Leveling Up: Top Skills for Planning Hybrid Events
Many event planners have of course already moved to digital due to the pandemic and become familiar with the tools and techniques to organise online. As we slowly come out of lockdown, hybrid events are being stated as the new normal in event planning, with a multitude of benefits mentioned in a previous blog post. So what does this mean for event planners?
Whether you are an exclusive company with a large team, or a self-employed starter, there will always be new things to learn in event planning. Hybrid events are no exception, and there will be skills needed to be learnt in order to implement its success. So if you don’t have the budget to attend expensive conferences on the production and upskilling of hybrid events, here are a few tips to get you started:
Virtual platform knowledge
Digital platforms are going to be a first priority in the future of event planning and it’s important to know how to utilise them for optimum engagement. Do your research on platforms to see which best suits the event you are planning for. Try out different platforms with a group of your friends and test the features. If you don’t class yourself to be ‘tech-savvy’ have a facilitator come on to help you navigate the platform. There are volunteer facilitators looking to break into the events industry. Virtual attendees must not be forgotten in the planning of your event. Knowing how to format documents for the screen and easily handle breakout rooms and chat boxes will boost your engagement tenfold.
If you’ve planned an in-person event before, you know that time management is a key skill but adding in a digital aspect will stretch that. Tell your 20 minute speaker they have only 15 to present and give dedicated time for questions. Q&A’s are good for boosting engagement and your digital audience needs that feeling of connection, so you’ll want to make sure you fit that in. Short and focused panels will keep digital attendees engaged. Attention can often be short within digital events due to distractions, so it’s important to make sure you stick to the time frame so that they get the most out of it.
Digital Marketing Skills
Marketing an event is going to be second nature to event planners, but with the world going digital, you’re going to have more competition. Knowing your social media platforms and your audience demographic through their analytics will help you create a campaign centered around your audience. Coming up with creative ways to engage online, through email campaigning, or perhaps leveraging speakers, will no doubt be an advantage. Purchasing tickets must be simple, with effective landing pages. Letting your digital audience know that they are just as valued as physical attendees will go a long way.
Event planners are going to be used to handling last-minute changes and issues, but the pandemic has proven that a crisis plan is crucial for unforeseen circumstances. New risks have evolved within the digital aspect, including loss of API’s and cyber-security. This is also another reason to know your stuff when it comes to technology, for certain issues such as these will need to be added to your risk management approach.
Overall, you’re going to be starting to act like a TV producer, wearing a lot of hats in order for your hybrid event to run smoothly. Developing your event management skills and keeping a pulse on the industry will help you keep up in this changing industry.