When you’re planning a hybrid event, you’re designing a cohesive experience for two individual audiences. While one attends in person and another through a screen, a successful hybrid event marries the two, engaging both audiences and creating an equally memorable experience for all. That’s where the latest event technology comes in.
Read on to learn about MeetingPlay’s three new, cutting-edge tech tools that will equip you to produce standout hybrid events.
Live Audience Engagement with GO LIVE
Created to help bridge the gap between the on-site speakers and their virtual audiences, GO LIVE was made for hybrid events. As the first tool of its kind on the market, it enables speakers to immediately hop on their phones, from the moment they step off the stage, and answer questions from virtual attendees tuning in off-site. GO LIVE does exactly as its name implies as a function within the mobile app—letting speakers go live on the spot or schedule a live session for later (in the latter case, attendees tracking that speaker will receive a push notification to let them know when it’s time to tune in).
The best part of GO LIVE is the tool’s ability to welcome the virtual audience into the on-site conversation, giving them a voice through the chat feature within it. This is a gamechanger when it comes to boosting engagement, as it helps attendees who aren’t there to interact face-to-face (even through a screen) and feel as though they’re conversing one-on-one with speakers.
GO LIVE is also an incredible way for exhibitors and sponsors to answer on-the-spot questions from prospective clients (i.e., your audience members) who are tuning into their booths virtually. For example, say an exhibitor isn’t receiving a ton of requests for one-on-one appointments. Instead, they could set up a GO LIVE session on-site and present their sales pitch to multiple leads at the same time, right from their phone. Audience members can ask questions and receive answers right away, similar to an abbreviated introductory sales call to gauge interest from both parties.
Large Group Collaboration with Join
We all know engagement can be the most challenging piece of virtual events. That’s why MeetingPlay created Join, a session format that promotes face-to-face collaboration among large groups (up to 250 participants!) in a virtual networking space. This tool fosters connection among virtual and on-site audiences by highlighting great ideas and contributions without taking away from the session topic at hand.
Join works by combining native live video and chat to enhance collaboration. Video can be a powerful connection tool, but it’s distracting when attendees are viewing too many feeds at once. (If you’re ever found your mind wandering as you scan participants’ backgrounds on group Zooms, then you understand!) That’s why Join requires attendees to “raise their hand” virtually to express their desire to go on camera; then, moderators can choose whose live video feeds they bring in, and when, to enable interaction and idea-sharing with the greater group. At the same time, attendees who don’t want to be seen on video or don’t feel comfortable going on camera can still participate in the live chat and Q&A features within Join.
This is one of those session formats you didn’t realize you needed, but once you try it you won’t be able to execute hybrid meetings without it. The collaboration possibilities with Join are wide-ranging, from awards ceremonies at sales kick-offs (bring award winners on camera to accept their accolades in front of peers) to contests (participants can showcase their ideas live in front of judges while others listen in) to open Q&A sessions with speakers and presenters.
High Attendee Interaction with ARS
Audience response systems, or ARS, help you to achieve two key objectives with hybrid events: They boost audience engagement and help you to collect as much data as possible from both in-person and virtual attendees. Event polling apps, surveys, gamification, live attendee questions, quizzes, and mobile voting apps are all part of ARS, enabling a connection between your two audiences. He
re are a couple of ways MeetingPlay’s ARS enables you to reach your goals.
Think about event technology as bringing tech that your audience members already use in their daily lives into events. This way, responding will feel intuitive to them. Consider the example of Instagram Stories, where people and brands are constantly posting polls and questions for followers to respond to.
You can incorporate the same type of interaction and engagement with your event’s content through presenting multiple-choice or open-ended questions in your event app. Then, once your audience has responded, it’s time to think about how to use that data you’ve collected to engage participants again. That could take the form of presenting responses in a word cloud, in which the most common response appears in the largest font, and so forth.
Gamification is another piece of ARS that can spur high engagement among participants. For instance, you can create a points system within your event app that entices attendees to participate in surveys, take quizzes and post on your event’s social wall. As they earn points from taking part in these tasks, offer the ability to earn prizes, incentivizing them to do more. Want to customize your ARS? MeetingPlay works with individual clients to find the right ARS features to meet your goals and objectives, and help you find ways to provide high ROI for sponsors and exhibitors. While all of these ARS features come with basic functionality, each has the ability to be customized in more detail.
Don’t Forget about Engagement On-Site!
While engaging members of the virtual event audience has been a hot subject the past year, we can’t forget about engaging on-site participants, too, especially with the advent of hybrid events. The good news: You don’t have to overthink it. Getting back to basics (i.e., having a deep understanding of your audience before designing engaging event content for them from the ground up) and incorporating many of the same technologies as you employ for your virtual audience are two effective ways of thinking about on-site engagement. Consider ideas such as interactive audience questions (in which both on-site and virtual audiences ask questions during or after a presentation or session), live polling (incorporating the same strategy as ARS, above) and gamification (where in-person attendees can also earn points for doing in-person things, such as checking into a booth, as well as through virtual tasks in the app).