Meeting Mentor Magazine

July 2017

Tips for Making Better Hybrid Meetings

Hybrid meetings, which combine face-to-face with an online meeting component, are no longer the rare phenomenon they were just a few years ago. In fact, according to the American Express 2017 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, 26 percent of all meetings in 2017 will be hybrid events.

Just as the number of hybrid events are increasing, so is the complexity involved in creating and delivering these events, along with the number of pitfalls planners must avoid. Planning Pod, a company that provides a comprehensive suite of event management software, recently surveyed some of its event professional clients experienced in hybrid events about best practices and potential pitfalls. The results were presented in a company blog post Save Your Hybrid Event from Epic Fail with These 24 Insights.

Here are a few highlights from the survey:

Lisa Masiello, president and founder at TECHmarc Labs:
“From networking opportunities to gifts, be sure to provide extra value for those who attend the live version of the event. If the virtual event is the exactly same as the physical event, users may elect to stay at home and this will hurt your overall attendance. You can of course provide incentives for people to join the virtual event, but be sure that it does not outweigh the benefits of joining the event in person. Networking is a huge factor for many people when attending events, so make sure to play up the benefits of this to attendees considering attending in person. Gift bags, drink tickets and amazing food-and-beverage options are also appealing extras.”

Amanda Basse, event coordinator at Hawthorn Suites Lake Buena Vista:
“You should make sure that the technology you choose has an integrated social media component. Online attendees want to feel that they are active participants in the event and not simply bystanders. Being able to have conversations in a group chat setting and share insights and information via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – from one central hub – encourages the online attendees to not only participate during the event but also long after it is over.”

“WiFi is a huge consideration when planning for any event these days, and any event of any stature or size will require a dedicated WiFi broadband connection that will adequately meet the needs of in-person attendees. If you are offering a virtual component to your event, you should coordinate with your venue as to the proper channel (wired or wireless) for transmitting your video/audio feed and ensuring you have proper bandwidth to do it.”

Kelly Ehlers, founder and president at Ideas That Evoke:
“Although you should always be careful of using copyrighted materials, if you include these in your hybrid event, be aware that the live stream is likely to pick these up. There are all kinds of rights you may need to clear for copyrighted audio and video, and these rights may differ for in-person and Web audiences. You should contact the owner of the assets you wish to use and make sure you have the adequate rights to use them in the mediums in which you will be broadcasting.”

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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