April 28, 2022
Do hybrid conferences provide better attendee experiences?
The recent global pandemic and the uncertainty caused by the rise and fall of COVID cases worldwide haven't had many upsides for the event management industry. Now conference organizers must consider safety regulations, travel restrictions, and the risk of infections before choosing between fully virtual and hybrid events. As the future unfolds, there will be situations where virtual conferencing is the only option. Conversely, there will also be situations where in-person events are the most effective way to achieve maximum member engagement. In the end, hybrid conferences that combine in-person and virtual experiences could be the new normal for the events industry. But the question remains – how do we seamlessly blend in-person and virtual experiences to create greater value for both groups in hybrid events?
Bridging The Gap To Find The Hybrid Balance
Building hybrid experiences is about bringing in-person experiences into virtual conferences and creating equal opportunities for real connection. Virtual conferences are here to stay, and innovative platforms like Morressier enable scientific conference organizers to leverage networking features that mimic in-person connections. Also, academic conferences can make more significant impacts through our platform which allows for continuous engagement long after the conference is over.
Creating Outstanding Attendee Experiences
Creating successful hybrid events isn't about organizing an in-person event and plugging in a virtual component. You have to develop a virtual-first strategy and then build your intended in-person experience around that.
Some factors event management teams should consider when planning includes:
- How the two groups of attendees will seamlessly interact with the presenter
- How virtual and in-person attendees can interact and connect with each other
- How your virtual attendees can access materials and content shared in the conference during and after the event
- How virtual attendees will be fully represented at the event center.
To make your hybrid conferences more inclusive, you need to ensure that virtual attendees are not left in the proverbial corner as observers. This means rethinking the technologies you need to create a connected ‘virtual-in-person’ experience and effectively disseminate your early-stage research.
Strategies For Integrating The Best Of In-person And Virtual Conference Worlds
The pandemic has also resulted in virtual experiences that attendees never knew existed. As attendees get accustomed to virtual conference experiences, they will demand even more in-person realities in the virtual worlds they've adjusted to. Morressier is fortunate to have built a platform that brings new functionality and customized solutions to make this possible.
Now, let's take a walk-through of how you can plan hybrid conferences effectively for a better attendee experience.
Develop a Strategy Inline With Your Conference Program
Firstly, understanding your conference objectives and aligning them with your hybrid experience is pivotal to success. This means unifying the virtual and in-person elements of your event to give your participants the best experience. From keynote speeches and presentations to interactive discussions and networking, the entire conference program should be designed to deliver great value to both types of participants.
Create Your Hybrid Event Experience
Now that you’ve developed a strategy with all your event’s elements in mind, it's time to build the experience you want for your attendees. Start by looking at each moving piece of your event and determine the technologies needed to create a valuable experience. This includes determining the virtual conferencing platform you need to provide the best interactive, engaging and connective experience.
To effectively get the word out about your upcoming event, you need to create a value statement that engages both virtual and in-person attendees. No matter how they want to attend, it's essential to emphasize what makes each mode of participation equally special and exciting. Focus on engagement and interactivity, highlighting how both groups will benefit from connection and networking opportunities. Then leverage conference networking platforms to make these connections possible and build more hype for your event.
It takes creative prowess and innovative event management technology to provide exceptional attendee experiences. It cannot be over-emphasized that Morressier’s approach to scientific conference management means creating that perfect blend of virtual and in-person experiences into one cohesive and engaging event. As we continue to evolve our Conference hubs, opportunities to create a better hybrid experience are of the highest priority.
Visit our Conference Hubs page to find out how you can enhance your attendee experience and bring your event to life.