The hybrid events merge in-person attendees at the physical venue and virtual attendees in the online space under a single place. The Hybrid events are taking place all around the world for the immense benefit of the event organizers.
Who doesn’t like increased reach, reduced costs, and better ROI at the event? Even though there are numerous benefits, the major challenge lies in creating network opportunities among the speakers, in-person attendees, and virtual attendees. Keeping both the set of an audience engaged throughout the event and creating better connections between them is complex.
However, in-person participants are surrounded by other participants. Thus creating a network among them is easy. But to create networking opportunities for virtual attendees, we need some strategies to make the event successful.
In this article, we will discuss some hybrid event networking ideas to make the event successful-
Implement a hybrid event platform to connect in-person and virtual attendees
You cannot bring virtual attendees to your physical venue but you can take your in-person attendees online to meet virtual attendees. The hybrid event platform offers various features to both sets of the audience to interact and make connections. The virtual attendees can connect through their desktops/smartphones/tablets from anywhere at their comfort. Whereas, the in-person attendees can connect through their mobile devices.
Choose the effective hybrid event platform like Dreamcast which offers features like:
- Live Streaming
- To enable the attendees to access various virtual features
- To create network opportunities through live chat and audio/video calls
- To send push notifications to the audience
Provide AI-powered matchmaking feature to the attendees
Networking is easy when you have a face-to-face interaction as they can meet people easily at the physical venue. But for virtual attendees, it becomes difficult to find relevant matches and interact with them in a virtual space. AI-powered matchmaking tools recommend the list of attendees based on their job title, companies, are of interest or more in terms of valuable context. Virtual attendees can interact with these attendees virtually through live chat, audio calls, and video conferencing.
The in-person attendees can meet directly with the other attendees present at the event. However, virtual attendees rely on the information displayed on the screen. Attendees need not search and navigate in the huge crowd to meet their relevant matches. The purpose of artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools is to bring networking opportunities for virtual attendees and help them develop meaningful connections with a few clicks.
Conduct Live Polls, Surveys, and Q & A Sessions
Boost networking between both sets of an audience by enabling in-person attendees to participate via their smartphones and virtual attendees through their gadgets. These practices are best to bring in-person and virtual attendees on the common ground. Live polls and quizzes not only bring networking opportunities but also keep the attendees engaged. End the session with a Question & Answer session to allow attendees to clarify their doubts.
Provide Virtual Networking Table feature
The virtual networking table feature enables the virtual participants to have discussions 1: 1 or in a group as per their preferences in real-time. The on-site attendees can also join online discussions using their smartphones. The networking table feature allows the attendees to foster significant connections via live chat and audio/video functionality. Introduce a networking lounge, a virtual meeting room to enable the attendees to have group discussions virtually.
Integrate Social Media with a hybrid event platform
Integrating the social media channels with a hybrid event platform enables the users to register using the same login credentials and boost up page followers. The attendees can share their booth selfies and AR photos directly on social media from the platform. Social media is booming and facilitating third-party applications like Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Zoom can efficiently empower networking.
Facilitate Virtual Business Card Exchange feature
The business card exchange feature allows the attendees, exhibitors, and speakers to exchange their business cards on request. This feature fosters networking opportunities to create sensible connections. After the event, users can still stay connected using the business cards exchanged in the hybrid event.
Introduce Gamification feature to engage the audience
Introduce a gamification feature in the hybrid event to engage the audience. The on-site attendees can stay engaged easily for the whole day at the event but keeping the virtual audience engaged is difficult. Gamify the hybrid event and allow the virtual attendees to play from their gadgets or in-person attendees from their smartphones. Add the scores to the leaderboard and offer some virtual prizes to the top scorers or allow them to redeem their scores in the form of a discount coupon or gift voucher. Offer the leaderboard points when attendees interact with other attendees or exhibitors to encourage networking.
Offer Breaks after every session to engage
Taking breaks after completing the session is vital to allow the virtual attendees to stretch their limbs or freshen up. The on-site attendees get many opportunities to stay active. But for virtual attendees, some breaks are required to focus on their screens. Allowing a 5 minutes break between the meetings is sufficient to make the attendees ready and active for the next meeting. During the breaks, attendees can spend some time at network lounges or breakout rooms and interact with other attendees virtually.
B2B Meetings Scheduler
B2B Meetings Scheduler enables the attendees to schedule a meeting with other attendees, sponsors, or speakers by choosing a time slot and sending a request to another party for confirmation. Upon confirmation by the second party, a meeting is fixed and organized online via audio/video conferencing. It is a great way to boost up networking even after the event ends.
The idea behind the hybrid event is to connect in-person and virtual attendees. The live streaming with no interaction is just a webinar. The success of an event relies on how much the audience stays engaged and creates meaningful connections through networking.
Creating a balance between the virtual and physical audience is an essential key to hosting a hybrid event.
In this article, we have discussed Hybrid Event Networking ideas to foster meaningful connections among the attendees and keep them engaged throughout the event.
For more details, get in touch with Dreamcast to host a successful hybrid or virtual event.