Networking for Hybrid Events for Future is Now

As event planners learn to move to the hybrid model, they need to recognize that it comes with its own challenges. And one of the most complex is hybrid event networking. Because this time you don’t have to worry about one audience. Unlike in the past, hybrid experiences require you to consider both in-person and external participants. And because networking is one of the main reasons people attend events in the first place, coming up with strategic solutions that allow everyone to get the most out of the experience isn’t just optional – it’s crucial.

One of the biggest pitfalls of hybrid events is neglecting the virtual audience. While it’s exciting to return to the face-to-face aspect, we can’t just throw in the towel and forget about the distant contestants. Because they probably still make up the bulk of your audience. This means that they must also feel involved and equipped with the necessary tools to network! So, today we will touch on the somewhat complex issue of networking for hybrid events. We will explain individual strategies and how to bridge the gap between Target groups. In addition, we introduce you to the hub and spoke method. Read on for the full scope!

The Virtual Audience

The networking aspect for personal participants pretty much takes care of itself. The connection comes by itself when people are in the same room. Add to that the fact that people crave human contact, and you have the perfect recipe for a personal audience to network seamlessly. However, what needs special attention are the remote participants.

We cannot stress enough that you should not neglect this aspect of your event. People who have a bad experience don’t come back for another take. You will lose potential ambassadors and, worse, run the peril of them ruining the whole experience. To avoid this, during the planning phase, pay special attention to defining strategies that allow virtual participants to network with each other.

Use Your New Knowledge

In recent months, there has been a huge shift towards virtual events in the industry. This meant that planners around the world had to relearn everything they knew about public engagement and networking. And all this knowledge should not be thrown out the window, especially when it comes to networking for hybrid events.

Equally important is the creation of virtual chat rooms and small group sessions where remote participants can get to know each other and communicate. Offering facilitators and moderators who facilitate interactions, introducing social media channels dedicated to the event, live polls, exchanging virtual business cards are all valid strategies that ensure that virtual audiences have a place where they can exercise their right to socialize with each other.

Hybrid Event Networking: Bridging The Gap

In addition to considering the individual features you will offer to both in-person and virtual visitors, you may also want to think about creative ways to bring your two audiences together. Attendees who will be attending the event will not immediately consider the opportunity to network with remote attendees. So, offering them incentives and tools that promote this interaction is your best bet.

Of course, this is not mandatory. But it will go a long way to making the virtual audience even more integrated! It’s up to you to personally show your visitors that networking opportunities don’t start and end within the venue. In reality, considering all people looking from another place represents an untapped pool of connecting potential.

This can be achieved thanks to the good old arrival of technology. Give those who are bodily present on the site access to the platform and tools used by the virtual audience. In this way, chat rooms, business card exchanges and one-on-one interactions via video and direct messaging can also be used personally by participants. Bonus points if you have a facilitator – who is the “voice” of the outside audience-guiding them through the process of using this technology. Go further by making sure you give people on the site enough incentives to use these features to their personal advantage. They never know who they might meet on the other side!

The Hub & Spoke Method

There is no time like now to be at the forefront of innovation. And just as we have done virtual events and followed the new fashionable trends, we must also consider new possibilities. On the axis of personal meetings with thousands of participants, David Adler proposes to build the so-called hub and spoke model.

This particular strategy suggests that large events split into smaller venues across the country, connecting audiences to the center of the stage through technology. As David explains, imagine that instead of having 5,000 participants in one place, you spread them out in 500 different places. And everything from enjoyment to educational content is broadcast simultaneously on all these sites, as would be thematter for a typical virtual audience.

Conclusion

Networking for hybrid events is a challenge for planners. But this is a problem that can be easily overcome thanks to the use of technology and tools that were so important in the context of virtual events. It’s up to the planners to come up with a strategy that actively works to integrate everyone involved in the experiment, and once they do, there are few things that can stop its success.

Whether it’s a typical hybrid event or the hub and spoke method, experiences that come together in person and virtually will become increasingly common. And they’re probably here to stay, even if things get back to normal! If you’re ready to get started with your own hybrid event, chat with us today. Our production team is here to help you!