2 min read
Stagedge Team

Tis the Season for the Power of Interactivity

Tis the Season for the Power of Interactivity

10 Creative Ways to Stay on the “Nice” List When Engaging Your Hybrid Audience

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Not to sound like a broken record here, but if the pandemic taught us anything about hybrid events it’s the ability to strike a balance between accessibility and interpersonal connection. We lived through it, we learned from it, we pivoted and now it is considered the “new norm.”

However, it’s still a process, and with two distinct audiences to engage, event planners still find themselves scratching their heads on how to bridge the gap between virtual and in-person attendees.

The answer revolves around a key event component that applies to both audiences: interactivity. Interactive events allow in-person and remote participants to connect and take an active role in your programming. In this blog, we’ll share 10 of our favorite ways to make your hybrid event more interactive—whether your attendees are tuning in from home or traveling to a venue.

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Moderator Speaker Icon Small1. Choose an Experienced Moderator or MC

Are you worried about awkward silences during your event? Concerned about the transitions between scheduled workshops? Ensure that your event is being guided by a skilled moderator or MC who knows how to keep the conversation flowing between in-person and virtual attendees.

Ice Breaker Small Icon2. Plan Creative Icebreakers

Start your sessions with creative icebreakers that open up the dialogue between your virtual and in-person participants. Note: make sure your virtual attendees can be seen and heard in the physical event space, so they aren’t forgotten. Surveys and other polling tools are fun and can be utilized by both audiences.

Visual Effects Icon Small3. Make Your Event Memorable with Visual Effects

Visual effects make the hybrid experience more interactive and playful. Consider investing in a green screen studio to transport speakers to far-flung locales or encourage attendees to capture memorable moments with a virtual photobooth.

Gamification Icon Small4. Make Learning Fun with Gamification

Gamification isn’t just a fun engagement tool—it can also boost retention at educational events. Try breaking participants into teams and using polling, trivia, interactive maps, or a virtual scoreboard to get groups fired up.

Run of Show Small Icon5. Provide an Acessible "Run of Show"

A "run of show is a comprehensive list of what is happening during your event, and when. Make sure your run of show is accessible for all participants, so they don’t miss a session!

Remote Specific Content Icon Small6. Create Remote-Specific Content

Remote attendees can sometimes feel like an afterthought—but not if you create fun, remote-specific content for them like a virtual-only chat room. It’s also helpful to have one team member who is solely dedicated to the virtual attendees—ensuring that their questions are answered, and that technology is running smoothly.

Social Media Icon Small7. Leverage Social Media During Your Event

Encourage your participants to live-tweet (do we still call it that?) during your event or share their experiences on Instagram or other social media platforms with a predetermined event hashtag. This is a great marketing tool and can also help attendees connect online.

Swag Icon Small8. Send Real Swag

Swag shouldn’t just be for your in-person attendees. Mailing your remote audience physical items (like hats, shirts, or water bottles) that commemorate the event will help them feel connected.

Networking Icon Small9. Make Space for Networking

Offer attendees the opportunity to network during your event, no matter how they tune in. Host a virtual mixer, breakout rooms, or simply provide contact information with brief bios for your guests so people can get in touch.

Production Partner Icon Small10. Invest in Upscale Production

Particularly for video and audio content, it’s worth investing in upscale production that will really "wow your audiences". A trusted production partner can help you make your content shine without breaking the bank.

Remember: planning the perfect hybrid event isn’t about stitching together a hodgepodge of interactive apps and breakout rooms. It’s about knowing your audience and the engagement strategies that will work best for them. Ultimately, the best way to engage any audience—hybrid or otherwise—is to invest in thoughtful, compelling content with a high production value. Start by mapping out thought-provoking content that your audience will remember—and then add in a few of these creative tips to amp up the fun.

We're excited by the infinite possibilities presented by hybrid events! 

Check out our hybrid events playbook to learn more about Stagedge's approach.

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