Co-Planning for Hybrid & Virtual Events
Holding off on planning your next event because you’re hoping to be in-person AND don’t want to invest the time if you’re going to pivot to virtual? Because it’s important to dedicate the proper amount of planning time to both scenarios, we’ve developed a few ways to strategize effectively until a final decision needs to be made. Be sure to consult our virtual event planning roadmap as you don’t want to wait too long to make the final decision.
Big Picture Event Planning
Just like any planning year, you should start with what you want this event to represent for your organization. What are the key components that attendees look forward to? What type of content do you need to provide for your audience? What do you want them to say when the event is over? Answering these very basic questions will develop the underlying framework for co-planning a hybrid and virtual event.
Hybrid & Virtual Event Programming
Move on to creating an outline of in-person event sessions, since this programming is typically more robust. For virtual, take that same list and sort into categories—must-have sessions, possible on-demand content, sessions to remove, not sure. Now dig a bit deeper into the must-have and not sure categories to see what alterations may need to be made to accommodate virtual programming. If a must-have includes a data-driven, chart heavy speaker, think about ways to alter the sessions that won’t have attendees trying to decipher the tiny text on a small screen. Maybe it’s sharing the info through a highly produced video with vibrant graphics to reiterate the points, followed by a deeper-dive Q&A with the presenter. If you repeat sessions in person to give more attendees a chance to participate, have the session available on-demand in virtual so everyone gets a chance to join at their leisure.
For both a hybrid or virtual scenario, determine your daily schedule. Keep in mind that translating events into virtual doesn’t mean you should have an exact replica of the schedule. If your in-person event is three full days plus evening receptions, you may want to have a virtual event for four half-days and one or two pre/post networking events. From there, you can determine cross-overs in key programming such as your general sessions and start lining up talent that would be participating, whether live or virtual.
- See the latest hybrid event facts and figures from our survey of meeting organizers and event professionals.
Hybrid & Virtual Event Design
The design component is often dabbled on at the beginning of planning, but not focused on until much later in the process. Dedicate time now to develop a look that you can carry through all phases of development for event continuity in both a hybrid or virtual setting. With a look, theme, or tagline, you’ll have the fully developed tools you need to start marketing, designing for scenic or show design, and developing any video components such as promos, opens, bumpers, etc. Plus, you’ll already have what you need to build show graphics and possibly a virtual event platform when the time comes.
Start Co-Planning for a Hybrid & Virtual Event Today!
Not sure if your event will be held virtually or in a hybrid format? Want to start the planning process but don't want to fully plan for both possible scenarios? Start by looking at the big picture, programming, and design in order to effectively strategize until a decision is made. We're here to help in both cases. Connect with us to begin co-planning for your hybrid and virtual events!
For more information on how to begin planning your keynote event, click here.