Brantford offers a number of excellent meeting and event venues that are working hard to ensure your attendees, delegates, and staff will be safe and comfortable during your event.
That being said, many meeting and event planners have begun exploring the idea of hybrid events. These types of multichannel gatherings can accommodate a larger group of attendees than a typical in-person event could, which helps distribute your message and/or product knowledge to a larger audience and consumer base. Hybrid events can also foster more connections with people who you may otherwise not have the opportunity to meet.
Below are some tips to host a successful hybrid event and some local businesses that can help you get started.
When you start marketing your event you should include information that there will be both in-person and virtual offerings so that the attendee can choose the best option for their current comfort level and travel ability. Approaching the event date, clear communication and information on how online attendees should log in, letting your in-person guests know there will be a live virtual audience and a detailed agenda of the meeting is important for everyone to feel comfortable and prepared. For help with invitations, flyers, banners and presentation materials try a local printer like Minuteman Press, Beck’s Printing Services or Bialas Printing.
Plan for Virtual Enjoyment
When coordinating the flow of your event, choosing your speakers, and deciding how to lay out your space, put yourself in the shoes of a virtual attendee. Topics and speakers should be engaging and there should be plenty of opportunity to have your virtual guests ask questions and connect with exhibitors and attendees. One idea for optimal connections and opportunities to ask questions is to host smaller virtual breakout sessions or provide ample networking opportunities. For assistance with technical details and planning, reach out to Brantford’s Pynx Productions, who provide turn-key entertainment solutions and stress-free audio visual event production.
Be flexible and provide options for attendees to upgrade to an in-person spot at your event if gathering restrictions loosen and guests are more comfortable and able to travel. On the flip side, they should also have flexibility to choose to change to a virtual attendance without hassle.
Venues Can Help
Meeting planners and venue representatives have equal responsibility to confirm details of up-to-date health & safety procedures, capacities, layouts, logistics, and food & beverage. Free Wi-Fi is a common amenity, but with hybrid events, ensure that the venue has enough bandwidth to handle a large number of attendees and also a dedicated wired internet line for the livestream. For optimal sound, lapel microphones are helpful with eliminating muffled or ambient noise. Hand-held wireless microphones are effective in allowing the virtual audience to hear questions asked by in-person attendees. Your venue representative is the most knowledgeable person to help you design a smooth hybrid event using on site or local resources. Contact Tourism Brantford staff at 1-800-265-6299 for recommendations of venues that can accommodate your needs.
The Everlasting Event
Hybrid events have the benefit of being everlasting. You can create a copy of the content and offer it on-demand after the event has ended. For even more engagement, consider ongoing elements like chat groups, virtual business card trading, and networking opportunities. Your event becomes even more valuable because you will be reaching new people who didn’t have the opportunity to attend your event and spark interest in future events.