Would you like to know how to host a hybrid networking event from A to Z? Buckle up because you are in for a sweet treat! Today, we will reveal everything, from greasing technical nuts and bolts to achieve better profit margins.
The idea of this article is to give you a bird's-eye view of the whole process. Of course, you will have to pick and choose some extra steps. But by the end of this brief guide, you will feel confident and able to plan your hybrid event.
Before explaining the practical steps, let's define the term hybrid networking event.
What Is A Hybrid Networking Event?
A hybrid networking event is a networking event that integrates multimedia tools for reaching another audience.
Unlike traditional networking events, a hybrid one entertains two audiences at once. The first audience is the people in the room with you. And the second crowd is the people that watch the show from home via streaming.
With this in mind, hosts need to learn new skills and use cutting-edge technology to achieve success. This is why we discussed how to host a hybrid networking event today.
How to Host a Hybrid Networking Event
Step 1: Analyse Your Audiences
Arguably, the most important reason why attendees want to join networking events is that they want to do business and network with similar entrepreneurs or colleagues. So, you have to allow interaction between the people in the room and the people at home.
You can easily overcome such technical hardship thanks to advanced hybrid event management platforms like Eventiia. In detail, this solution comes with an event mobile app that makes networking easy as pie for anyone who has access to it.
If you do not opt for ready-made technology, you will have to hire several specialists. In general, you will need a web designer, a back-end developer, and a software engineer. Making sure that both audiences can interact is imperative. Without achieving this step, discussing how to host a hybrid networking event is futile because people will leave sooner than desirable.
As soon as you have your platform, gather as much data as possible from the attendees. Later, match the members of the audiences accordingly by:
- creating groups
- planning activities that involve different sets of skills
- sending personalized links to separate chatrooms before the event starts
Step 2: Baptise Your Hybrid Networking Event
Even if you come up with a cool-sounding name for your event, people still need to understand what you will offer them. In general, networking events are opportunities for people to connect. But every audience has different expectations.
Some people may be searching for a job, while most entrepreneurs may seek commercial partners. Establishing a theme for your event can help. And if the name of the event highlights the theme, making it even more memorable and obvious, that would be a better choice.
During the show, you could utter the event name as a slogan. Some hosts prefer to place their brand in front. Here, the idea is to choose a meaningful label for your event that helps promote it and clarify what it is all about. It could be the core message you want to bring home; the choices are endless.
Step 3: Commence Speaking With A Smile
A big part of mastering how to host a hybrid networking event is learning how to communicate effectively. If you hosted networking events in the past, maybe you already have effective phrases to introduce a successful discussion. But with the online crowd, you have to hone your skills. Otherwise, the online audience will not perceive you as sharp as a tack or equally charismatic.
Here are some tips for communicating effectively during a hybrid networking event:
- Do a mic check before the show, or have a professional do it.
- Give attendees time to get ready before the show starts or after a pause. Even better, prepare some activities for them to do during the breaks.
- Handle interruptions as soon as they come up. In case of technical difficulties, have your staff crew fix them promptly. Above all, keep everyone on the same page.
- Look in the camera to connect with the people at home. Of course, smile and convey your emotions. Even if you cannot see their faces, you can think of the camera as the most interested person in the room. So, take good care of it.
- Make them introduce themselves and what they do when inviting them to speak or ask questions.
Step 4: Do Not Let Panellists Bore The Audience
Special guests can attract people you would never reach on your own. But this does not mean that your guests, panellists, teachers, and so on are perfect.
You had better schedule a guest's talk session ahead of time and have a plan B (and C) in case the expert starts dragging the topic non-stop. What will you do if they begin to spout their political agenda?
First, talk with your guests. Above all, make sure that they understand how much time they have to do their bits. But do not fully trust them to end their talk in time because most of them will not do so as soon as they have delivered their message or pitch.
If you cannot trust your guest, take the stage and interview the expert. As soon as the time is up, you can drop the questions, wrap it up, and ask for a round of applause.
Step 5: End With A Unique Selling Proposition
A UPS is essential for any event's success. If you want to take small steps and start with short webinars, prepare an offer for your audience.
It is vital that you can give them the opportunity to do further business with you and your company. But make it an offer that follows what you have discussed up then. In other words, make it relevant enough for them to buy it.
Active listening skills are necessary to create the perfect UPS. In fact, you may have to alter it before the end. Think of the hybrid networking event as an unprecedented opportunity, mainly because it is.
Have a dedicated link sent to people who did not buy the offer you made on stage. Or give them a personal call after collecting their consent for marketing calls and communication during the registration.