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9 Tips To Create the Ultimate Hybrid Event

9 Tips to Create the ultimate hybrid Event

As our society begins to reopen, we anticipate what was a virtual world in 2020 will begin to transition.  We’ve been a part of some innovative and creative discoveries that have come about in 2020.  While we move forward, we’re conscious to retain the best elements of virtual streaming while transitioning to live gatherings again.

Hybrid Events!

Hybrid Events allow organizations to create new means of accessibility, continuing to incorporate virtual elements into their events and find ways to include sponsors, donors and attendees whether they choose to attend in person, or virtually…. and did we mention, with hybrid, the world is your oyster!                                                                                                              
To our nonprofit partners planning for their next event, we’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind while planning for 2021 and beyond 

 

Get ready to plan the ultimate Hybrid Event!

1. Driving ROI

By separating your virtual and in-person program, you’re allowing more opportunities to highlight and showcase sponsors. Sponsors are provided multiple options. To be shown during the pre and post-show during your virtual event, on screens for in-person attendees and on signage around your venue. Our team will walk you through the endless options to showcase your sponsors during your event! 

2. Timing is Everything!

Our team will work with you to create the Run of Show for your event, creating a seamless flow between the in-person program and virtual portions of the evening. We’ve seen 98% retention on our virtual events that span 60-75 minutes in total length and 100% retention on our hybrid events that span 2.5 hours or less in total length. So what does this mean for your event? 

 

Highlight the program early in the evening to allow both in-person guests and virtual attendees to be a part of your program.  Your virtual programming should remain under 75 minutes in total for the paddle raise and live auction. When this concludes, say goodnight to your virtual guests and allow your in-person attendees to socialize and dance for another 45 minutes to an hour.

3. Emotion & Impact over Length

When it comes to the “meat and potatoes” of your event, less is more! As humans, we crave human interaction, and since March of 2020, we have needed a refill. Your attendees want to interact with one another. Create engaging moments of impact during your event by letting your guests tell one another why they support your mission. Find opportunities for your recipients and your attendees to connect. 

 

A great way to do this is through video. Film short thank you videos and testimonials of your recipients and most prominent supporters. Show these videos throughout your event to show firsthand the impact that your organization is making in the community.
 

4. Fundraising Experts

With experience in partnering with QTEGO, GiveSmart, Greater Giving and OneCause on 100+ virtual and hybrid events, someone from our team will be your designated mobile bidding specialist the evening of your event. Our team partnered with an event manager from your mobile bidding company and a professional fundraising auctioneer to ensure that we leave no money on the table. And it takes one more thing off of your plate that night! 

5. Evolving with Technology 

 Our team has built our own event platform to provide an exceptional experience for your attendees that join your event virtually.  This creates an opportunity for online guests to host watch parties for your event from their homes.  And those parties can be shown at various times during your live event to connect watch parties to your live event attendees.  Not only does this create a fun, competitive bidding atmosphere during a hybrid event, but it also brings a level of intimate engagement that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to have during a virtual event. 

6. Less is More

When you return to a live event, create impact moments and raise money for your organization utilizing the impact of video.  
  • The key is finding a balance of live and pre-recording programming. Examples of videos that we’ve received positive feedback from include: 
    • Intro video – from your recipients! 
    • Donor video – encourage and inspire current and prospective donors as to WHY they (should) give generously.
    • Fund a Need/Appeal Video – These videos help tell your story – how your recipients benefit from your mission, where donations are allocated, and connect donors and recipients to an emotional appeal and inspirational moments you create with funding.
    • Thank you video – allow your recipients to thank your donors, sponsors and attendees for their support! 

7. Communication is Critical 

Be creative in how you reach out to your audience. 
Organizations have had great success working with our team to produce invitation videos. These videos are communicated as text messages and emails with clear text instructions on registering for your event and highlighting incentives for registrations.  Most importantly, video invites add a personal touch to engage interest.
For example: For $1,000, we will send you a catered meal for 10 during your virtual watch party. OR, for $250, we will send you a special cocktail basket delivered to your door. Thirty minutes before the program begins, a mixologist will spice up your life, showing you and your guests how to mix the evening’s signature drink. 

 

Allow guests to choose between attending in person or at home for a different price point. By limiting the number of in-person guests, you are creating an exclusivity to the event. Guests watching at home can participate in watch parties and a 60- minute portion of your live event. 

 

Other things to keep in mind when it comes to communication:
  • Ask your donors, “What is your preferred method of communication?”
  • Group your donors into categories based on communication methods and ensure you’re mindfully reaching out based on preference

8. Parallel Plans

As we work with organizations planning for 2021, 2022, and beyond, we think it’s wise to combine the best elements of virtual events with in-person gatherings.  Our team will work closely with your organization to create a plan that best fits your vision.
 

9. Partnership and Trust 

 We do our best work when partnering with organizations that understand the need to change or evolve.  With us, you’re partnering with a team that will plan with you, assist in designing every element, create your ROS and help you properly communicate with your attendees.  Servicing above and beyond expectation is fundamental to building partnerships. 
  
The journey is the destination. Let the journey begin! 
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