Megan is an Account Manager at pc/nametag and specializes in providing solutions to meeting and event planners.
The events industry is evolving and hybrid events have become a go-to method for giving attendees the flexibility to attend events either in person or virtually. A top challenge for hybrid event planners today, however, is determining how to create an inclusive and unique attendee experience for all attendees, no matter how they choose to attend.
This week, I’m revealing tips and tricks for creating successful meetings all attendees will enjoy. Keep scrolling to learn how to create hybrid event experiences that will bring people together and make an impact they won’t forget!
Virtual and on-site event attendees each have their own set of unique needs and requirements. Bridging the gap between the two isn’t easy, and finding a perfect solution is different for everyone. Your attendees and meeting theme will help how you’ll go about creating a memorable experience for all. Keep reading to find my insight into bringing attendees together, no matter their location.
1. Provide name tags for both in-person and virtual event attendees.
Remember, not all virtual event platforms keep your attendees’ names front and center. If you are looking to host audience engagement activities or encourage attendee networking, you will want to ensure each person sees who they are speaking with.
Provide name tags for both virtual and in-person attendees to empower everyone in attendance to feel more connected to one another. Seeing someone’s name is a great way to break barriers, drive conversations and spark networking. Plus, your organization will provide a more consistent brand experience at the same time.
When providing name badges for virtual attendees consider sending a pin, clip, or magnet attachment. This way, attendees can place their name tags high on their shoulders before the meeting starts to make their name visible during live streaming. The goal is to keep all attendees’ names front and center during meeting times.
Did you know that you can use event badges to your advantage? First, they’re the perfect place to showcase your organization’s branding. Second, they’re a great part of a well-rounded event marketing plan, as an eye-catching badge will encourage attendees to promote their experience via the infamous selfie. 📸
Event Marketing Tip:
Encourage attendees to post their photos to social media and add your event’s hashtag. This is one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to capture the moment and bring awareness to your brand. You may even gain a few extra followers!
Selfies can help drive connections between virtual and in-person attendees when posted to the social board in your event’s app. Push that hashtag and spark those connections!
2. Use registration envelopes, QR codes, and digital ticketing to increase efficiency.
Once you’ve set your event date and booked your venue, you’re ready to set up event registration. How you choose to handle this process is important, since registration sets the stage for first impressions of your event and organization. Although there is no “right way” to approach the registration experience, there are proven ways to increase efficiency, eliminate touches and decrease queueing.
For instance, online event registration and digital ticketing can eliminate the need for physical tickets at your event. Another alternative is to mail attendees a registration packet prior to the event. Not only can this be recycled, but it also ensures that attendees have their event badges, agendas, and other important information in hand before the event. Plus, you’ll eliminate those slow, congested registration lines on site. Your attendees will thank you!
3. Assemble attendee registration kits to cut down on long lines.
If there’s one thing people love, it’s getting a surprise package in the mail. Attendee registration kits are one of the trendiest ways to show appreciation to attendees for signing up for your event. The advantage of registration kits is they can feature virtually any type of apparel, event swag, agenda item, or marketing materials you’d like. They’re also a smart way to keep attendees engaged before, during, and after your event, as they’ll love enjoying their box of goodies in their free time.
Providing the same durable goods for in-person and virtual attendees can help build a sense of community and continuity between all. It provides a similar experience no matter how you choose to attend the event. All attendees can share in the excitement of receiving a fun thank-you or welcome for being part of your event. We can all appreciate a little extra love from the events we attend!
Did you know? 🎁
The gift box fulfillment services offered by pc/nametag sets up planners for success with any attendee gift box. Our event specialists work with you to pick the perfect products and assemble the items attendees need to be successful throughout the event.
These kits can include everything from name tags to gifts, documents, speaker worksheets, and sponsor/exhibitor swag. You can even consider having an envelope that attendees can open together at a specific time to help drive that connection and engagement. The options are truly endless.
4. Use custom badge ribbons to help event participants feel recognized and appreciated.
Hybrid events are the ideal opportunity to recognize participants, whether they’re your staff members, attendees, sponsors, volunteers, channel partners, or exhibitors. By showing appreciation for their participation, you’ll be able to capitalize on their attendance and foster connections with your brand. Any reward or recognition can make a big difference in helping event-goers become active brand advocates.
To help attendees form connections, I suggest providing a badge ribbon wall to create helpful identifiers and great conversations. The best part is that badge ribbons are fully customizable! Choose from pre-printed options like “Sponsor,” “Exhibitor,” or “First Time Attendee,” or make your very own ribbon from scratch.
Engaging your attendees and providing a memorable experience is a must. With many live events now featuring an online component, this creates a whole new experience for attendees. Adding a virtual component is a great way to expand your attendee list to include those who have never had a chance to attend your event due to time or budget restrictions.
Hybrid events have opened events to new audiences and opportunities for planners, so make the experience count. I’ve found that one of the best ways to keep attendees engaged is through branded promotional products and fun event swag. Send a gift box of swag items to virtual attendees, while giving in-person attendees a swag bag to carry their items.
Create a Hybrid Event to Remember with pc/nametag
I have always enjoyed creating interpersonal connections with the people I meet at events. While having a hybrid or virtual audience can make this in-person luxury a bit more challenging, there are still ways that you can bridge the gap to help attendees and exhibitors form connections with one another, no matter the type of event.
As hybrid events grow in popularity, the events industry is having to adapt. These big changes are feeding new ideas and creating creativity in every way imaginable, and I’m excited to see how the world of hybrid events continues to grow.
Explore More Event Planning Resources by Need
If you’re new to hosting virtual conferences or hybrid events, you've come to the right place. Organizations like pc/nametag exist to help you navigate any challenges you face. Feel free to connect with us to learn how to create a high-quality event experience or explore the following links to learn about the event essentials you’ll need to be successful.
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