In creating your hybrid event there are programmes to design for your different audiences. After all, your hybrid event will have a mix of in-person (at the venue) delegates and virtual (remote) delegates.
In developing the programme for your in-person delegates you may be able to call on your previous experience or that of your colleagues as traditional (face to face events) have been with us forever.
But, creating the programme for your virtual delegates can be more challenging. Without careful consideration the virtual delegate programme could easily become a mess. I have experienced programmes packed full of content. And I have also experienced programmes with very little content for the virtual attendees.
Here are a couple of thoughts on how you can provide a programme that works for your remote delegates:
Eating, Drinking and Comfort
Whilst you cannot see your virtual delegates you will be aware that they will need to eat, drink and have time for comfort breaks. This time has to be built into their programme. No excuses, you need to look after their welfare.
I have taken part in many events as a virtual delegate only to find that there wasn’t a gap in the programme for me to do anything other than stay glued to my computer. It probably wasn’t intentional on the part of the planner but it adversely affected my event experience.
My key tip here is do not do continuous loops. You do not need to have speaker presentation, speaker interview, speaker presentation, speaker interview in a loop. Ensure you have a balance which allows breaks for your remote delegates.
Give people time to grab a coffee, check their messages, and generally provide them with the freedom to do what your in-person delegates are able to do in their break periods.
I think that one of the reasons why so much is packed (by some event planners) into a virtual delegate programme is simply due to the ‘engagement fear’ that many event planners have. It stems from the idea that if there isn’t enough content then the remote delegate will log off.
But, my belief is that with carefully designed content that allows breaks and reflection time the remote delegate will be much more likely to stay connected and participate fully.
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