Partner Corner: Three Tips to Engage Your Hybrid Conference's Remote Audience

By: Chris Urena

Make sure that all of your attendees are receiving the education they deserve.

Challenge: I’ve virtually attended hybrid events where I have felt isolated. How can hybrid events better engage a remote audience?

Solution: Many hybrid events fail to emphasize the remote-audience experience. Often, providers and meeting planners tend to focus on the webcast component. While technology and strategy are necessary to showcase an onsite program, creativity and quality attendee engagement are what truly define a hybrid event’s success rate.

Organizations using hybrid webcasts have seen a 50 percent increase in overall attendance and have experienced positive revenue. Yet, to keep hybrid events influential, you must strive to fully connect the remote audience to the onsite presentation.

Hybrid event consultant and virtual emcee Emilie Barta says it’s important to plan your delivery with your audience in mind. Here are three ways that hybrid events can further their reach in connecting peers and improving the remote-audience experience.

  1. Conference organizers must engage the audience before, during, and after the event with tools that the audience is comfortable using. This may include educating the audience on using the platform and initiating a pre-event conversation among the attendees.
  2. Speakers must design their session in smaller fragments interspersed with audience interaction, group activities, and opportunities to converse with others. Speakers should always look directly into the camera to connect with the remote audience and encourage responses.
  3. The virtual emcee must ensure that the remote audience is heard by answering questions, moderating the event, and reiterating onsite events.

When hybrid events are designed and facilitated with the audience experience in mind, the human element will again take center stage, and hybrid events will not only be accepted but will also become a requested format for association learning.

Chris Urena is the director of business development for CommPartners. Email: [email protected]

Chris Urena

Chris Urena is director of professional development for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rockville, Maryland.