BizBash at Connect Tampa has come to a close! The live show, held at the Tampa Convention Center from August 30th to September 2nd, boasted a bridged live to virtual audience, activations, speakers, entertainment, and much more.
The MeetingPlay team were the boots on the ground at BizBash at Connect Tampa and are here to give you the inside scoop of what makes a hybrid event successful. You have heard it for months, and it still rings true – hybrid events are the future of events, and the sooner you begin planning, the more effective, interactive, and successful the event will be.
We’re here to answer your burning questions about the REAL hybrid experience:
1. What does a hybrid event look like in 2021?
In the new normal, safety concerns need to be addressed first and foremost. With online registration and self-service kiosks, your attendees are given the ability to choose what they feel most comfortable with during registration. When attendees entered BizBash Tampa, they could easily pick up their badges and check in on site through the self-service kiosks or speak with a representative if they had any issues.
Social distancing was also in effect at BizBash Tampa. With seating 6 feet apart but options to sit next to colleagues, there was something for everyone. The main stage was in the middle of the tradeshow floor. Attendees visiting booths were able to still hear the main stage, but if they wanted to engage more with the content, they could find a seat, settle in with provided headphones, and listen in as if the speakers were speaking directly to them one-on-one.
Access to the mobile app through MeetingPlay technology added enhancements to the onsite attendees, including QR code scanning, gamification, one-on-one video calling, and networking opportunities. Attendees could also find information about safety protocols, booth numbers, a site map, and easy access to their registration information!
2. What did MeetingPlay and BizBash need to make their hybrid event platform a success?
The biggest goal for BizBash at Connect was to create a connected experience for the virtual and live attendees. To do that, our virtual platform and mobile app had to work together so that both audiences could experience the event together.
- Social Wall
- Live Chat
- One-on-one videos
- AI-driven matchmaking
Onsite attendees could also have one-on-one meetings with virtual attendees through the mobile app. All live attendees had to do was log in, select the attendee, and call. Then they could video chat and share the live space. Virtual attendees could get a full walkthrough of the event from a live attendee and get the full experience, all from the comfort of the virtual platform.
3. How do you keep attendees informed about everything your hybrid event has to offer?
As meeting planners and event professionals, we know one of the number one rules of event management is communication. Communication is key for all aspects of the attendee journey, including your sponsors and exhibitors. For a hybrid event to run smoothly and successfully, creating a clear and concise plan of action to bridge the attendee gap from on site to virtual is just as important as a streamlined communication plan. From start to finish, communicating with both sides of the coin enhances attendee experiences and creates a lasting impression.
Ways to enhance communication range from pop-ups in the event mobile app and virtual platform to remind attendees of certain sessions upcoming to reminders for gamification and prize options. Emails before, during, and after the event are essential to informing all attendees (whether on site or virtually) about the event tech stack you’re providing them.
On site attendees should know ahead of time about an event mobile app, how to download it, and what the benefits are. Think about creating a “Know Before You Go” section on your registration website to inform your audience about the technology used, the local area, the hotel information, how to get around, how to register, and encourage them to ask questions! Event days can be chaotic and time consuming, the last thing that your attendee should feel is confused about what to expect, especially with safety protocols.
It’s safe to say that we learned a lot from attending one of our first hybrid events of the season! It’s been a long road to get here, but events are slowly but surely making their resurgence. The key takeaways we found are attendees thrive with proper communication, the event tech stack works best when all parties are aware of how it works and what’s available, and live events are fun! Don’t be scared to create your own journey at your first live event back after a while out of the game.
Missed the live event but still want access to on-demand content? There’s still time to register!
Let MeetingPlay walk you through our hybrid capabilities and how our event tech keeps your attendees engaged, informed, and, overall, happy. Schedule your demo now.