Hurdles to overcome when creating a Hybrid Event.
In a recent survey it was revealed that 16% of event planners view confusion with technology as the main barrier to hybrid events. Here are some of the hurdles to overcome:
HURDLE 1: Visitors struggle to access or use the platform.
No matter how clear you make it, there’s always going to be an some online who struggle to access your virtual event, or who finds it hard to use. After all, every virtual attendee will be accessing your event from a different location and, of course, using their own technology.
Although you can't eliminate the possibility of technical failure on your audience's side completely, you can take some steps to make it less likely.
SOLUTION: Walk them through it.
Consider who your audience is. Take some time to consider how confident your audience will be using the latest technology. Although it's hard to know for sure, factors such as your audience's average age and typical occupation could be good indicators. Then, bear this in mind throughout the planning of the virtual elements of your hybrid event. For example, a conference for IT specialists could utilise more advanced technology than a charity AGM.
Provide clear joining instructions. Make sure that you provide regular communication ahead of time, letting your online audience know what they must do in order to access the event. This could include setting up an account before the big day arrives.
Use 'one click' sign in. Some event platforms, such as Arena, will provide your attendees with a 'one click' sign in link. This feature makes it easy for attendees to access an event and minimises the chance for any tech issues to occur.
Educate your attendees. Depending on your audience, you may wish to use pre-event comms to explain how to use the platform, either by sending clear instructions in a written format or a quick video tutorial on how to get the most out of the event.
Be on hand to support. Make sure your audience knows what to do if they really can't access your event when the time comes. Ideally, this will mean providing a way for them to contact you outside of the platform, for example over the telephone or via live chat. As event managers are usually busy on event days, it might help to have some dedicated staff managing the support lines so they can respond quickly.
HURDLE 2: You might not know how to work the tech.
The key lies in making things as easy as possible for yourself and bringing in people who know what they're doing when it's necessary.
SOLUTION: Keep it simple.
Opt for an all-in-one platform. An all-in-one virtual or hybrid event platform will make things really easy for you by giving you everything you need to create the virtual elements of your hybrid event in one place. This is much easier than having to get your head around and integrate multiple technologies to create a seamless attendee experience - the more tech you have, the more complicated it becomes. For a perfect example checkout EventScape3D for a fully brandable, customisable and easy-to-use option.
Choose a platform that provides ample support. It is important to choose a platform that an efficient support team, especially if you're underconfident with technology. This way, you can be sure you will get the help you need to get the most out of the platform.
Familiarise yourself with the tech ahead of time. Make sure that you arrange demos of the platform you are using and spend time on it ahead of your event so that you're really comfortable and familiar with it. You could even host an internal meeting on the platform and get feedback from your team on how they found the experience and what they struggled with. This will inform how you communicate with your delegates and use the hybrid event technology during the event.
Hire a professional production team. We would recommend having a professional production team film, produce and live stream your content. That way, they can deal with everything to do with your live stream and production without you having to worry about it. This will include sourcing the right equipment, such as microphones and cameras.
Give yourself more time than you need. There is nothing worse than being pressed for time when you're trying to get your head around a new technology. Inevitably, things always take longer than you expect. So, give yourself extra time every step of the way, especially when it comes to getting everything set up in your event venue on the day.
HURDLE 3: The tech stops working.
Whether it’s to do with a variable internet connection or a broken piece of equipment, there’s always a chance that the technology simply doesn’t work as it should on the day. That said, there are things you can do both before and during your event to reduce the risk of things going wrong (and to minimise the impact if they do)
SOLUTION: Plan for every eventuality.
Read reviews. Make sure that you do your research and choose a hybrid event platform that has good reviews and an excellent track record. Some will struggle with bigger virtual audiences, so make sure your platform has experience catering for online audiences of your size.
Hire a technician. If you get a professional production team to film your hybrid event, they may also provide virtual tech support on the day. That way, if there are problems, you can get them resolved quickly and professionally.
Make a plan B. No matter how hard you try, sometimes things do go wrong. But that's okay - it's how you handle it that really matters. Why not put a plan B in place just in case all else fails and your live stream does cut out for a period of time? Make sure you record the live streams and keynote speakers to that people who missed the session or the whole event can watch them afterwards.
SOLUTION: Choose the right tools.
As you can see, there are easy solutions to each of these common barriers. So, there is no real reason why you shouldn't go ahead and plan the hybrid event you've been dreaming of! For help planning the virtual elements of your hybrid event, check out our complete solution EventScape3D Designed for event organisers, conference hosts and seminars, it's simple, scalable, full customisable and easy to use with no special software required.. What else could you want?
And of course, if you're ready to go ahead, just get in touch with our hybrid event experts who'll be happy to help.