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3 Questions to Ask When Planning a Hybrid Event!

While all our events remain virtual through the summer, our President, Marilyn Moss, recently joined a GiveSmart panel to discuss what happens next. The buzzword in the events and hospitality industry is hybrid events, but what does that really mean? Hybrid events are the combination of an in-person event with a virtual online engagement component.


Now is a time of rapid change, and hybrid events are going to be our next adjustment. With virtual events, we had to learn how to create a sense of togetherness when all attendees were streaming from home, but with hybrid events we are going to have to balance the engagement of those who are at the venue with those who are streaming.


Watch the webinar and listen to some expert advice on how to create and execute a hybrid fundraiser.

After the webinar, we answered a few additional questions from attendees. 


While we continued to think more on what will make a hybrid event successful, we want to share with you three questions you should consider when planning your hybrid fundraising event!


1. How long should my event be?


Virtual events should be kept within the window of 60 – 75 minutes considering the attention span of your virtual attendees, but traditionally you do have more time with your live event. As with all aspects of a hybrid event, timing comes down to balancing the two groups. We propose extending your event to 90 minutes with the possibility of an optional pre-reception or after party.


If the attendees at your venue are enjoying a pre-cocktail reception, you may decide to delay your livestream until the program begins. Alternatively, you can consider having pre-recorded entertainment available for those who may virtually login early. 


Remember to keep your virtual audience engaged and the in-person attendees catered to.


2. Who can or should attend my hybrid event at the venue?


The fundraising answer would clearly be providing high level sponsors and donors the privilege of attending the event and experiencing the on-site benefits. When considering those who get to come to the venue, think local. 


Also, keep in mind engagement! While hosting the livestream, the audience becomes part of the story you are telling. Is your audience lively and enthusiastic? Can you get interviews from those who are in the room? Keep your timing in mind, but also remember that hybrid events should remain as authentic to the in-person experience as possible.


3. How do I manage my budget while managing both an in-person event and a virtual one?


It is critical to spend when it comes to the technology needed to execute your hybrid event. When considering your budget think flexibly and invest in tools that are conducive to an in-person function as well as virtual. Consider instead of having a paddle raise moment, you have a text to pledge which can easily be implemented for both of your audiences. While you won’t be incurring the same food and beverage costs as your live event, do use some of those funds to send out hospitality gifts to virtual attendees to keep them engaged and feeling part of the experience.

Ready to start planning your hybrid event? Reach out to MM Event Group and we will make sure your audience is engaged and your fundraising goals are met! Have additional questions we haven’t answered yet? Email us at info@mmeventgroup.com and we would be happy to help.

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New York, NY 10018

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