First Things First!
Let's do hybrid events – The preparation

Monday, August 02, 2021

Patrick Weiler

Reading time: 04:00 minutes

Or simply put – what should I consider in advance and how do I find the right platform?

Due to the pandemic in 2020, many companies were forced into shoes they were not comfortable in or that were too big. Whether it was meetings, conferences or trade shows, every event, no matter how small, had to be held in a digital setting. Many have never even had contact with the digital and virtual event world before. 

Consequently, the demands on creativity, quality and performance from virtual platform providers were relatively low. How could anyone have any expectations of something they had never even heard of before? ‍

In the meantime, time has passed, and we have all learned. We’ve all participated in virtual activities, whether for personal or business reasons. We’ve seen what’s feasible, and we’re aware that the event landscape has shifted over time. Because mixing the finest of both worlds has now been demonstrated to be beneficial. According to several predictions, hybrid forms of events will continue to exist in the event universe long after Corona. As a result, hybrid is here to stay.‍

The future of events is virtual, and you must prepare for that as well

With experience, however, not only do demands increase, but many questions arise. How does it work, from live to a successful hybrid event? What about the technology? How do I give my event the unmistakable signature of the company? How do I appeal to my target group and create added value? 

One note first: The realization of a successful event (whether live, virtual or hybrid) is no coincidence. For a successful virtual event you should follow the checklist below:

The 4 Ws of virtual events:

·   What are the consulting and concept of my event?

·   What should the design and branding look like?

·   What content do I want to offer and who will do the production?

·   Who will take over the project management?

But hold your horses!

Step 1 – Consulting and concept of virtual events

The central milestone on the way to a successful virtual event is to clarify which target group you want to address. In addition to age, relationship and industry, technical affinity, user-friendliness, and type of address must also be taken into account. Are they B2B or B2C customers and is the customer already known? Also, with regard to regulations and compliance rules, each industry has its own characteristics and must also be considered in the virtual world.‍

Likewise, the question of the event objective is at least as important in the virtual world as it is at a live event. What is my core message, do I want to generate leads, achieve sales, convey specific content, create awareness, or strengthen and nurture relationships? How should knowledge transfer, team building, or product promotion be conveyed? Whether augmented reality, online games, virtual speed dating or QR code challenges, a wide variety of features offer a broad diversion even behind the PC in the comfort of your home for all participants.

Step 2 – Searching and choosing the right virtual venue for your virtual event

Once you have defined these things for yourself, you can delve deeper into the question of which provider to actually use.‍

How many providers are there? What is the range of services? What do I have to consider? And which platform is best suited to me or my company?

In the meantime, providers of virtual event platforms are springing up like snowdrops on a mild spring day. Keeping track of them all is not easy and may be overwhelming at first.

However, the answer is quite simple: stay true to yourself!

This is also true when creating virtual events! Make it clear for yourself:

  • What is really important to you?
  • What does my company place great value on?
  • How do I reach my target group precisely?

To make this easier for you, familiarize yourself with the following aspects and set benchmarks or priorities for yourself:

  • System compatibility/integration (including API integration) – do certain systems have to be integrated into the platform (e.g., registration tools, CMS systems)?
  • Usability and intuition (e.g., self-service) – do you want to take the creation into your own hands, and do you have the necessary manpower and expertise, or do you need support?
  • Branding (adaptability of the platform to the corporate design of your company)
  • Security – ISO 27001 certification, GDPR compliance and access control or user authentication (safety first is the top priority here)
  • GDPR compliance (safety first)
  • Content convergence
  • Strategic multichannel communication
  • Personalization (for different user groups or each individual subscriber)
  • 60° or 2D – Importance of visualization. Are templates sufficient or is individual branding required?
  • Multilingualism
  • Support concept and training program (how will you be supported before and during your event)
  • Pricing – In a partnership, the partners should meet at eye level, so compare providers and services – minimum contract period, limitless number of events, and price per user

At magnid we take our customers directly by the hand with our content management system, which is intuitive to use. Step by step, like a construction kit, they develop their virtual event world through our do-it-yourself tool. It’s up to you and we will help you!

As soon as the decision for a platform has been made, it’s time to get down to business.