As vaccines continue to roll out, people are getting more and more excited to start hosting and attending events again, but there are also quite a few people who will continue to enjoy the safety and convenience of attending virtually, this is where hybrid events come in. Hybrid events are a win-win for attendees, but they take a bit more finesse for event planners. As a promo distributor, these are a few tips you can use to help your customers with hosting their hybrid events in 2021 and beyond.
Tip For Successful Hybrid Events
1. Start with WHAT
Start by asking the event organizer these three questions:
- What is the purpose of the event?
- What feeling or emotional connection do they want the audience to have?
- What is the event theme or brand message inspiration?
Once you understand WHAT the organizer intends to accomplish you can creatively position promotional solutions to bring together both in-person and virtual audiences.
2. Make a Great Hybrid Event First Impression
In-person event registration usually starts with a warm greeter, a personalized name lanyard and a welcome gift. This is a welcome experience using promotional products that evokes emotion — much like receiving a present. We’ve talked before about using welcome kits for virtual events, and curating a thoughtful pre-event package to replicate this emotion for virtual events. This concept can apply to a hybrid event, providing the in-person and virtual attendees the same welcome items, or organizers can tailor the items that would be more useful for each guest's way of attending. For example, a virtual attendee might receive headphones and a ring light, while in-person attendees would receive a face cover with meaningful message, hand sanitizer and a vaccine card holder.
3. Boost Audience Engagement
A great way to boost engagement is to host activities that bring together virtual and in-person attendees. For example, hosting an in-person happy hour and a virtual happy hour at the same time allows for all attendees to feel included and connected. Hosts can help by sending virtual attendees a cocktail kit or drinkware with a cocktail recipe to get in the spirit.
4. Promote Sponsorship
Hybrid events are appealing to sponsors for a variety of reasons, including expanded reach and new opportunities to get their brand in front of attendees. Hybrid events provide facetime in person combined with livestream, event apps and direct access to attendees. Sponsors often have co-op budgets dedicated to co-branded merchandise. This is a great opportunity to co-brand meaningful merchandise tied to the event theme. For smaller budgets consider snack time sponsorship where virtual attendees receive a sponsor branded snack kit.
5. Comfort Level Indicators
In-person participants are going to face a tough question: How close should I get to someone? The green, yellow, red silicone wristbands are perfect visual indicators for identifying social distance individual preferences without anyone having to say a word. This allows guests to graciously signal their comfort preferences. This provides attendees a level of comfort with in-person gatherings and events.
6. Print Perfected
If your company specializes in print and signage, let hosts know all the unique ways they use it for events! Talk about print invitations, custom packaging for attendee gifts, thank you cards, stickers, social distancing decals and so much more! Branded print pieces can elevate an event and be the icing on the cake to make everything look and feel cohesive for every attendee.
These are just a few of the ways you can help your clients host a hybrid event that attendees will remember. If you need more ideas and information about how to capitalize on the hybrid event trend, partner with the promo experts at AIA. We have a talented team who is always on top of new and upcoming trends, and you’ll have access to our community of distributors to share ideas that are working in the current market. Join AIA today!