Seven tips for an Online or Hybrid Event

Over the past months we have gotten used to organising online events. From a simple video to a complete studio with presenters and speakers. It’s important to connect with your viewers. We have compiled seven tips to help you prepare.

Tip 1: Think about the format

An online event is actually a TV broadcast via internet but with more interaction with the viewers. If you’re considering a digital event, it’s wise to think about the format. What do you want to tell and how will you do this? Choose a theme, a setting and consider using illustrations with the help of video or animation. Plan a brainstorm session with your event team. For inspiration, you could watch TV programmes that match your target group. Create as much interaction as possible.

Tip 2: Which platform will you use to broadcast?

Internet offers a huge variety of broadcasting options. These range from YouTube Live, Zoom, Livestorm to a fully custom-built platform. Will it be a public broadcast that anyone can see? Or do participants need to log in with an email address and password. Many platforms of the possibility to set up an email communication in advance to automatically keep participants updated.

Tip 3: Present the event yourself or hire a professional moderator?

Will you present it yourself or use a professional? An experienced presenter knows how to connect with your audience. They can also help guests feel at ease, which will help them to communicate their message better. However, not all people who are used to public speaking have a strong screen presence. So be sure to request a digital video of the presenter before hiring them.

Tip 4: Only plenary or also a breakout?

We often see that event organisers have organised a plenary session and then want to continue with a number of breakout sessions. Online viewers, however, tend to lose interest after around one hour. Switching between different online platforms can also be difficult. You could opt to broadcast your event over multiple days. For example, broadcast the plenary programme first and breakout sessions later. And lastly, you could broadcast a live event whereby your guests discuss the sessions. 

Tip 5: Audience at your event … hybrid: an audience in the room and a remote audience

The current coronavirus rules are being relaxed, as long as you keep 1.5-metres distance. You are allowed to invite an audience to attend the broadcast in person. Selecting participants to contribute to theme of your event or to be part of the broadcast itself could be a good idea. Or, organise small events at different locations. Broadcast the main event online and organise an offline breakout session. 

Tip 6: How long should an online / hybrid event take?

An offline event will take an average of 3.5 hours. This is much too long for online event. Viewers won’t remain seated in front of their computers that long. People also tend to lose their interest if the online event takes longer than an hour. Need more time to get your message across? We advise dividing your event into different parts and broadcasting over a period of several days.

Tip 7: How should I promote my event?

The internet offers a huge selection of online events. This means getting viewers to visit your online event can be tricky. Focus on promoting your event. Develop a clear email campaign and use social media. Inviting your target audience by snail mail could also be a good idea. The more personal your approach, the better. Send an email or text message just before going live. This will allow viewers to log in before it begins.

We hope these seven tips provide enough inspiration to make your online event a success with good content, and lots of interaction. Want more information on how to organise a good hybrid or online event and want to know more about the technical aspects involved? Please contact Sound and Vision The Hague, or click here for more information.