A quick guide to running hybrid conferences for B2B marketers

Over the years, hybrid conferences have become increasingly popular for its famed ability to reach both in-person and virtual audiences. However, one common concern among B2B event marketers is that planning a hybrid conference can seem a bit intimidating. 

It’s only natural, because planning a hybrid conference is more complex than just adding a virtual component to an in-person event. 

But that shouldn’t stop you from leveraging the undeniable pros of embracing the hybrid state of mind

In this article, you’ll discover the key elements that will help you master the hybrid conference format and further your business goals.

Key factors to keep in mind while considering the hybrid conference format:

  1. Audience: Understand your audience and their preferences. Are they more comfortable with in-person or virtual events? What are their needs, and how can you cater to them in a hybrid format?
  2. Goals and objectives: Your event goal is a great guide to figuring out the format you need to go with. To put it simply, ask yourself why you are running this event. Once you have your objective in place, you’ll know if hybrid is the way to go.
  3. Platform and technology: Choose the right hybrid event platform and technology for your hybrid conference, considering features such as live streaming, interactive sessions and networking opportunities, and yes, of course, near-zero latency!
  4. Content: Create engaging and interactive content that will appeal to both in-person and virtual attendees. At no point should your virtual attendees feel like second-class citizens.
  5. Scheduling: While this is a small detail, you should carefully schedule your event to ensure that the in-person and virtual components are coordinated and run smoothly.
  6. Networking: Create opportunities for real-time networking and interaction between in-person and virtual attendees - yes, this is possible if you’re backed by the right even technology!
  7. Promotion and marketing: Promote your event to in-person and virtual attendees, and use marketing strategies catering to both groups.
  8. Lead generation: Use lead generation tools to collect information from attendees and follow up with them after the event.
  9. Engagement: Use interactive elements such as polls and Q&A sessions to keep attendees engaged throughout the event.
  10. Evaluation and measurement: Evaluate the success of your event by measuring attendance, engagement and conversion rates, and use this data to improve future events.

Now that you know what factors to consider, we’re sure you’re curious to see what rewards hybrid conferences can bring for your business, right?

9 reasons every B2B marketer should leverage the power of hybrid conferences

Hybrid conferences combine in-person and virtual events, allowing for a wider reach and increased flexibility for attendees. Here are some specific advantages:

  1. Increased Attendance: hybrid conferences allow for a larger audience and allow people to participate virtually from anywhere in the world. This means that people who would not have been able to attend an in-person event due to distance or cost can still participate and engage with the event.
  2. Cost-effective: hybrid conferences are more cost-effective than in-person events as they eliminate the need for expensive travel and accommodation costs for virtual attendees. Additionally, virtual attendees do not require catering or event space, resulting in lower overall costs for the event.
  3. Flexibility: hybrid conferences offer flexibility for attendees as they can attend in-person or virtually, depending on their preferences and circumstances. Additionally, virtual attendees can participate in the event from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need to take time off work or travel.
  4. Increased Engagement: Hybrid conferences offer increased engagement as virtual attendees can participate in live polls, Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities. Additionally, virtual attendees can re-watch the event later on demand, increasing the overall engagement and reach of the event.
  5. Eco-friendly: hybrid conferences are more eco-friendly as they reduce the carbon footprint associated with travel and accommodation for in-person events.
  6. Data collection and analysis: Much like virtual events, hybrid conferences also provide the opportunity to collect data and analyze the audience, their demographics, location and other helpful information for the event organizers.
  7. Increased reach: hybrid conferences have increased as they allow a wider audience to attend the event. This can increase brand awareness and reach new audiences that may not have been possible with an in-person event.
  8. Accessibility: Hybrid conferences offer accessibility for attendees with disabilities or mobility issues, as they can participate in the event virtually. This can increase inclusivity and provide equal access to the event.
  9. Re-purposing content: hybrid conferences allow event organizers to re-purpose the event's content, whether it is live streaming, recording, or creating on-demand content. This allows the event organizers to continue to market the event long after it has finished, increasing its reach and engagement.

As technology continues to evolve, the popularity of hybrid conferences is likely to continue to grow, making them an increasingly attractive option for event organizers.

If you’re still doubtful about how interactive your hybrid B2B event will be, here are some super-useful hacks.

Set your hybrid conference abuzz with interaction

There are several ways to make your hybrid conference more interactive:

  1. Live Q&A sessions: Encourage virtual attendees to ask questions during live Q&A sessions. This can be done through a chat function or a live polling system.
  2. Breakout sessions: Host breakout sessions for virtual attendees, allowing them to engage in smaller, more intimate discussions with other attendees.
  3. Networking opportunities: Provide networking opportunities for virtual attendees by setting up virtual chat rooms or matchmaking services.
  4. Interactive polls: Use interactive polls to gather feedback and data from attendees.
  5. Gamification: Incorporate gamification into your event, such as virtual scavenger hunts or trivia games, to increase engagement and participation.
  6. Virtual tours and demonstrations: Offer virtual tours or demonstrations of products or services to give virtual attendees an interactive experience.
  7. Live polls and surveys: Use live polls and surveys to gather feedback from attendees in real time, allowing you to adjust the event on the fly to meet the needs of the attendees.
  8. Live streaming of the keynote or panel discussions: Live streaming of the keynote or panel discussions allows virtual attendees to participate in the event in real time, providing them with a sense of presence in the event.
  9. Encourage virtual attendees to use social media to interact with the event, this can be done by creating a specific hashtag for the event and encouraging attendees to share their thoughts, feedback and photos on social media.

Overall, making your hybrid conference more interactive requires a combination of technology and creativity. You can increase participation and engagement by providing opportunities for virtual attendees to engage with the event and each other.

While we’re not denying that planning a hybrid conference is a complex task that requires careful consideration of various elements, you can definitely create a memorable and successful hybrid conference by understanding your audience and goals, choosing the right platform and technology, creating engaging content, and providing opportunities for networking and interaction. 

It's important to remember that a hybrid conference is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it's essential to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each type of event and choose the one that best suits your needs. 

Zuddl is a unified platform for events and webinars that helps event marketers plan and execute events that drive growth. The platform has clients across the globe, such as the United Nations, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, HSBC, VMware, Google, StackCommerce and Cipla amongst others. In January 2022, Zuddl announced that it closed $13.35 mn in Series A funding.

Zuddl is a unified platform for events and webinars that helps event marketers plan and execute events that drive growth. The platform has clients across the globe, such as the United Nations, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, HSBC, VMware, Google, StackCommerce and Cipla amongst others. In January 2022, Zuddl announced that it closed $13.35 mn in Series A funding.

Subscribe to our blog

Book A Demo

Subscribe to our blog now!

Get fresh ideas, actionable insights and expert guidance for B2B events delivered directly to your inbox!
Blogs by Zuddl

Our curated hub of inspiration

Book a Demo