Over the last few years, organizations of all types have gotten creative with how they hold their events, including embracing virtual settings. Even when the pandemic fades away, it is likely the idea of the virtual event will stick around, at least in some capacity. More organizations will offer hybrid virtual/in person options as a way to get people from all over the country and world involved.
Your alumni association can embrace this hybrid event setup for years to come as a way to keep alumni engaged, no matter where they are. Here are a few tips for ensuring success with these hybrid events.
- Use reliable technology, and test in advance: If you’re going to add virtual elements to your event, your guests will definitely enjoying using a platform that is reliable and gives options for participation beyond just live streaming of video. Make sure you set up and test all of the equipment and technology you’ll be using in advance to iron out the kinks before the day of the event itself.
- Keep it simple: Give online participants advance instructions about how they can log in, what they can expect with regard to timing and how to use any other features or functionality available to them. Don’t overwhelm them with information or features, however--the best hybrid or virtual events are the ones that don’t put too much of a burden on remote attendees.
- Find ways to encourage interaction: Live streaming an event is a great way to show your members from afar what your organization is doing, but if you really want the event to be a hit with your remote audience you should find ways to create and encourage interaction. That may come in the form of a live chat, Q&A sessions, virtual games or activities, virtual breakout rooms with remote attendees and other such ideas.
- Showcase virtual attendees: Depending on the format of your event, you may be able to still give virtual attendees some “face time.” Get them on screen asking questions or giving feedback, or highlight questions or comments that come in via live chat. Do what you can to show your virtual attendees they’re truly “with you,” and not just in spirit.
- Know that it won’t work for every event: Not every event you put on is going to be ideal for a hybrid in person/virtual layout. That’s okay. Just find opportunities throughout your event schedule to implement the style so you’re not completely leaving out your long-distance members.
Want more tips for setting up a hybrid event for your alumni association? Contact us at Alumni Nations!