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Hybrid & Virtual Event Production: Choosing the Right Vendor

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Hybrid & Virtual Event Production: Choosing the Right Vendor

Virtual events shouldn’t just be webinars. To avoid that from happening, organizers need top-notch event production to create richer and more profound experiences that attendees will continue to cherish long after the event is gone.  

Top-quality virtual or hybrid event production is about providing interaction and engagement elements to enable attendees to connect, network, and share ideas in exciting ways. These elements make everyone feel connected and engaged with an event whether they choose to attend in-person or virtually. 

You’ll need the expertise of savvy organizers to pull off a stellar virtual or hybrid event production. However, it is critical to be careful when choosing a vendor to undertake your event production. Not all acclaimed vendors can provide a matching strategy that will help you achieve your event goals.

Here is a detailed guide to help you identify the right vendor for your specific virtual or hybrid event needs. We’ll cover the following specifics:

Let’s dive in to discover valuable ideas to find your savvy production vendor! 

Consider Your Goals for Your Virtual or Hybrid Event

To get started on hiring a service provider, think about your event’s ultimate goals and what you need to do during your event to reach them. For example, consider where your ROI will come from. For example, you can base your event’s success on the following metrics: 

  • Ticket sales
  • Sponsorship
  • Email list
  • Content sales
  • Merchandise
  • Donations
  • Leads

Once you are clear about your ROI sources, you also have to consider what you want attendees to do after the event to maximize your event’s impact. For example, you might want them to:

  • Stay active on your event platform
  • Participate in a post-event survey
  • Join your community by volunteering
  • Patronize your products or services
  • Join your donors’ list
  • Share their event experience on social media 
  • Recommend your organization, product, or service to friends and colleagues

Being clear about these goals from the outset will help you set the stage for great event production. It will also help you to identify the vendor that can help you plan and execute the best strategies to achieve them.

Which Hybrid Event Production Services Do You Need?

To provide a truly hybrid event experience for attendees, there are essential event elements that you should include. Here are some production services you should be on your checklist

Attendee Engagement Opportunities

A hybrid production goal is to create an organic event community where in-person and virtual attendees can connect to the event experience and interact across the board. Therefore, you need to provide tools that will make that possible. Some of such tools are:

  • Custom event agendas allow attendees to create their unique event experience by choosing the event sessions they want to participate in. 
  • Interactive live-streaming capabilities can be webinar-style or group style where attendees can connect with their webcams.
  • Embedded interactive tools for audience polling, Q&A, reactions, comments, and feedback.

Give virtual attendees more engagement experience. You can feature some gamification elements by awarding points when taking specific actions like joining a session or participating in a poll. 

Networking Options

You need to bring some human element into the event by providing virtual networking options, especially for virtual attendees. Some networking elements you might need include: 

  • Customizable user profiles that provide more information about event attendees such as headshot, industry, job title, and interests.
  • A directory of users where attendees can find others on the platform, click on profiles and interact with one another.
  • Public discussion forums where attendees can discuss event topics further and also share ideas even after your event.
  • 1:1 and group video chats, so attendees can schedule and meet virtually as a way to compensate for the face-to-face networking experience.

You might also need an arrangement where in-person and virtual attendees can connect to interact in hybrid breakout rooms.

Communication Tools

You need real-time communication tools to send out information about your event to the target audience and communicate with them all through the event life-cycle. You need these tools to meet up with:

Marketing Opportunities

These include creating event microsites and landing pages with all the branding elements, email marketing, and social media outreach before and during the event.

In-Event Communication Needs

You need to communicate with your audience, speakers, and sponsors during the event. To do this, your team needs tools like custom emails, push notifications, and in-app communication between users.

Standby Technical Support

You need standby technical support from your service provider to handle and resolve all technical issues related to the event production. This includes attending to attendee support requests during the event. 

AV Support

AV needs should also be considered and coordinated between in-person and virtual elements of your production. AV can help you achieve integration between in-person and online attendees, especially in breakout rooms. Therefore, you need to invest inr AV needs such as:

  • Video cameras 
  • Sound production
  • Lighting and stage setting 
  • Monitor screens
  • AV in breakout rooms

Your event team should consider all the above in connection to how they might affect streaming quality to the event platforms and boost the attendee experience.

Questions to Ask Your Hybrid Event Production Vendors

You should be asking questions when talking to vendors about your hybrid event production to decide on the most suitable tool for your event. Here are some of them:

Do you offer a virtual event platform and mobile app?

A hybrid event is not the same as streaming an in-person event live; it is the connected experience that you provide that makes it so. Therefore, you need hybrid event solutions, in this case, a virtual event platform and mobile event app, to create such an experience. The virtual platform is meant to serve the virtual audience while the mobile app serves both audiences.

Ask vendors if they offer these solutions, and especially if they offer them as an all-in-one solution. This is the best option for your hybrid event as it provides digital accessibility for all event attendees. 

Do you help with branding and graphic design?

Branding and graphic design are essential to event marketing and enhancing the event experience as well. If you don’t have an in-house graphics team, you should ask vendors if they can help and what branding elements they can help with. Think beyond the virtual platform and mobile app, you will need branding for your landing page and other event communication tools as well.  

Will your platform track metrics and analytics to determine ROI?

One of the benefits of using a virtual event platform and mobile app for your hybrid event is the ease of determining ROI by tracking important event metrics. Discuss with vendors if their solutions can follow the event metrics and analytics that are important to you. Here are some examples of metrics to track:

  • Event and session attendance
  • Number of exchanged messages and in-app meetings
  • Live polling response rate
  • Questions asked during Q&A
  • All event page views
  • Sponsor engagement rate
  • Session check-in and check out
  • Time attendees spent in sessions and on the platform
  • Qualified leads
  • Customers acquired

Be as specific as possible on the metrics you want to track, and ask if the vendor can provide that. Besides, ask vendors whether you can monitor the reports in real-time, or you would have to wait till the end of the event to see the results.

Can your team help with onsite event components?

You need a vendor that can help with onsite event components, which are mostly AV-related. That includes cameras, sound, lighting, and backstage. You will need the equipment and the technical team to handle them to ensure that streaming and connection from onsite and online are seamless. Ask vendors ahead if they can provide such services.

Pathable: The Top Virtual and Hybrid Event Production Option

When it comes to choosing a vendor with an all-in-one solution for stellar virtual and hybrid event production, Pathable is the best option to consider. Pathable provides premium event services that guarantee an elevated experience in planning, designing, and executing your event.

Pathable will provide a state-of-the-art virtual event platform and mobile app that comes with a full suite of customizable tools you need for audience engagement, communication, interaction, and networking. These tools also track every important metric along attendees’ journey, making it easy to determine your event’s ROI.

Pathable also provides custom event branding for your landing page, event platform, and app in a way that captivates your audience and immerses them into the event experience. Pathable provides a dedicated support team throughout your event’s lifecycle, so you won’t have to worry about the onsite component of your hybrid event production. 

Pathable has helped organizations like yours to achieve outstanding success stories for their event production. Contact Pathable today for expert consultation from start to finish. 

Interested in contributing to our event technology blog? Contact us at marketing@pathable.com

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