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During a hybrid event, several things can get altered from the state they are supposed to be, creating problems. Hence, while conducting a hybrid event, dealing with one or two such issues is common. Being majorly associated with the technical facet, when some of those problems cause slight delays, a few of them can create abrupt impediments for the entire event.
Therefore, before organizing a hybrid event, you should have a precise comprehension of these possible problems to fix them quickly if any of them occurs unexpectedly. Moreover, minimizing these issues means a reduction in frustration and enhancement of audience engagement rate. According to reports, an increase in business ROI starts getting noticed right after seven months of the event, if it’s successful.
Low Attendance Rate
President of Factor 11 Event Production Company, Brian Ferrel, said, “(Hybrid events) are going to create more work for us.” 62% of event planners are mentioning hybrid events as the future of the event industry. But, the success of your event can fall in apprehension when despite devising a perfect plan and inviting exhibitors and proficient speakers, you notice low attendance rates. Most event organizers are concerned about a situation like it as it can become disastrous for the event.
Having a last-minute promotion in your offer list can be a possible way out of this problem. If it too goes in vain, redesigning seating is another possible solution. Taking up this approach, you can design a more intimate setting, saving your event from cancellation.
In contrast, the arrival of too many participants can also put you under stress. It could be a possible problem since 57% of attendees prefer to join hybrid events physically.
Hence, adopt strategies to limit the number of attendees. Build counters and place volunteers for assisting in the registration of attendees and locating their seats. Only effective communication can save your event from being a mess. Relocation is possible. Try to shift the event to a bigger-sized venue. Also, track the real-time registrations online to discern the number of attendees your event would receive.
Problems in Transportation
Running a mixed event means affixing the in-person and virtual part as one. Therefore, while people attend the event through digital mediums, the other feature needs to make long to short journeys by public transports or private cars to be present physically.
The same goes for your staff, some of the speakers, and volunteers. Difficulty in finding the event location, delay because of traffic jams, bad weather, and even accidents are some of the issues you should be prepared for.
If you know that the roads through which most of your in-person attendees would be arriving at the venue face traffic jams, keep the vital segment of the event for the later half. Besides informing the participants about the accurate address and location of the venue, mentioning alternative routes and transportation modes through emails is equally imperative.
Although 60% of leaders strongly rely on events for achieving their business goal, very little can be done if your event witnesses an unfortunate storm or similar weather hazards. If possible, take support of big tents, overhead covers, waterproof furniture, or gazebos. It would also be great if you can relocate your event indoors. In this case, inform your guests about the relocation. But, if the weather is so bad that you cannot organize the event, consider refunding.
Hijacking of Twitter Hashtag
While submitting in real-time, most companies use digital signage for displaying tweets. During the progression of the event, such signages are excellent for generating participant engagement and PR. But at the same time, hashtag hijacking from trolls remains a vulnerable point.
According to 50.7% of executives, live events will have a virtual sphere in the future. Hashtag hijacking can force companies, regardless of their sizes, to go into the damage control mode. Hashtag hijacking is a problem that occurs when other users copy your hashtag and drop down negative comments for advocating their businesses or initiates war on Twitter with other profile owners.
Although hashtag hijacking can’t be regarded precisely as a technical problem, it can blemish your rand value hugely. However, you can do a little to prevent hashtag hijacking. But, encouraging your attendees to leave positive comments to overshadow the negative ones is always the approach you can take.
Hindrance in Registration
The days of people registering in an event through pen and paper don’t exist anymore. And, expecting it when organizing a hybrid event is nothing more than frivolity. Because of the arrival of different event apps, attendees can efficiently perform the registration process through their smartphones or other digital systems.
But, in case of hindrance in registration, attendees waiting to participate in the event have to wait longer, creating a chaotic long queue. To shun such a situation, you must have a backup process.
Loss of Internet Connection
Hybrid events are based upon internet connections. Irrespective of the virtual and in-person part, losing an internet connection can lead your event towards complete close-downs. The connectivity issue has been a problem for 32.9% of organizers, while 12% stated that having backup internet connectivity was always in their plan. Therefore, at least one tech-savvy staff should always be present during the event. To minimize the chances of Wi-Fi breakdowns, you should always keep your trust in the best and latest routers available in the market.
Routers are pretty akin to radio stations with several channels available. Getting “static-y” a “backed up” because of heavy traffic, a router can go down at any time. However, the latest ones can automatically shift to another channel if the channel it’s currently on is experiencing heavy traffic interference. It’s also mandatory to run a speed test before starting the event to identify its reception in the area the Wi-Fi will proffer.
Other Technical Problems
Organizing a hybrid event encompasses plenty of different devices and equipment like microphones, speakers, lights, laptops, cameras, projectors, wiring, and more. Therefore, 38% of enterprises arranging video, audio, branding, and venue require the highest expenses. Hence, if any of those equipment stops working during an event, the process of continuation may hinder. Therefore, before starting, check all of them, fix potential issues if you can identify them, and keep them fully charged.
If you fail to control the problem, don’t hesitate to communicate with your audience and apologize. If a technical issue is big enough to cancel the event, bring forth the refund policy and give the attendees their money back.
If your event contains a presentation of things, more likely, it will happen through pre-recorded videos. Live streaming of videos and presenter interacting with participants through satellites is also typical in such events. If all things go the way they need to be, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
However, many times, situations become far from wonderland. Therefore, for 38% of organizers, hybrid events require greater preparation time than organizing in-person events. Problems in bandwidth can cause a delay in videos and can also stop the streaming. If videos from Vimeo or YouTube videos are getting played, it can be hindered by site issues, leaving you incapable of doing anything from your side.
Keeping a backup plan is always wiser. Suppose you need to play a video from Youtube, download and convert it to mp4 and save a copy on your computer. This way, although the site isn’t working for some reason, you can still play the video for the participants without any hindrance.
In case of facing difficulties in live streaming, keep a pre-recorded video in hand. And, it will come in aid in instances where a speaker is unable to attend the event because of technical difficulties in satellites. However, the video should comprise the same content the speaker would have discussed and cover the same period allotted to the speaker.
Greg Hawk, the owner of the Hawk Agency, mentioned, “It is difficult to do in-person and virtual simultaneously. Finding a way to create a dynamic for the live audience that also translates and keeps people virtually connected, it’s just hard. There’s no simple ‘that’s what you do’ that serves both.”
But, it creates highly profitable results for the businesses and attendees simultaneously when the factors mentioned above can be dealt with proficiency. The low and high attendance rate can be addressed with last-minute promotions and reorganizing the sitting arrangements.
You can solve the problems in transportation by altering the crucial segments of the attendees based on the time of their arrival. Hashtag hijacking is never a problem as long as there are enough positive comments under your hashtag.
You can address technical issues and loss of internet connection with proper backup plans. And, playback issues will never be significant as long as downloaded videos or audio files are available.