Picture this: a rock band is promoting the release of their new album. To celebrate the record with as many fans as possible, they decide to create a memorable concert experience streamed online for those who can’t attend the show in person. This hybrid event allows listeners worldwide to engage with the band, share their excitement with other fans, and, most importantly, buy the album.
Hybrid events like these are the future of B2B event marketing. While we are tired of talking about the impacts of the global pandemic, it did force marketers to realize the value of remote events. According to a report by the CMO Council, 65% of marketers said that adaptations over the last two years would lead to a holistic view of events that are better aligned to marketing outcomes.
In an age of uncertainty, the pandemic allowed companies to experiment with online marketing strategies and connect with prospects worldwide through virtual platforms. The ability to reach one’s entire audience anywhere is pretty cool.
Now that live events are returning to the forefront of digital marketing campaigns, marketers are embracing the idea of hybrid event marketing strategies. About 60% of CMOs said restarting in-person/hybrid events is very important, even critical. Today’s successful event marketing blends the old with the new for the best results.
The future is now. Here are four tips to help craft a successful hybrid event for your brand.
Four Tips to Help Craft a Successful Hybrid Event for Your B2B Brand
1. Pick and Personalize Your Platform
You want to pick a platform where your virtual attendees can react, engage, and network with each other. Therefore, choosing the right platform that includes all the features you need is crucial.
Chat boxes, polls, Q&A tools, and more can create an immersive experience from the audience’s perspective. Consider live selling technologies if you actively sell products at your live event.
One of our clients, Switcher Studio, gives companies an integrated livestreaming solution that allows customers to buy products directly via a Facebook Live feed. Cartr by Switcher Studio integrates seamlessly with Shopify to engage virtual event goers and lead shoppers through the sales funnel. Think about using a platform like Switcher Studio to enhance the virtual component of your hybrid event.
From the company’s perspective, interactive platforms like these can create better connections between them and their attendees. If you are livestreaming, we highly recommend using an application or software that allows you to multistream your event to various social media platforms at once.
Community building is essential—ensure your chosen platform brings your audience together.
2. Choose the right blend of in-person and virtual content
You want to give both your in-person and virtual audiences the ability to engage in a diverse array of content. Here are three questions to ask yourself when planning your hybrid event:
- Does my content share important knowledge with all of my attendees?
- Does my content allow for solid networking opportunities between my in-person and virtual event goers?
- Does my B2B content inspire prospects to turn into buyers or clients?
After you ask these questions, the fun part begins. Start thinking about any special panels, event speakers, and interactive activities you would like to incorporate into your hybrid event. Plan and create pre-recorded video content that can be played live and repurposed for after the event. You can even try offering exclusively available activities to each part of your hybrid audience. For example, give your in-person attendees access to a particular industry speaker. For your virtual event goers, provide them with the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with another industry leader.
TwitchCon is an excellent example of a hybrid event that created successful content for streamers and content creators. TwitchCon aims to connect streamers and content creators for a weekend-long event. In their 2019 celebration, the livestreaming platform combined special speakers and live panels with engaging musical performances and gaming tournaments. This blend of activities allowed Twitch to maintain a high viewership on and offline.
You want to ensure that both sides of your hybrid event feel special. So create content that does that.
3. Use Data To Your Advantage
Hybrid events are 50% digital, and you should use that to your advantage. Research your attendees before, during, and after your event. Use this information, from demographics to online behaviors, to make data-driven decisions that will help you meet your business goals in real-time. It can also help you generate more leads during your remarketing campaign, even after the event has occurred.
Keep an eye on valuable datasets surrounding your attendee’s booth visits, session views, poll results, chat transcripts, and more. These powerful analytics can help your company evolve in this new world of event marketing.
Related read: Event Marketing: Past, Present, and Future
4. Creative Thinking Is a Must
Our founder and CEO, Shama Hyder, says it best: “Creativity is going to be more in-demand than ever before.”"Creativity is going to be more in-demand than ever before." – Shama Hyder Click To Tweet
It can be stressful for a company to build a hybrid event from scratch. But with creative thinking, companies can optimize the experience for both their online and offline attendees. It is always about fostering relationships with everyone involved by creating real value.
Want us to help you plan your next hybrid event? Let’s talk about it.