Story by Josh Brage, Zoom Blog
Recently, Zoom hosted a two-day hybrid event for industry analysts – Zoom Perspectives 2022. Hosted on Zoom Events, Zoom Perspectives was a truly hybrid experience with in-person and virtual attendees, speakers, hosts, and even a house band – all interacting together in unique ways.
We know developing a hybrid event strategy can feel challenging, especially when you’re trying to capture the strengths of an in-person experience with the convenience and expanded reach of a virtual event. So we’re sharing some of our top takeaways from Zoom Perspectives with some advice to help you create a connected and equitable experience for everyone.
Focus on the virtual audience
Hybrid means more than just streaming out what’s happening in the room, it needs to be an interactive experience.”
Scot Richardson, Technical Project Manager, Zoom Event Services
Virtual events provide a bounty of benefits, from sustainability and cost-savings, to extensive brand reach and higher attendee capacity. But it can be challenging to bring the virtual audience into the live event. Enabling your virtual audience to feel seen and heard should be a top priority. When this is achieved, it greatly enhances the experience for your in-person attendees as well. Here are a few recommendations:
Put the virtual audience on screen in the room – a simple gallery view of the virtual audience can be extremely helpful to remind in-person attendees of the online participants. Putting that view up at the beginning of the event and during any transitions (coming back from break) is a terrific way to continually engage with your virtual attendees.
Take questions from the virtual audience first – this is a simple and easy technique to ensure that virtual attendees are being recognized and heard. This can be done with full video or audio or by simply having a moderator in the room verbally asking typed questions. An added benefit is giving your in-person audience time to get their questions ready!
Encourage everyone to join the Zoom event –Zoom Events provides powerful networking features that allow everyone to connect and collaborate. Lobby chat is a great way to build connection and energy well before the in-person event takes place.