Are you looking to increase audience participation and engagement for your conference? Have you tried a hybrid meeting? For most people, I’m sure the answer to the first question is a resounding “yes.” However, many people have not added a webcasting component to enhance the conference experience.
Hybrid meetings integrate in-person communication and virtual meeting elements, which allows attendees to connect and share information across the globe. Participants who are unable to travel due to time or budget constraints now have easy access to participate in the event, either live or on-demand.
If you’re considering a hybrid meeting for your next conference, consider these key benefits:
Increased Participation – While many businesses may think webcasting will cannibalize their event participation, it actually helps increase engagement. By offering an alternative to onsite attendance, those who are unable to attend due to travel costs or timing can still enjoy the conference experience. Businesses that provide live and on-demand viewing options have an even better chance of distributing their conference messaging as attendees can watch at their convenience. Onsite attendees may even decide to tune into the virtual experience – you never know when conflicting presentation times may cause conference attendees to miss a presentation they would like to see.
Also, speakers and other thought leaders that may be unable to travel to the conference can lend their expertise by presenting virtually. As a result, you won’t be missing out on incredible presentations and can connect and collaborate with individuals across the globe.
Convert Webcast Attendees to In-Person Attendees – Content is king, so if your business secures strong speakers, organizes interesting panels and provides attendees with networking opportunities with key constituencies, online participants will think it is absolutely necessary to attend in-person next time. After all, there is nothing like meeting face-to-face.
Education and Promotion – Hybrid events not only provide participants with another means of attendance, but the archived webcast can be used as an educational and promotional tool. Edit and re-purpose portions of the conference/meeting for sales and marketing tools to attract future attendees or use as an educational piece for new employees, organization members, etc. The content can also be shared through social media channels to generate additional interest.
In a business environment where increased communication and participation are paramount, companies, and conference organizers in particular, are leveraging technology in combination with their tried-and-true event strategies.
Physical events are here to stay and will continue to exist alongside virtual ones. Talk to your conference/meeting attendees to determine what they are looking for an online event component.
Then, choose a webcasting provider that will work with the onsite event AV team. This will minimize production issues and provide a better experience for participants.
Finally, use polls and exit surveys during and after your hybrid event to find out why attendees participated online. All of this information can help you create an event that works for all of your constituencies. You’ll gather real metrics, real data and real results.
This article was contributed by TalkPoint – CMMA Partner Member
Editor’s Note: At the upcoming CMMA national conference in Nashville, TalkPoint will help CMMA execute the organization’s first hybrid meeting, using webcasting to facilitate increased communication and engagement with conference attendees. They will provide the webcasting technology to capture key elements of the conference including speaker presentations and case studies.