty can directly ask questions. Secondly, the audience of a fundraising event can also clear their queries related to the cause and goal of nonprofit charity events.
2. Stream Reward Ceremonies
The shutdown of educational institutes and organizations due to COVID-19 also impacted various prestigious events. These events include fundraising achievements or academic award ceremonies in different schools and colleges. However, these mega-events can be conducted with ease. In this way, people can gain recognition and awards by sitting at home and feeling honored.
3. Educational Workshop
Hybrid event ideas also include a workshop to teach or discuss important factors and causes. For example, workshops, where participants learn some skills or facts, become an interactive virtual conference. Some hybrid workshops include conducting a leadership conference or charity workshops where people raise funds and engage in social activities.
4. Awareness Webinar
With an informational webinar, you can invite your guests to academic events and teach the audience about your nonprofit organization’s cause. You can tailor to the online attendees and the in-person guests regarding the purpose of your event and how they can contribute with their time and charity.
5. Hybrid Special Occurrence
Do you want to make your fundraising or diploma ceremonies to be widely inclusive and available to a greater audience?
Just like other university or charity raising events take place on the internet, similarly, you can include the family and friends of guests to encounter their achievements. At the time of prize and payment allocation, a wider audience virtually will enhance the positive image of your hybrid event.
6. Virtual Galas
The traditional high-end gala events are conducted physically and usually include various auctions and dinners. Further, if your institute or funding organization conducted galas before the pandemic, you must be well aware of its importance. But the hybrid event has made galas possible to be conducted again by combining in-person and online characteristics.
You can easily raise funds or increase the awareness of your cause with a virtual gala. These galas also allow the guests to bid on auction items or purchase them. However, the event organizer needs to adjust the ticket price as the cost varies for physical and online events. But you can still host a virtual gala and get a similar experience.
7. Virtual Activities
You can provide access to peer-to-peer discussions or fundraising to enable the audience to create their personal supporting pages. These supporting pages serve as an important contribution by utilizing social media. You can also get an additional audience for your hybrid event with the help of social media. A few fundraising and academic events are partly promoted in-person, so activities like a peer-to-peer walkathon, fun-run, and other activities would be a significant way to gain support.
Further, the audience not present in the same geographic space can join these activities by using apps that record the time and distance covered. These participants can share their activity status and post pictures on social media to join the event.
8. Panel Discussion with Experts
Hybrid events are not limited to certain factors but can also bring together a group of experts and influencers. These experts can be brought together for a panel discussion to discuss important contemporary topics and answer the audience. The audience attending the panel discussion can ask these questions online and in person. So before you gather a group of academic professionals or philanthropists, make sure your discussion topics are significant enough to engage your audience.
9. Private Networking with Individual Meeting Pods
The attendees on-site require an easy process to connect and network with their online guests and counterparts. A designated time slot must be assigned for individual pods or meeting rooms to discuss ideas and conduct different activities. These rooms should have screens stationed and be ready to log in for the attendees to engage and clear queries.
One of the great hybrid meeting pods includes a 2-to-2 meeting session with necessary COVID-19 precautions followed. These safety guides can be followed by using glass dividers and distributing cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers.
10. Attract More Attendees with Well-Known Speakers
The success of hybrid event ideas is also based on the good brand image of the institution or nonprofit organization—one of the ideal ways to attract in-person attendees include launching viral marketing campaigns through famous keynote speakers. Secondly, we all know that popular authorities can bring more audience to an event and keep them engaged for several hours.
Therefore, utilizing their big name to create awareness about the event is ideal. Event organizers should invest in bringing relevant and well-known speakers to conduct workshops, Q&A sessions, and discussion opportunities.
11. Have Separate Staff
It is essential to have all the necessary functions before conducting a hybrid event. This includes sufficient time preparing and planning as inadequacy can lead to stressful results. Ensure assigning clear responsibilities to the online and on-site team members. This includes staff, volunteers, entertainment, and caterers. To further avoid technical mishaps, make sure you have professional tech support staff and dedicated moderators to carry out the event smoothly.
Lastly, remember that you are providing two experiences through one event. Therefore, we suggest you assign two producers separately for the in-person and online activities and experience.
Hybrid event ideas are fun to conduct, but proper support and assistance are required to conduct a successful one. Because your hybrid event utilizes both virtual and in-person engagement methods, you’re going to need staff members or volunteers both on and off-site.
The duty is not completed after your hybrid event is over. There are a few necessary steps that you must focus on after the hybrid event has ended. Firstly, you must engage and keep in touch with the attendees by following up after the event. This can be done in a thank you letter or email where the event organizer appreciates the guests for supporting and attending the event.
Further, you can ask for feedback and a thank-you email to gain insights from the supporters. You can use this opportunity to enhance your future events.
Keep Your Guest’s Information Safe
Hybrid events served as a better option after the COVID-19 pandemic era started. However, hybrid events also require physical and virtual safety. For this reason, ensure using high-standard security options to protect your attendees’ personal information. Especially for fundraising events, guests expect safety and confidentiality regarding financial information when they make a payment.
Therefore, keep the events passwords protected and set certain guidelines for the participants in academic and fundraising conferences. Lastly, make sure your staff is vigilant about any unusual situation.
Use an Event Management Software
Due to the nature of the academic and nonprofit hybrid events, the event organizer must use an all in one event management software like Dryfta to conduct the hybrid event. The necessary steps of selling online tickets, creating event schedules, engaging participants, host virtual meetings must be covered with the event software used for hybrid events.
Additionally, the access to on-demand videos, enhancing customer experience, and creation of participation certificates must also be covered with the help of a multi-functional application.
So, where can you find software covering all your needs to conduct a successful hybrid event?
An all-in-one event management software like Dryfta provides a hybrid event management software to conduct a fully integrated event. So manage your hybrid events on a budget with this software and make your conference planning easy.