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Building Communities Through Hybrid Events

Building Communities Through Hybrid Events

March, 06 2020

Is your scheduled event suffering from delays, cancellations, or uncertain outcomes? Then, why not considering hybrid events as an alternative? Events happening in the virtual world now offer a plethora of audience engagement options, thanks to tools and techniques only available online. 

A hybrid meeting or conference should be more than watching a program on TV though. With the increasing amount of content available at anyone’s fingertips, the fight for audience’s attention has become more heated than ever. At the same time, people’s attention span has got shorter. The moment an event gets slightly boring, or there is a short break, and the online attendee has gone elsewhere.

To keep interests’ levels high, it is key for the event to have a dynamic and energising atmosphere that inspires attendees and sparks their curiosity. And where does this spark happen if not in bringing together a community of like-minded individuals who share a common interest in a brand’s mission or in a profession?
For some, nurturing a community in the virtual space can seem like a more complicated task than doing so in real life. In these cases, it’s best to tie larger organisational goals to specific tactics through the attendee experience mapping process, which links objectives to the actions you want attendees to take, and how you want them to think and feel when the event is over. Identifying these techniques will ensure success.

Interactivity

One of the most effective ways to create bonds among participants is to let them interact with one another. Not to let anything to chance, it’s important for these social interactions to be managed and framed within the event context so that attendees can gain maximum value from these moments. 

Liven up static PowerPoint presentations and create a space where new ideas can emerge collaboratively. It’s a win-win: a high-level of professional community and knowledge exchange and expanding revenue streams as more people join in the conversation.

 

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Networking

Networking is one of the cornerstones of any meeting or conference - rated by participants as one of the main reasons to attend. While at an in-person event networking can become a confusing time where attendees try to catch up with their peers, virtual events provide a platform where to connect with fellow attendees more efficiently.

Attendees connect with one another through detailed professional profiles privately or with links to their social media accounts. Artificial Intelligence-powered tools make personalised recommendations based on the user’s profile to facilitate the matchmaking.  

Social Media

Social media have become a staple to any successful hybrid event strategy. Structured and unstructured activities before, during, and after an online event can capture the attention of attendees and even potential ones, extending the reach beyond the event platform itself. Social media, in fact, opens up opportunities for click-bys – those individuals who are not attending an event neither in person nor online, but who follow it from the content posted on social media. 

Social media give the opportunity to channel all event-related conversations with the help of technology. Hashtags allow social media users to follow an event’s timeline and highlights, enhancing the entertainment options. Facebook offers an AI-powered chatbot to facilitate customer service.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta is a Content Creator with a passion for storytelling and new technologies. She covers stories on the latest innovations in the event industry with lots of research and a pinch of humour.

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